So, you’re thinking about cosmetic surgery. What now? Where to start?
Like all surgeries, the effects of plastic surgery procedures are fairly permanent, so you should expect to live with your decision for the rest of your life. Intimidating, right? It doesn’t have to be! Here, I’m going to tell you about how you can prepare yourself for plastic surgery by doing your research.
This depends on what results you’re actually looking for. Are your arms flabby? Are you unhappy with your stomach shape? Are you dying for a fresher looking face? When it comes to deciding on procedures, you first need to decide what your goals are. If you’re thinking about plastic surgery, you probably already know which areas of your body are areas you aren’t 100% comfortable with, of course.
This is when you should start to make a list of possibilities for yourself. Write down the area(s) you may want to improve, then head to Google and find out what procedures exist for any place you’re thinking about cosmetically modifying on your body. Determine what makes the most sense for you and how it would make you feel. For example, if you’re looking into breast implants, how big should they be?
All surgery comes with risks, and plastic surgery is no exception. Once you’ve read up on which procedures you’re interested in, you need to look into…
This is the part of doing research that is not fun. Everything sounds peachy and wonderful. And then you start to read about the possible side effects of your surgery. How does “anastomotic leak” sound to you? I know it sounds like a total drag, but if you don’t look into the risks, you might be surprised when your surgeon says you aren’t a candidate for the procedure you want.
Some people, especially smokers or people with chronic health conditions, may not be able to get all the surgeries they want because their body won’t allow for it. You have to know your limits. Is weight-loss surgery for you? Maybe not! And if you just want some body contouring, but you have intestinal issues, for instance, then you may not be able to get a tummy tuck or liposuction.
There are a lot of possible complications that can occur, even if you’re healthy. Plus, the standard side effects of surgery include bruising, bleeding, swelling, and a whole bunch of other unpleasant stuff. And will there be scarring? Yes. Even with a facelift? Yep. This is the part where you narrow your list down to what you’re comfortable with.
Once you have your final list (even if that list contains just one item), then it’s time to figure out who will be operating on you.
Like any kind of medical doctor, a plastic surgeon has certain credentials and criteria that they must meet in order to safely perform any kind of surgery. Plastic surgery is a surgical specialty, so you need someone who has specialized in that particular type of surgery. According to surgery.org “Board-certified plastic surgeons complete a minimum of five years of surgical training following medical school, including a plastic surgery residency program. In-depth training encompasses surgical procedures of the face and the entire body.”
They need to understand every part of the body and how it works. Plus, they need to be trained to prevent and handle emergencies. And of course, the more experience, the better. You should look for plastic surgeons who have spent many years honing their abilities.
There’s also something to look out for: any licensed physician can call themselves a plastic/cosmetic surgeon, whether they have had training in surgery or not! This is true in both Canada and the United States. So you need to do your research and find out if your doctors have had the appropriate experience and training. Here are some more tips for having the best plastic surgery.
About The Author
Dr. Stephanie Power is a plastic surgeon based in Toronto, Canada. She maintains a busy private practice in the Yorkville neighborhood.