Plastic surgery is a surgical procedure conducted to restore, correct, alter or reconstruct the human body.
A recent report from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) indicates that more than 17.7 million surgical and minimally-invasive cosmetic procedures were done in the United States in 2018 Compared to 2017.
There are many factors that are pushing individuals towards going for plastic surgery. Some do it for beauty and others for reconstructive purposes.
Dr. Mathew Plant a board-Certified plastic surgeon by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and Dr. Michael Kulick MD of San Francisco Bay area board certified plastic surgeon specializing in Rhinoplasty, facelifts, and other facial procedures, Shares 10 things plastic surgeon wish you knew before going for the knife.
1. There is no such thing as scar-free surgery.
There will be a scar any time the skin is cut. Although as surgeons, we are trained to make incisions in well-hidden locations to be least noticeable, but there is no surgery performed without any scar whatsoever.
2. You are actually more responsible for how your scar heals than your surgeon.
For each procedure we do, we close the wound in essentially the exact same way with the exact same materials in all patients.
For most clients, this results in a nice, thin linear scar that fades fairly well. But due to the genetics of some patients, the scar can be red, raised, itchy, painful and unsightly.
When deciding to undergo a cosmetic procedure, patients need to be aware that, there is a chance some people may not heal well.
Basically, we do ask patients if they have ever had bad scar forming during ear piercing or a cut. This will help us intervene early.
Some people won’t find out until after their cosmetic procedure. If you can’t accept the possibility that your scars may not be fine lines, then you are advised not to have the surgery.
3. There is no perfect symmetry in nature in the surgical field.
This only applies to all cosmetic surgeries that involve body parts on both sides of the midline.
No one is born with perfect symmetry and not even the best surgeons create it.
As surgeons, we only significantly improve asymmetries, sometimes to the point that you can’t tell if things are still asymmetric, but if you look keen enough, you’ll always find some.
4. The Law of Gravity is meant to be a Law for a reason.
So, surgeons cannot perform procedures that defy it.
There are many things we can do to reverse the effects of gravity but we cannot stop its effects. For instance, facelifts give up to about 10 years of improvement before the effects of gravity are seen again.
We can only undo changes that have taken place up to the point of your procedure, but we can’t prevent them from happening in the future.
However, you’ll still be better off than you would have been.
5. For breast augmentation and breast lift clients, you’ll need to wear a push-up bra if you want your breasts to look like they are in a push-up bra.
We can lift your breasts all the way to your collarbones if you like, but unless you spend the rest of your life hanging upside down, gravity will pull them back to a more reasonable position on your chest.
Some clients go without a bra after surgery, they are very confident with their appearance, but there is a certain look that only a push-up bra can give.
It is unrealistic to think a plastic surgeon can accomplish the task in a way that defies gravity for any significant length of time.
For “internal bra” procedures, the results last a bit longer, but by no means are they as profound as when someone is wearing an external bra.
6. Breast implants are not permanent.
Breast implants are not considered ‘lifetime devices’ they do not have an expiration date but are designed to last much longer than 10 years.
Most women undergo an exchange procedure around the ten year period to get a new warranty since warranty from most companies is 10 years, but there is no rule that says you must switch your implants out at 10 years.
On the other hand, ten years is also around the time when age, gravity, pregnancy, breastfeeding, weight changes or menopause have taken enough effect on the breasts.
Individuals will want to have a lift or an implant size/shape change as well.
Thus, when undergoing the procedure, you should always expect to go for another procedure at some point in life.
7. Cosmetic surgery is not a sudden life-changing procedure/even.
If you have troubles in your love life or can’t seem to get your career going, please don’t expect cosmetic surgery to change that all of a sudden.
You’ll end up being disappointed with the decision. So, make the right decision for the right procedure at the right time with the right purpose.
8. There are no perfections, complications might happen.
Although aesthetic plastic surgery is completely elective and extremely safe for healthy clients, complications can and do happen.
Complications happen to all surgeons. They range from minor, like stitch abscesses (basically a little pimple along the incision), to major, like a pulmonary embolus (a blood clot in your lungs preventing blood from getting oxygenated potentially leading to death).
So, if your surgeon tells you he/she has no complications in any of their surgical procedure performed, they are either lying or they are new to the practice. They haven’t actually performed any surgery.
The main point is, if you can’t accept the risk that comes with the surgery, you probably shouldn’t go through with the procedure.
Whether you have a complication or not, you’ll have to go for checkups as it recovers, hence when choosing your surgeon, make sure you choose the right one for yourself.
Someone you are comfortable with and can get along with if you have to see them a few times a week for a little while.
9. Just because you want a procedure, it doesn’t mean we are willing to perform it, it all depends on your medical history and your compatibility.
Some people aren’t suitable candidates for a given surgery, some aren’t a candidate for the surgery they want, and some just aren’t a candidate for surgery with us or of our specialties.
If we don’t think we can perform a safe procedure with a reliable result, then we will not agree to do it and neither will most of our colleagues.
If we think you seem to be an unreasonable person or that you don’t have a reasonable expectation about your potential results, and then we probably won’t operate on you.
This is our side of the equation of the point #if there is a complication, if we don’t think that you’ll be able to handle it, we cannot work together to resolve it, we are not likely to accept you as our client.
10. Let it not look like you don’t need any of our services.
Reconstruction is obviously different, but when you come into our different aesthetic offices, let it be because you need something we offer and not pretend like you had no idea of what you want.
This is to safe both our time and yours, time is precious.