Plastic surgery is an affordable way to change your appearance once and for all, to become more confident or to get rid of any flaws you may have. However, like any surgical procedure, plastic surgery is a serious commitment. Once you have undergone it, there is no going back. Many people think about going to a plastic surgeon but can’t make a final decision because of reasonable doubts and fears. In this article, we’ll talk about some of them, try to set realistic expectations, and sort out whether or not you need plastic surgery.
Plastic surgery: pros and cons
Plastic surgery makes it possible to get rid of appearance defects: scars, consequences of injuries and accidents, congenital features, malformations, etc.
Plastic surgery can be both radical and minimally invasive. A small difference in appearance can drastically change the proportions of your face or body. By changing just one detail, you can emphasise the beauty of your other features.
Plastic surgery can help with not only cosmetic but also medical problems. For example, an eye lift or Botox will often relieve headaches, while liposuction will reduce stress on the joints.
Changing your appearance can help you feel more confident, attractive and happy. Many patients share their experiences of plastic surgery and the positive role it has played in their lives.
Some studies show that more attractive people may have more professional and personal opportunities. A study published in Applied Financial Economics found that attractive agents sell properties at a higher price. Other studies have also shown that attractive people tend to earn higher salaries and are more likely to be selected for promotion.
Like any surgical procedure, plastic surgery carries some risks. These include muscle and nerve damage, infections, bleeding and complications caused by anaesthesia. However, adverse effects occur in only 0.1-7% of patients, depending on the procedure. In qualified medical centres, all precautions are put in place to avoid such outcomes. However, every patient needs to be aware of all the risks associated with the surgery.
Scarring is unavoidable with any type of surgical involvement. Many people measure a doctor’s skill by their ability to hide the stitches, but with some procedures, they can be more visible. Six months after surgery it is possible to mask the scars with a laser, but this will not remove them completely, only make them less noticeable.
5-15% of patients will not be satisfied with a single surgery. Typically, revision surgery is needed for people who have gone to an inexperienced specialist for the first time and are dissatisfied with the result; or if there are problems with the implants. Sometimes revision surgery is needed when the result of the surgery is gone – for example, if the body changes after pregnancy. In rare cases, the patient will undergo a second, minimally invasive procedure without anaesthesia if the desired result was not fully achieved during the first intervention.
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What questions should I ask myself before choosing plastic surgery?
What do I want to get from this?
The most important factor influencing patient satisfaction with the results of the surgery is expectations. It is important to clearly understand what plastic surgery can and cannot achieve. Doctors can correct flaws or emphasise natural features, but they cannot change you into a different person. Surgery will also not help you to get rid of psychological problems, insecurity, depression and loneliness.
Do I know enough about the surgical techniques available to me and their alternatives?
Before any major surgery, all pros and cons should be taken into consideration, and for this, you should be well-informed about the upcoming procedure. You need to know how it will go, what complications can occur and how big is the risk, how to properly recover, etc. Usually, the desired effect can be achieved in different ways – there are many surgical techniques and methods, each with its strengths and weaknesses. During the consultation, the doctor can recommend the most suitable option based on your facial or body structure. Many doctors recommend consulting at least two specialists before any major intervention so that you can get an alternative point of view.
Can the desired results be achieved in other ways?
In some cases, it is possible to achieve the desired change in appearance by non-surgical methods – through cosmetics, corrective clothing, diet or exercise. Most experts recommend trying non-surgical methods before seeing a doctor.
Patients should also be aware that many procedures have non-invasive alternatives. For example, rhinoplasty or blepharoplasty can be performed with fillers. This is safer as it does not require the use of anaesthesia and does not result in permanent changes to the tissue structure. 99,2% of such procedures proceed without any complications.
Do I know enough about the clinic and the doctor who will carry out the operation?
You should also thoroughly research the clinic where you plan to undergo treatment and look at the doctor’s portfolio. The level of qualification is confirmed by quality certificates and participation in national and international medical organisations. What the doctor specialises in is also important. A plastic surgeon may be certified to perform a variety of procedures, but have extensive experience only in rhinoplasty, or facelifts, for example. Don’t hesitate to ask the doctor how many surgeries he has performed in the last year that interest you.
MediGlobus coordinators can help you choose a doctor. We have more than nine years of cooperation with leading foreign clinics, and can quickly get you a referral to the top plastic surgeons.
Who won’t benefit from blepharoplasty/liposuction/mammoplasty etc?
In forming realistic expectations about plastic surgery, it must be understood that it cannot be the solution to all problems with appearance. Much depends on the original structure of the face and body, the condition of the skin, and the muscular and fatty tissue. Some patients may be advised to have alternative surgeries, while others not have any surgery at all. For example:
Breast augmentation. In mammoplasty, the implant is chosen according to the shape and size of the woman’s breasts. If the patient is originally a size 0-1 and has a narrow chest, a good surgeon will not insert a size 4 implant. This will critically stretch the skin, cause back pain and look unnatural.
