Many patients have asked me if they think that they are prepared for plastic surgeries. A simple question like this, Preparing for Plastic Surgery, requires a complex response. A plastic surgeon can’t answer all the important questions a patient might have.
The answer is not a yes or no. It depends more on other things than the issue at hand. A patient should think of these factors before they undergo any kind of cosmetic surgery. While there have been many articles written on surgery preparation, I believe that the following three are most crucial.
Start by doing some research into the doctor and procedure that you’re interested in. It is true that the internet can be full with inaccurate and false information. But it also has a ton of valuable information. You should become a better student, prepare your questions, and do some research before you meet with your plastic surgery specialist. The time spent with your surgeon is limited, so you can’t expect everything to be covered. Do you want to be in charge of your own education?
Second, are you able to afford to undergo plastic surgery? In life, most decisions about money are driven by want rather than need. Not only am I not capable of doing so, but it is also neither my job nor mine to decide whether or not this is a good way for you spend your money. It is my goal to educate patients about the economics of their treatment options so that they can make good, ‘value oriented’ decisions. When assessing financial feasibility, you should consider…how big is your cushion in case of complications? Should complications develop, you might need extra time or have to pay for additional costs. You should leave yourself some financial flexibility if you plan to undergo elective surgery. It is often the case that patients are not satisfied with their plastic surgery procedure.
Finally, accept that there are and will be complications. I’m not talking about rarely. In most cases plastic surgery complications will be minor, and can easily be resolved. As with a vehicle accident, there is a risk of negative outcomes. This does not only happen to other people. The most important thing is to factor in this psychologically. The recovery from many types of plastic surgery is always longer than what you expect. You won’t see it in magazines. It is also more difficult to get over an inconvenience from surgery.