Maybe you’re unsatisfied with your appearance or just looking for ways to be your best self. Have you ever thought about plastic surgery? Plastic surgery can be a stressful decision for anyone. Not only does plastic surgery permanently change your appearance, but it may come with complications. It’s estimated that there was over 17.5 million cosmetic surgery procedures in the United States in 2017. With advances in technology, it’s obvious that cosmetics are not only becoming more efficient, but also safer. But this doesn’t mean that plastic surgery should always be a gamble. By being better informed you can decide whether plastic surgery is right for you and what procedure is right for you.
The Benefits of Plastic Surgery
The benefits of plastic surgery are highly personal. Any elective procedure will have intangible benefits that are hard to quantify. Below is a brief overview of the benefits and risks associated with all types of plastic surgeries.
- Social and Psychological Benefits: Confidence is linked to how you feel about your appearance and how you feel others think about your presence. Plastic surgery may make you feel better about yourself by giving you the appearance you’ve always wanted. With today’s technology, there’s nothing plastic about plastic surgery.
- Better Health: For some, facial surgery that qualifies as elective plastic surgery could help correct breathing, speaking, or chewing issues that lead to everyday difficulties. Removal of excess skin can help prevent infections and falls. For women with large breasts, breast reduction surgery can improve back health and posture.
- Quality of Life Improvements: Depending on your work or life situation, your new-found confidence may allow you to take advantage of opportunities that you were not able to before. Whether it’s repairing a physical abnormality or giving the comfort to enjoy life’s pleasures, plastic surgery has drastically improved some patients’ quality of life. For instance, a vast majority of women reported an improved quality of life after undergoing a Labiaplasty procedure.
- Fixes Physical Impairments: For some people, plastic surgery may be necessary to repair damaged skin from burns and other injuries. Plastic surgery can also help children with birth defects, such as webbed feet and cleft palates.
The Risks of Plastic Surgery
As noted above, plastic surgery has many benefits. However, any type of surgery comes with its own risks that should be evaluated. It should be noted that some procedures are riskier than others, especially when comparing an invasive and non-invasive procedure. When it comes to breast implant safety, tummy tucks, facelifts, or even just fillers- the following dangers must be considered as well as the general risks of surgery (blood clots, anesthesia, etc.)
- Rupture and Other Appliance Complications: If an appliance breaks down or breaks merely after implantation, you will not only experience pain but will have to go through with another surgery, possibly an emergency surgery. While this is rare, it could be potentially life threatening.
- Rejection and Autoimmune Issues: More aggressive than an allergy, outright rejection of an implant or injected substance can wreak havoc on your body. Swelling that persists long over the projected recovery period is one sign of this type of problem. Another could be pain, heat, or what seems like an infection but isn’t.
- Allergies: For some, a temporary allergy is developed after surgery. It is usually handled by taking an antihistamine and waiting out the symptoms with no significant actions needed. But symptoms may worsen, especially if untreated.
- Infection: As with any surgery or major medical procedure, plastic surgery of all kinds comes with the risk of infection even when the best precautions are taken. Infections are relatively rare and are estimated to affect slightly more than 1 out of every 100 patients.
- Scars – You can’t have cosmetic surgery without scars. However, experienced plastic surgeons will know how to minimize scarring and hide scars so they will be as slight and hard to notice as possible. be sure to view the before and after photos of your plastic surgeon before hiring. Also, consider reaching out to former patients or clients to gather their unbiased feedback.
- Aggravation of Existing Mental Health Conditions: If you have a mental health condition or concern, like depression or anxiety, you may find that your situation gets worse after an elective cosmetic procedure. Making sure you have support before, during, and after the process can help mitigate this risk.
- Dissatisfaction: While not life-threatening, being dissatisfied with the results of a procedure is something that can happen and will be a significant risk. Plastic surgery is an expensive, painful, and time-consuming venture. It’s best to make sure you’re ready before you go under the knife.
Important Plastic Surgery Considerations
Before you decide to undergo plastic surgery, it’s crucial to consider important factors, such as the following:
- Health Status: You must be in good health before undergoing any cosmetic surgical procedure or plastic surgery. So, you must undergo a thorough medical checkup, especially for a major plastic surgery procedure, for health and safety.
- Plastic Surgeon: Choose an experienced plastic surgeon who is an expert in the type of plastic surgical procedure you want. Ask to see the plastic surgeon’s portfolio, like the before and after photos of previous clients, read verified reviews online, and talk to actual patients to check the results and learn from their experiences.
- Urgency: You must determine if the plastic surgical procedure is necessary or urgent. In that way, you can have more time to decide and prepare for plastic surgery. Generally, most congenital disorders, such as cleft lip and palate, require early intervention.
- Psychological Preparation: Some people suffer from low self-esteem for many years and think plastic surgery is the only solution to their problems. These people need to undergo psychological counseling before the procedure.
While it may seem like the risks of plastic surgery outweigh the benefits, it should be noted that these are relatively rare and cosmetic surgeries have come a long way since their inception. With that said, it’s always good to shop around and find a plastic surgeon who you trust and is qualified to operate on you.