Plastic surgery has the potential to improve your appearance, increase your confidence, and in some cases, provide relief for physical conditions. But there are a couple of important caveats: first, plastic surgery isn’t the “right” solution for every problem of appearance or confidence. Second, even if plastic surgery is the best choice for your situation, there are several variables that could make it more effective or less effective.
The right approach is to ask the right questions before pursuing surgery—both of yourself and your plastic surgeon.
Questions to Ask Yourself Before Getting Plastic Surgery
Before you start talking to plastic surgeons, ask yourself these questions:
- Why do you want plastic surgery? There are many good reasons to consider plastic surgery, but it’s important to understand your internal motivations before you move forward. You might find that your issues may not be solvable with a simple surgical procedure. For example, are you feeling anxiety about aging, with the hope that a face lift will make all your fears go away? This may not be the best option. By contrast, have you suffered from a lifetime of low confidence because of the shape of your nose, specifically? A rhinoplasty could be exactly what you need to feel better.
- What other options are there? There are usually alternatives to plastic surgery worth considering. For example, if you’re uncomfortable with your weight, or with specific fat deposits in your body, a healthier eating regimen and regular workout routine could be all it takes to get you in better shape (and help you feel more comfortable with your body). If your issues are more related to self-confidence, therapy may be able to help you. Be sure to consider these before resorting to plastic surgery.
- Are you prepared for the risks? Plastic surgery is safer than it’s ever been before, but that doesn’t mean it’s entirely risk free. Mistakes, bodily reactions, and random chance could result in a major health risk. Are you prepared to face those consequences?
- What are your expectations? Surgical procedures can improve your appearance, but there’s a limit to how much they can do. For example, you might be able to reshape your nose, plump up your lips, and augment your breasts, but plastic surgery may not be enough to make you look like a celebrity superstar. It’s important to be realistic before pursuing surgery.
- How much can you afford? Plastic surgery ranges from a few thousand dollars to tens of thousands of dollars, depending on the type of procedure, the materials you use, your geographic location, and the experience and skill of your surgeon. While most plastic surgeons offer a flexible payment plan, it’s important to know what you can afford before you begin this research.
Questions to Ask Your Surgeon Before Getting Plastic Surgery
At this point, you should feel comfortable talking to plastic surgeons in your area to learn more about the options available to you.
Be sure to ask:
- What are your certifications? Plastic surgeons should be certified and should have plenty of experience—with a portfolio of patient results and testimonials to prove it. The more experienced and the more qualified your surgeon is, the safer the procedure will be—and the more confident you can feel in their subsequent answers.
- Which options are best for me? If you want something general, like to look younger or feel better about your body, you may have many different options. This is your chance to talk through the potential benefits and risks of each choice.
- What kind of results do you expect? Your surgeon should be able to provide you with some before and after photos, or at least an explanation of what kind of results are typical. How will your appearance change after this procedure?
- What are the potential risks and complications? There are always risks and potential complications, even for the safest and more reliable procedures, so don’t take “complete safety” as a dependable answer. Learn more about the things that could possibly go wrong during and after this procedure, and make sure you’re okay with those risks.
- Who else are you working with? Your plastic surgeon won’t be working alone. They’ll be choosing an operating room, working with operating room staff, an anesthesiologist, and other experts. Make sure you know and understand their choices.
Plastic surgery isn’t right for everyone, but it can be a great way to improve your life satisfaction and quality of life. These questions, explored introspectively and asked of your guiding professional, should help you determine whether it’s truly in your best interest to move forward with a procedure.