In 2017, more than 17.5 million surgical and minimally invasive procedures were performed for cosmetic purposes. Plastic surgery can help patients have a more positive body image and increased self-esteem. If you're considering having a cosmetic procedure, it's important to educate yourself about what to expect. Our guide will outline some of the essential things to think about before you commit to surgery.
Do Your Research
Doing research ahead of any operation can empower you, and it will likely improve your overall satisfaction with the results. In particular, you'll want to research your surgeon. Ensure that he or she is board-certified, and find out how much experience he or she has with the specific procedure you're requesting.
In addition, research the procedure itself so that you can understand the different surgical approaches that may be available to you. For example, you might discover that your procedure can be performed with special techniques to minimize scarring. Looking at before and after photos can help you learn about what kinds of results are realistic, and it's a good idea to ask your surgeon for before and after photos from operations he or she has performed.
To give yourself peace of mind, check out the cost of the procedure you are hoping to have. Get in touch with your insurance company to see if they cover the procedure, and ask how much you might need to pay. In some cases, it may be possible to have your procedure deemed medically necessary instead of solely cosmetic, which could reduce your total cost.
All surgical procedures carry some degree of risk, and your surgeon will make sure that you are aware of these prior to the operation. Some of the potential risks of surgery include bleeding, scarring, problems with stitches or staples, and complications from anesthesia. A good surgeon will plan in advance to minimize all of these risks. He or she will use techniques that hide any necessary scars in skin folds so that they are less visible. As you prepare for surgery, you will be given several opportunities to talk with your surgeon about any concerns you may have.
Prepare for Recovery
Depending on the type of procedure you have, you may need to take one to two weeks off of work for your recovery period. You will need someone to drive you home after surgery, and someone must be with you for at least the first 24 hours after you arrive home. Ask your surgeon for instructions about when you can shower, and ensure that you have a phone next to your bed at all times. Your surgeon will let you know when you can resume taking your regular medications, and it is important that you remain vigilant for excessive bleeding, increased pain, or other worrying symptoms. If these occur, contact your surgeon to let him or her know.
By researching early and understanding potential risks, you will empower yourself to make an informed decision about your surgical care. Always reach out to your healthcare team with any questions that arise.