Will I Be Happy With Cosmetic Surgery?

By Dr. James White

Will I be happy with my cosmetic surgery? This question is one that is asked in our cosmetic surgery practice quite often and as simple as this question may first present itself, to the contrary, it can render a very complex answer. Many factors contribute to a patient’s satisfaction with their outcome following cosmetic surgery. Major components such as the patient’s expectations, life circumstances, mentality and the performing cosmetic plastic surgeon can all attribute to patient satisfaction or dissatisfaction.

Cosmetic Surgery Satisfaction: Forming Realistic Goals

To begin forming realistic expectations, it is vital for patients to carefully weigh the advantages of the selected cosmetic procedure against the possible risks, disadvantages or complications. For example, a tummy tuck may result in a tighter, flatter midsection but some scarring is a by-product of this procedure. Is scarring an effect you are willing to accept for a tighter stomach? Be sure to research and consult with your cosmetic surgeon regarding possible risks and disadvantages associated with the procedure you are considering.

Before undergoing cosmetic surgery, patients should outline some solid and attainable goals in which they expect to achieve by undergoing the procedure of interest. Will the procedure help you reach these feasible goals (flatter stomach, fuller breasts, younger appearance)? Make sure your surgeon is confident that cosmetic surgery can accomplish these basic goals, and let me emphasize the terms “basic”, “attainable” and “feasible” .If you are expecting cosmetic surgery to completely alter your personality or life, you are probably not generating feasible goals and will be setting yourself up for disappointment. Also, be sure your motives for cosmetic surgery come from within. It is never a good idea to undergo cosmetic surgery for someone else.

Choosing your cosmetic or plastic surgeon

In addition to forming realistic goals and well-informed expectations, it is vital to put careful consideration and research into choosing your cosmetic or plastic surgeon. No matter how well you prepare yourself for the procedure mentally, if your surgeon is incompetent, you will most likely regret your cosmetic surgery. When choosing a cosmetic surgeon it is important to select a cosmetic surgeon who is board certified. In most states it is legal for any physician who holds a valid medical license,with or without surgical training, to practice cosmetic surgery. Board certification is important because it makes certain your surgeon has the training, qualifications and experience needed to perform your cosmetic surgical procedure safely and skillfully. A board certified cosmetic surgeon has greater insight into your needs, has knowledge of state-of-the-art techniques and the surgical skill and judgment to recommend and perform the cosmetic surgical procedure that will enhance your appearance effectively and safely.

As for how you should choose a cosmetic surgeon or cosmetic surgical center— You should do the research locally and online. You can perform a standard internet search with the name of the doctor or the procedure about which you would like to receive more information. What do you see online? Do you like their before and after photos? Do they have negative or positive reviews ? In addition, ask about the surgeon’s privileges in an accredited surgery center or a hospital to perform cosmetic surgery. Given the growing number of cosmetic surgery patients and the highly competitive pool of doctors performing cosmetic surgery, it is vital that you obtain accurate information regarding cosmetic surgery and the doctors who perform it.

You should be happy with your surgery as long as you research your surgeon carefully, educate yourself on the advantages and disadvantages of the surgery of interest and make sure your expectations and goals are realistic and attainable.

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