Blepharoplasty. Blepharoplasty is used to remove an overhanging eyelid, which can have both a cosmetic effect and relieve eye fatigue. However, this surgery is not indicated for everyone. People with Asian eyes, overhanging eyebrows or deep-set eyes are better suited to other types of surgery.
Liposuction. Doctors often refuse to perform liposuction in patients over 45, with a body mass index higher than 33, or with severe medical conditions. For these groups of people, the risks of the procedure outweigh its possible benefits. Liposuction is recommended for people who are already actively watching their figure but cannot get rid of excess weight in specific areas of the body.
Plastic surgery also has several health-related contraindications. Before any surgery, a full examination is carried out to make sure that the person will tolerate the anaesthesia and the intervention. Contraindications for plastic surgery include:
Severe heart, kidney or liver disease;
Diabetes mellitus with abnormal glycated haemoglobin and glucose profiles;
Pregnancy and breastfeeding period;
Allergy to medications used before, during or after surgery;
Skin prone to developing keloid scars;
Is there an age limit for plastic surgery?
There is an age limit for most procedures. Plastic surgery for teenagers is not performed in most cases, as their body continues to grow and change. Surgery is possible if the person has not grown within a year. Otoplasty – correcting the shape of the ears – is the only exception.
Regarding the upper age limit, the criteria are less clear. According to the American Association of Plastic Surgeons, aesthetic medicine is just as safe for the elderly as it is for the young. Some contraindications may arise due to medical conditions that are more common in the elderly. However, even in this case, non-surgical plastic surgery techniques are often still available.
Younger patients are more likely to seek out procedures such as breast augmentation, liposuction, nose jobs and dermabrasion. While older people are more interested in eyelid, brow, face or neck lifts.
During the pre-operative consultation, the plastic surgeon will discuss the desired results and assess the goals with the patient. During the consultation, individual factors such as unique body type, bone structure, size, age and general health will also be discussed.
What changes do you have to make if you want to have plastic surgery?
For the results of the operation to be of good quality and to last for a long time, all the doctors’ recommendations must be followed. Immediately after surgery, the tissues are sensitive to any changes, which may harm their healing. Before going in for surgery, be sure that you are ready to accept the changes associated with recovery.
For plastic surgery, quitting nicotine is a prerequisite, not a recommendation. This is due to the effects of nicotine products on the tissue healing process. This substance disrupts blood flow, which can lead to tissue death, wound formation and deformed results.
Wear the recommended compression garment
Compression garments prevent swelling, limit the risk of blood clots, improve the appearance of surgical results and support the body in the healing process.
Correct sleeping posture is essential after surgery to ensure that tissues do not accidentally shift. Depending on the area of the body where the intervention was carried out, the doctor will be able to give specific advice on how to lie in bed correctly. Cushions and reclining chairs can help with this.
Exposure to the sun in the first 1-2 weeks after facial plastic surgery worsens swelling, and increases the risk of infections and bruising.
Avoid excessive physical activity
In the first 48 hours after surgery, physical activity of any kind is contraindicated. Afterwards, you can gradually start to do some light exercise, depending on your doctor’s recommendations. They will tell you which exercises will help to alleviate your condition and avoid damaging your rehabilitation. Depending on the procedure, some exercises may be contraindicated altogether. For example, the pectoral muscles should not be put under much strain after breast augmentation, as this can cause the implants to shift.
Allow enough time for recovery
Depending on the type of procedure, a patient may need days or weeks off from work and household chores to recover. Because of this, many people undergo plastic surgery during the holidays.
Where can I get quality plastic surgery?
The results of plastic surgery depend directly on the level of professionalism and experience of the doctor. More experienced and prestigious surgeons will cost more, but the price pays off in the long run. Most unsuccessful surgeries occur with doctors without sufficient experience and proper qualifications. As a result, patients have to pay twice and still have to go to expensive doctors to correct the mistakes of the previous surgeon.
The MediGlobus specialists can advise you on the plastic surgery centres with the best value for money. We compile our ratings based on real patient feedback and accompany them through all stages of treatment.
To get the most positive effect from plastic surgery, you need to have a good understanding of what you want to achieve, have realistic expectations and find a plastic surgeon with whom you can reach a mutual understanding.
If you are in doubt about whether you need plastic surgery, it is advisable to consult 2 or more specialists. Also ask yourself questions: What do you expect from this surgery? Are there other ways to achieve the desired effect? Are you ready for the changes that surgery will bring to your life?
Skilled plastic surgeons have an individual approach to each patient. Experienced doctors are skilled in a variety of techniques, the choice of which depends not only on the patient’s wishes but also on the specifics of his or her body structure.
Plastic surgery is subject to the same restrictions as any other treatment: the benefits must outweigh the possible health risks. Before the surgery, it is imperative that you quit smoking and follow all the surgeon’s recommendations for recovery. This will help in avoiding unwanted side effects and distorting the results of the intervention.
Among the most popular foreign clinics that specialise in plastic surgery are hospitals in Turkey, Korea, Germany, Israel and Austria. To get help in choosing a clinic and doctor, write to our coordinating doctors and we will advise you free of charge.
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