Deciding to undergo any cosmetic procedure is a big decision. From cost to recovery time, it’s imperative that you ask questions – as many as it takes until you are completely comfortable making a sound decision regarding your procedure. So many of the questions and concerns I get from patients seem to stem from myths and misinformation they have seen in the news. Being able to address these concerns and questions is an important first step in the cosmetic surgery process.
Questions to Ask
A good plastic surgeon will encourage questions and be happy to answer any that you have until you are completely satisfied. Some important questions to cover during a consultation are:
- Which procedure is going to be the best for me at my current age and stage to achieve the maximal aesthetic outcome?
- Is the procedure safe?
- How much will the procedure cost?
- Can the procedure be performed in an office setting?
- Are there nonsurgical options?
- What kind of improvement can I expect?
- What kind of maintenance will there be, if any, after the procedure?
- What is the recovery time?
Be Candid About Expectations
In addition to answering questions, a good plastic surgeon will dispel myths or inaccurate assumptions you might have based on things you’ve heard or read. For example, it’s not likely you will look like your favorite movie star after cosmetic surgery, nor will the effects of surgery last forever – it has to be maintained and will fade with time. Even after surgery, age and gravity will still have an effect on your body. This is why a consultation with your plastic surgeon before deciding on a procedure is so important to setting reasonable expectations.
Do Your Research
The greatest fear people tend to have about plastic surgery is safety, largely as a result of negative news reports following complications with high-profile celebrities. People hear these horror stories and naturally wonder, “Is what happened to Joan Rivers or Kanye West’s mother going to happen to me?” The truth is, there are far more positive plastic surgery outcomes than the occasional media sensation when performed by a skilled surgeon. The best advice I always give is to make sure your plastic surgeon is a well-trained, board-certified professional in good practice. Many of these stories of disastrous outcomes may involve procedures done by poorly-trained people in substandard conditions. Doing your homework on the surgeon who will be performing your operation is critically important.
What are your thoughts about plastic surgery? I’d love to read what’s on your mind – leave a comment!
Dr. Jamal Bullocks is a board-certified Plastic Surgery specialist whose clinical interests include reconstructive breast surgery, cosmetic surgery for men and women and body contouring after weight loss.