5 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Having Cosmetic Surgery
People turn to cosmetic surgery because they want to look better, feel better and increase their self-confidence. Cosmetic surgery is generally a positive experience that changes lives, but it can become a nightmare if the patient chooses the wrong surgeon or the surgeon chooses the wrong patient—it is truly a mutual relationship. If you are considering cosmetic surgery, first ask yourself the following five questions:
1. Why do I want to have the procedure?
Good reasons to have cosmetic surgery are to look and feel better and boost self-esteem and confidence. Patients who think cosmetic surgery will change their entire life are likely to be disappointed. Having cosmetic surgery to save a failing relationship or vie for a job promotion are not reasonable motivations. And patients who have cosmetic surgery just to get attention will likely remain insecure despite their rejuvenation. The best answer I like to hear when I ask my patients why they want cosmetic surgery is, “I just want to look as good as I feel and look as good as I can for my age.” Whereas a 60 year old woman who brings a picture of Angela Jolie to her consult sets off red flags.
2. Is this the right time in my life to have cosmetic surgery?
Depending on the procedure or procedures, cosmetic surgery can be an intense experience from choosing the right surgeon, to deciding on the best correct procedures, to the recovery process. Your recovery will require your full attention of you and your family and it is not advisable to bite off a big recovery if your life is tumultuous at the moment. Patients that are grieving, having marital problems or problems with children, etc. can distracted. you may only do this once in your life, pick a time when it is “all about you”.
3. Can I afford the procedure?
Cosmetic surgery can be expensive, especially if you want multiple procedures. Like any other elective purchase, you should not place unrealistic financial burden on yourself just to look better. Impulsiveness has no place in making medical decisions. Postponing surgery, obtaining in-office financing or limiting the number of procedures may be solutions for some patients. Remember, it takes most of us a half a century get our wrinkles, you don’t have to correct them all overnight.
4. What is my support system at home?
Recovery from any type of surgery can be intense and, depending upon the procedure, patients may need physical and emotional assistance for several days or longer. There is nothing more helpful than a compassionate, supportive spouse, but this is not the case in some households. I have seen husbands or wives disapprove of their spouse’s decision to have cosmetic surgery. Sometimes it’s jealousy, sometimes it’s the expense. When you are in bed, bruised and bandaged, the last thing you want to hear is “I told you so.” Support at home cannot be underestimated.
5. Have I chosen the right surgeon?
Patients need to do their homework. It’s important to choose a surgeon who is board certified in their specialty and one who routinely performs the specific procedure(s) you are considering. An experienced surgeon should be able to show a prospective patient many pictures of his or her work and have patient references readily available. An accredited office surgery center and discussion of who will be performing the anesthesia is also important. It is a myth that only doctors of certain specialties are qualified to perform cosmetic surgery. It is the skill of the surgeon’s hands that makes the difference, not what specialty they represent. Finally, you must be able to communicate openly and effectively with your surgeon. Trust your instincts. If you don’t like your surgeon’s personality or demeanor, don’t hesitate to interview another surgeon.
To learn more about cosmetic facial surgery from Dr. Joe Niamtu in Richmond, Virginia visit www.lovethatface.com
Joe Niamtu, III DMD
Cosmetic Facial Surgery