Cosmetic surgery alters the body to enhance physical appearance. This can focus on different regions including the face, the abs, the breasts, the buttocks, the thighs, the arms, or the skin. Unlike creams and other cosmetic products, the results of surgery tend to last longer. The changes are also more drastic. Each of the procedures can cost a significant amount of money. Given all of these, it is important for patients to think carefully about their reasons for going under the knife. They have to be ready physically, emotionally, mentally, and financially for the surgery, as well as the possible effects. Doctors also have to evaluate their patients.
Good candidates have realistic expectations of what cosmetic surgery can and can’t provide. They need to talk candidly with their doctor about the things that they hope to achieve. Some have such high expectations that they end up feeling disappointed after the surgery. Doctors can correct their misconceptions and educate them about the limitations of modern medicine. Patients have to accept these limits and work within them. They can use this information to decide whether to push through or not. They will also be empowered to choose the most suitable modifications based on the expected outcomes.
Understanding the Risks
Every form of surgery has inherent risks. Cosmetic surgery is no exception. Candidates must be aware of these before proceeding. For example, individuals who have diabetes have a high risk of developing blood clots. Unhealthy habits such as smoking can prevent people from healing after the surgery. Infections, fluid build-up, abnormal scarring, mild bleeding, and numbness are also known to be possible surgical complications. Many of these are preventable through careful preparation and patient cooperation. People should also reflect on the time they will need to recover fully and allow the scars to heal, especially if visible. They should be ready to shoulder all of the costs that they may incur.
Controlling Chronic Conditions
A complete medical history should be provided to the surgeon. Chronic medical conditions can increase some of the risks. Some doctors may refuse on operate on certain patients based on these. Controlling these conditions is essential. In some cases, it may take months of medication and lifestyle changes before people can be healthy enough to qualify for surgery. They have to allocate ample time and effort into this endeavor.
Abstention from Smoking
Since smoking can slow down healing, smokers will have to make the commitment to abstain for about 4-6 weeks before the surgery and after it. They should also avoid nicotine products such as gums, patches, and lozenges. This can be a major hurdle for some because of the withdrawal symptoms. It is no secret how difficult it is to quit or refrain smoking.
Some procedures will require the patient to maintain a stable weight for at least half a year to as much as a full year. The doctor will provide more information about this in case it is relevant to the patient’s situation.
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