Getting the most out of your plastic surgery is the goal for almost every patient. But sometimes that’s a little easier said than done. There are simply some aspects of your plastic surgery procedure that are going to be out of your control—the way your body heals, for example, is dictated largely by your own genetics. And healing is an incredibly strong influence on what those end results look like.
Is it Important to Get the Most out of Your Plastic Surgery?
But that doesn’t mean you can’t tip the scales in your favor. There are certain things you can do that will help you get the most out of your plastic surgery procedures. Sometimes this means your results will be a little bit better looking. Or it might mean that you can recovery—and get back to work—just a little bit more quickly.
However, this advice should not replace a professional medical opinion! The best person to tell you how to get the most out of your plastic surgery is, well, your surgeon! We’re just here to deliver a few fun tips!
Make Sure Your Expectations Are Realistic
Perhaps the single most important things for patients to do is to keep their own expectations in check. The best plastic surgery results usually result from minor and subtle changes—changes that bring about natural looking results. However, that doesn’t stop many patients from wanting big and bold transformations.
To a certain extent, those transformations are possible, depending on the procedure you select to undergo. For example, tummy tucks and liposuction have a pretty good track record of making significant changes to the body. But everything is variable, and everything will depend on you, to a certain extent. By that I simply mean that much will depend on how well you heal and what, exactly you want done.
In either case, keeping realistic expectations is a primary concern. In order to have realistic expectations, you need to know just how far any particular procedure can take you—and what that procedure can change. Your surgeon should be able to give you much of that information.
Excellent results from plastic surgery often comes down to one thing: good healing. Complications during recovery can diminish or damage your results. That’s why many surgeons emphasize the recovery process as being quite important (and provide instructions for patients to follow that emphasizes that importance). One way you can tip the scales in favor of a speedy and productive recovery is to be relatively healthy.
This doesn’t mean you have to be fit as a fiddle or start losing weight. Indeed, most procedures work better when the patient is a stable weight. Instead, “staying healthy” means that you should be healthy enough for surgery, that any and all conditions, such as diabetes, should be well managed.
Perhaps the most important health advice though, is this: do not smoke. Smoking can be incredibly bad for the healing process, slowing things down and leading to complications. In fact, it’s not uncommon for plastic surgeons to simply pass on candidates who are smokers.
Spend Time Choosing a Good Surgeon
The final tip for making sure you get the most out of your surgery as possible also seems somewhat obvious: spend some time choosing an excellent surgeon. And yet, it can be tempting to select the first surgeon you come across. Often, that’s because it’s not always entirely clear what makes a “good” surgeon in the first place.
There are a couple of things that patients can look for before and during a consultation that can provide some clues about quality. If you’re looking for a surgeon yourself, consider the following:
- Board Certification: Many plastic surgeons will have what’s known as a board certification. Often, these are general certifications, such as in plastic surgery. In other instances, if a surgeon specializes in a specific procedure type, he or she may have a specific certification (they may be board certified by the society of facial plastic surgeons, for example). In any case, board certification says that the surgeon meets certain minimum requirements set forth by, well, certification boards. There are boards for many types of surgery. If you want a surgeon who is well trained, experienced, and meets certain minimum qualifications (don’t let the word “minimum” fool you, these qualifications are actually quite strict), look for board certified plastic surgeons.
- Before and After Galleries: Most surgeons (although not all) will make publicly available a selection of before and after photos. These photos are, in a way, proof of a surgeon’s skills. So you should make sure you like what you see in these photos before moving forward with your procedure. If you’re getting a breast augmentation, look closely at the breast augmentation before and after photos to see just the kind of results you’re in for.
- Ask a lot of questions: Your consultation with a surgeon is incredibly important. You’re going to want to ask a lot of questions and try to get specific answers. The surgeon is, essentially, there to ensure you get all the answers you need, to be descriptive and informational. This is also a great time for you to get a “feeling” for the surgeon. An easy sense of communication is often vital in a relationship between a surgeon and a patient.
Make Decisions You’re Comfortable With
Finally, the best way to make sure you get the most out of your plastic surgery procedure is to make sure you’re comfortable with every step of the process. Make sure that you’re doing what you want at every stage. Because one of the things about plastic surgery to remember is that it’s elective. That means the most important element is, basically, your happiness. Getting the most out of your plastic surgery means increasing your satisfaction as much as possible.