When to do Plastic Surgery

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When to Consider, and when not to consider Plastic Surgery

When the perfect derriere prances by you on the beach, does a little voice inside your head whisper “I could look like that”? Do you scrutinize the same bump or imperfection on your nose each morning in the mirror? Do you wonder what a little “nip and tuck” could do for you? Everyone wants to look their best, and most of us would like to look even better than that. The number of people turning to their doctor’s office for help with those pesky genetic flaws is growing at an astounding rate. Chances are you know someone who’s had a little lift here or little “contouring” there whether they admit to it or not. So, when should you consider plastic surgery yourself?

The Feeling is Mutual

Take a good hard look. Now ask a close, dear and HONEST friend to do the same. Do you both see the same thing? It’s impossible to be objective when judging beauty, particularly your own. Do your best to assess the degree to which your mind is altering your vision. Look at photos of yourself. Do the same flaws stand out in the photos as in the mirror? Do your best to filter out the little voice in your head and imagine looking at yourself from a photographer’s or portrait painter’s perspective. It’s quite possible that what you deem a flaw may be one of the little oddities that make you beautiful, or at least unique. Bottom line: make sure you haven’t just fixated on a particular area for no truly viable reason.

Doctor's Orders

Depending on what part of your body has got your goat, there may be doctors other than the plastic variety who could be of some assistance to you. If you are looking to eliminate wrinkles or prominent acne scars, you should first consult a licensed Dermatologist. You might even be wise to see more than one. Find out if what you’re looking to correct surgically might be “fixed”, or at least diminished via some less invasive means. Collagen, Botox, even topical treatments such as Retin A, could offer you enough of a result to stave off your yen for the “full monty”. A qualified doctor should be able to give a reasonable estimation of what outcome to expect from any number of treatments. If they tell you only surgery will do the trick, it’s reasonable to start considering an appointment with a qualified Plastic Surgeon. Ask them for a referral - or two.

If your problem areas are a little deeper than skin level - perhaps a stubborn roll of flesh here or there, consider your lifestyle. Have you done what you can with diet and exercise to reduce the problem on your own? Liposuction, tummy tucks, butt lifts, and the like should be considered after ideal weight is achieved AND maintained. Why? Besides being a waste of money - if you have, for example, liposuction on your abdomen, and then gain a substantial amount of weight, it is difficult to predict what shape those pounds will take on your surgically altered body. You may find yourself with some very unnatural-looking ripples and rolls. So make sure you have committed yourself to a lifestyle and level of activity before you schedule anything drastic. Genetics do, however, play a role in where and sometimes how generously our girth collects. A good Plastic Surgeon will inquire about your present fitness and future goals before sucking or tucking those jelly rolls away.

Is your problem as plain as the nose on your face? It’s an unfortunate truth: no exercise, injection, or topical ointment can do anything to correct an oversized or oddly shaped sneezer. If you are unhappy with your nose, ask yourself these three questions: How long has this bothered me? How often do I think about it? How badly does it really make me feel? If your nose has been weighing heavy on your mind for a good portion of your life, and affects your behavior - perhaps keeping you from looking others in the eye, you might consider talking to a Plastic Surgeon. Just be sure the problem begins and ends with your nose, or you may find your unhappiness lingering long after you’ve straightened your smeller.

High Expectations

One final reality check is in order before you march off to the O.R.: Surgery DOES leave scars, and pose risks. Be realistic about the results you expect. There will be scars. There will be a period of recovery. Recognize the possibility of a less-than-ideal outcome, and ask yourself if you would still be glad you gave it a try even if everything didn’t come out exactly the way you’d hoped. Give yourself the time to mole it over and consider all your options. This area of medicine is growing rapidly - you just might find that the longer you wait, the more options you have.

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