Summary: Getting plastic surgery is a big decision, and not many jump into this particular decision lightly. In fact, for many, the decision to get plastic surgery is a long one—it can take years to settle on the right procedure and the right surgeon. So what should you ask yourself before your plastic surgery begins? These three questions to ask yourself before plastic surgery are designed to help get conversations started!

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The Top Three Questions to Ask Yourself Before Plastic Surgery

Getting plastic surgery can be a big step. There’s a lot riding on it, and even if you’re totally sure about your choice, you might still have some apprehension about it. That’s true even if you’ve got your recovery help all lined up and you can’t wait to see your results. That kind of nervousness is completely normal.

But there are a few ways you might be able to alleviate some of it well beforehand (and we do mean some—there’s always going to be a little bit of heightened feelings with surgery). These three questions to ask yourself before plastic surgery can help you determine if you’re making a great decision or if, perhaps, you should hold off a little while.

These questions are not universal, and there is no “right” answer. They’re just intended to get you thinking about your surgery and what you want out of it. So let’s get to the three questions to ask yourself before plastic surgery, right?!

Question #1: How Long Have You Been Thinking About Plastic Surgery?

There’s a tendency in human beings to want to make drastic changes after a big life event. But that doesn’t always pan out. (How many bad haircuts have we gotten after a breakup?) So how long you’ve been thinking about plastic surgery might have some bearing on how certain you feel.

In most cases, surgeons will advise you to hold off if you suddenly wanted plastic surgery after a recent divorce, layoff, or other major life event. And that’s because you generally don’t want to get plastic surgery to win back a boyfriend/girlfriend or get your job back. You want to get plastic surgery because it’s something you want for yourself—and have always wanted for yourself. (Well, at least for a while.)

Question #2: How Realistic Are Your Expectations?

Getting plastic surgery can mean a drastic change to your body. Or it can not. Here’s what I mean. Any plastic surgery procedure is going to have certain strengths and certain limitations. In other words, one procedure isn’t going to change your entire body. And it may take some time for your results to become apparent.

It’s incredibly important to keep these realistic expectations in mind throughout the entire process. And, of course, every procedure will have its own set of those expectations. An eyelid lift is going to produce much more subtle results than, say, a tummy tuck. And a facelift will produce much more bold results than a Botox injection.

Keeping those realistic expectations in mind (and these expectations will certainly be guided by your surgeon) will help you feel great about the end results!

Question #3: Can You Put Your Finger on What You’re Trying to Fix

Most people who get plastic surgery, more or less, like the way they look. Of course, it’s the “more or less” that really matters. According to various surveys (some conducted by plastic surgery social media site RealSelf), people tend to like the way they look except for one or two features. That is, you might love the way you look except for your nose.

If you can put your finger on what you’re trying to fix, you’ll probably find it easier to select a procedure or find the right surgeon (who specializes in what you’re trying to fix). This will also help to keep you from getting, well, distracted by something else. If you really want to address the orientation of your breasts, then you won’t get distracted by a potential tummy tuck.

But there’s more to it than that. There are many patients, for example, who want liposuction to address fat around their belly—but it turns out, that’s not fat, it’s skin. In these cases, it helps to talk to a surgeon before deciding on your final procedure.

A Long Process

Finding the right choice for plastic surgery can be a long process. Asking these three questions before your plastic surgery procedure is, of course, only the beginning. The real, helpful answers to these questions can often times only be thoroughly provided by your plastic surgeon.

So if you’ve got questions about your plastic surgery, your surgeon is, well, the best place to start. Whatever questions you’re asking yourself (except for, obviously, the most very personal) can also be addressed to your surgeon. Sometimes the most telling answers are arrived at together.