Plastic surgery has become increasingly popular in recent years, offering individuals the opportunity to enhance their appearance and boost self-confidence. While plastic surgery can produce remarkable results, it is essential to approach the decision with thorough research and consideration. Here we have compiled a comprehensive guide covering all the crucial aspects you should be aware of before undergoing any cosmetic procedure.
1. Define Your Goals and Expectations
Getting plastic surgery is a life-altering decision so it is important to know exactly what you want out of it to ensure that you are happy with your results afterwards. Start by determining what specific changes you wish to make and why. Realistic expectations are vital; remember that plastic surgery can enhance your features, but it cannot change everything about you. Discuss your goals and expectations when you meet with a qualified plastic surgeon to ensure they align with what can be achieved through surgery. Going in prepared with a list of questions to ask your plastic surgeon is always a good idea. It can help you determine what is possible, whether your goals can be met and whether you want to go ahead with the procedure.
Here are some ideas of questions you can ask:
- What are the types of surgical options I have?
- What can I expect from the procedure?
- How is the surgery performed?
- How should I prepare for the procedure?
- What are the risks and possible complications of the procedure?
- How long is the recovery and what does it entail?
- Do you have before and after photos of other surgeries you have performed?
It is also important to understand that with some procedures, results will not be visible immediately and may require more than one procedure to achieve your desired goals. Your body needs time to heal from the surgery so there might be swelling initially and you may only see the permanent results weeks or months after the procedure or after follow-up treatments and refinements. So if you are looking for procedures with little or no downtime, make sure to discuss that with your surgeon.
2. Choose a Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon
Selecting a qualified and experienced plastic surgeon is paramount to a successful procedure and safe outcomes. With a total of 85 plastic surgeons registered in Singapore as of 2021, it is normal if you are feeling overwhelmed by the sheer number of options.
To help you narrow down potential surgeons, there are a couple of factors to consider.
Experience: Your plastic surgeon’s experience is an important factor in making your decision. Find out what type of training they have undergone and what their practices are. It is also crucial to make sure that you choose a plastic surgeon that specialises in the type of procedure you are looking to undergo! Just because a plastic surgeon has years of experience under their belt does not make them the right surgeon for you if they are not specialised in the surgery you are interested in!
Reviews: While reviews should be taken with a pinch of salt, they should be considered to get a general idea of what the process might be like and if the surgeon would be a good fit for you. Ministry of Health (MOH) guidelines in Singapore only allow patient testimonials and reviews to be shown during the consultation so asking your family or friends for reviews and recommendations before consulting with a surgeon would be ideal.
3. Research the Procedure
It is always good to do your own research. Educate yourself about the procedure you’re considering. Understand the techniques involved, potential risks, recovery time, and expected outcomes. Familiarise yourself with any alternatives to the procedure you’re considering, as there might be less invasive options that can achieve similar results. Armed with the right information, you will be able to make the right choice for you!
It can also be helpful to seek a second opinion from other board-certified plastic surgeons. Having different perspectives can help you decide which options to take or affirm that a specific procedure is right for you.
4. Consider the Risks, Complications and Recovery
Like any surgical procedure, plastic surgery carries risks. Complications can occur, including infection, scarring, adverse reactions to anaesthesia, or unsatisfactory results. Talk openly with your surgeon about the potential risks and how they will be managed before deciding if you want to proceed with the surgery.
You will also need to consider the amount of time needed for recovery to determine whether a procedure is suitable for you. Time your surgery based on your lifestyle and events. If you lead a very hectic life where you work long hours and have little time off, it may be best to opt for minimally invasive procedures or delay surgeries when you do have more time. It may also not be best to schedule a procedure days or weeks before an important event like a wedding or holiday as you will need time to recover and be diligent about aftercare.
Some surgeries like breast augmentation are more invasive and may require you not to lift or strain for a few weeks after surgery. It is therefore important to ensure that you can make the necessary arrangements so that support is available for you. For example, you may need help with daily activities such as driving, carrying groceries, cooking and more.
5. Evaluate Your Health
While your plastic surgeon will usually do a comprehensive health evaluation prior to deciding if you are a suitable candidate for surgery, it would be helpful to discuss any pre-existing medical conditions, allergies, or medications you are taking with your plastic surgeon. Good overall health, including mental and emotional health, can significantly impact the success of your procedure and your recovery.
6. Mental and Emotional Preparation
Plastic surgery can have a deep impact on your emotions and self-esteem. Take time to process your feelings and ensure that your decision is driven by personal desires, not external pressures. The right mindset is vital for a successful experience so seek counselling or support if you have any mental concerns Remember, cosmetic surgery is a personal choice, not a necessity. You can be the best version of yourself without it, but if you feel a procedure might improve your well-being, you’ve taken an important step.
Cosmetic surgery can enhance your quality of life, but it’s crucial to carefully weigh your decision. Understand that surgery carries risks, requires recovery time, and may involve multiple procedures. It won’t magically transform you or solve unrelated life issues. Consider your options thoughtfully before moving forward.
7. Financial Considerations
Plastic surgery is an investment in yourself, and costs can vary based on the procedure’s complexity and the surgeon’s expertise. Make sure you fully understand the total cost, including anaesthesia, facility fees, and potential follow-up visits. Consider financing options and discuss payment plans with your surgeon’s office if needed.
Getting plastic surgery can be a life-changing decision, and being well-informed is crucial to a positive experience. By carefully researching your desired procedure, choosing the right surgeon, setting realistic expectations, and understanding the recovery process, you can make an informed choice that aligns with your goals and ensures your safety and satisfaction. Remember that your health and well-being are the top priorities, and take the time to make the best decision for yourself.