Cosmetic Surgery Is A Personal Choice
Thinking About It
Many (if not most) people that come for consultation have been thinking
about it for a while...sometimes years. Some worry about what others will
think. Others have personal issues with regards to surgery. It is a philosophical
issue really, especially to those who believe that they should be taken
for "what they are." In our body-conscious society, many people exercise incessantly to maintain their condition. Some issues are more easily "exercised-away" than others. Consideration of cosmetic surgery for those issues that persist is a frequent complaint in those patients that do come for consultation. Only you can decide whether looking into this option is right for you.
The Opinions of Others
Within this framework, we must always consider the opinions of others.
Some may consider the act of surgery (especially upon a well person) as
somewhat wrong. Many people ask how they should tell these other people
about their surgery. Some people choose not to tell these people. I know
my place and it's not to tell everyone what to do with their lives. I commonly
refer to my job as one working in a "human bodyshop." When someone goes to a bodyshop for automotive work, one asks about what can be done not how to tell the family about it.
"Will I Be Happy With The Result?"
Patient satisfaction is an interesting issue. The vast majority of well-selected
patients are happy after their procedure. Satisfaction has a good deal
to do with the patient's pre-operative expectations as well as his/her
personality. Most patients listen carefully to their doctor at consultation
and accept the fact that their own anatomy has something to do with their
potential result. Breast Implants come out of a box but breast augmentation
results do not. Most women have breasts that are a little different
than one another pre-operatively and guess what they are a little
different than one another post-operatively as well. The degree of difference
has a lot to do with the degree to which they were different before surgery
and what is proposed to make them more similar....a simple breast augmentation
(placement of breast implants) will not change these differences as much
as if a breast lift is added. Even with more surgery, there will probably
still be a degree of difference. The amount of surgery is usually tailored
to the patient's desires. Not everybody "needs" a breast lift.
The bottom line here is being reasonable and most patients are,
but if you see yourself as a person desiring perfectly even breasts
or thighs or anything, then cosmetic surgery may not be a great idea for
you. If you never seem to be happy with your hair stylist, your dentist,
or your gardener, their is little reason to believe that you will be happy
with the results of your cosmetic surgery.
Your Goal Focus
Getting your goals in focus is key to having a successful encounter with cosmetic surgery. Plastic surgeons want to deliver upon reasonable expectations. Most of us know the limitations of a particular technique and how your body impacts upon the quality of a result. Healing and your tendencies in this regard factor in of course, but you need to have an idea of what you want.
If you say that you want to look "natural," the next question is what do you think looks natural. A discussion with your surgeon before surgery can help get you both the same page. Avail yourself of the opportunity to have this meeting of the minds before surgery. I have seen a fair number of patients who have had surgery by other surgeons before figuring what they truly wanted. Having it done again by a different surgeon (me in these cases) is an expensive correction. Please have that discussion first.
If you go to your "bargain basement" surgeon and get a five minute discussion or worse yet no meeting with your surgeon before surgery, this is what you have traded in for that lower price tag.
Be an educated patient and decide what you want before surgery. Then get a few consultations with qualified surgeons.
"So Where Does That Leave Me?"
The above discussion may display the obvious, but sometimes people don't
think very clearly when discussing their own personal health. The bottom
line is that no one should make this decision for you. The possibility
that something could go awry is in general very small...but if something
does happen, you have to accept it.
Don't let someone talk you into surgery.
Don't do it for anyone, other than yourself.
"Am I A Good Candidate For Cosmetic Surgery" - a brief general audio file on the topic
© John Di Saia, MD... an Orange County
California Plastic Surgeon