Many of us – both men and women – feel that society places a lot of pressure on us to look a certain way. And while most people eventually come to accept that they can only do the best they can with the body and face they’ve been given, for others the feeling of dissatisfaction with the way they look lingers on. ‘Going under the knife’ to correct an issue that has been bothering a person for a long time can make a massive difference to their self-esteem – or result in yet further disappointment if their expectations weren’t realistic to begin with. If you’re wondering whether plastic surgery is right for you, then begin by answering these questions honestly.
What is your motivation?
The very first thing you need to get clear in your mind is why you’re even considering plastic surgery in the first place. If it’s simply to please your partner or as a response to comments you’ve heard from so-called friends, chances are you’re not doing it for you. If you’re looking for a quick fix to deeper emotional issues or as an easy way out of living a healthy lifestyle, then plastic surgery is not going to solve your problems.
If, on the other hand, you’re emotionally and physically healthy and just have one or two problem areas that have been niggling at you for a long time, plastic surgery can have an immensely positive and even life-changing outcome. If your appearance has been affected by an accident, disease or other situation outside of your control, then rectifying the physical damage can help you on the path to healing emotional wounds. Each case is unique and scheduling an appointment with a reputable surgeon to discuss your options and to explore the motivation behind your desire for surgery is a good starting point.
How long have you been considering plastic surgery?
We’re all human, we all experience strong emotions, and that means we don’t always act rationally. Cosmetic surgery is still surgery – which by its very nature implies that there is real risk involved, and that it’s not a decision to be taken lightly. If you’ve been happy with your appearance for many years, but suddenly find yourself dissatisfied with your looks after a break-up, divorce, or other traumatic experience, it’s always a good idea to give yourself some time to recover emotionally before making any big decisions. Plastic surgery is no different. If you’ve honestly given yourself sufficient time to consider your options, understand the risks, and find you still want the surgery, then you’re probably ready!
Are your expectations realistic?
Over recent years, we’ve seen some pretty miraculous plastic surgery outcomes, such as the world’s most extensive face transplant on firefighter Pat Hardison. And while these kinds of procedures are undoubtedly amazing, they can give people unrealistic expectations when it comes to what’s possible for them. Done correctly, plastic or aesthetic surgery should complement and enhance your natural beauty, not turn you into an entirely different person. For every plastic surgery miracle, there’s someone who’s taken the procedure too far. It’s unrealistic for a woman in her forties to think she can turn the clock back and retain the features she had in her early twenties. What she can realistically accomplish, however, is an appearance that’s more in keeping with how young she feels!
Are you ready to tolerate some discomfort?
Like any surgical procedure, it’s important to understand that recovery from plastic surgery is painful, can take a good deal of time, and generally won’t be pleasant. You also mustn’t expect to go under one day and wake up with a new face or body the next! Swelling and the potential for scars are a reality, so you need to be certain you’re up for it, can take the time off work you need to, and have a good support system in place.
Have you looked at your lifestyle first?
The best plastic surgeons encourage their patients to address lifestyle issues first and pursue natural alternatives before committing to surgery. It’s not just a lot safer to operate on someone who’s eating well and has a healthy body mass index, and is exercising and avoiding alcohol and tobacco, these things can also work minor miracles on their own – both on physical appearance and general happiness. Sometimes they work so well that a patient who was considering major surgery might instead be content with pursuing non-surgical rejuvenation like anti-wrinkle injectables or dermal filler treatments. The best results are always achieved when the patient and plastic surgeon meet each other halfway!