Considering Plastic Surgery? What To Expect, Look Forward To & Set Goals!January 2, 2019
Plastic surgery can have positive effects on your self-esteem, your physical well-being, and even your relationships or career. Many people who struggle with a lingering dissatisfaction about some aspect of their appearance find their solution, and satisfaction, in the plastic surgeon’s office.
Plastic surgery is not always cosmetic – if your breasts are too large and are causing back pain, or your eyelids are drooping and impeding your vision, it may be time to see a plastic surgeon. Many people find a new sense of freedom from the results of their plastic surgery and, as a result, have the confidence to throw themselves into bigger work opportunities or a more exciting romantic life.
Be Clear About What You Want From Plastic Surgery
First things first: you must think about what your goals are for yourself and your body. Is your desired surgery purely cosmetic, or is it medically necessary?
If it medically necessary, it may be covered by insurance. Examples of medically indicated procedures include blepharoplasty (eyelid surgery) to remove sagging skin around the eyes which interferes with vision; functional rhinoplasty (correction of a deviated septum) to ease heavy breathing, sinus infections, or heavy snoring; mammoplasty (breast reduction) to ease back, neck, and shoulder pain; and other reconstructive procedures to treat injuries or birth defects.
If your surgery is cosmetic, which part of the body do you want to work on? In today’s advanced surgical world, traditional breast implants are not your only option.
Plastic Surgery: Breasts
There is also natural breast augmentation, in which your surgeon uses liposuction to remove your own fat from unwanted areas, then injects it into your breasts to make them appear fuller. Ideal candidates have substantial fat in the back, buttocks, thighs, abdomen, or arms.
If your goal is to have significantly larger, rounder breasts, you are better off with implants (which are available in numerous sizes, profiles, shapes, and textures.) On the other hand, natural breast augmentation creates a 100% natural look and offers a shorter recovery period.
As with any cosmetic procedure, you should discuss your choices with your surgeon.
Plastic Surgery: Tummy Tuck and Liposuction
Popular options for the body include tummy tuck and liposuction. Another look which is very popular today is the buttock augmentation. Many people find it difficult to change the natural shape of the buttocks through diet and exercise alone, and the buttock augmentation is the perfect solution. You may consider specially designed implants, or, you have excess fat available from other parts of the body, you can consider a Brazilian butt lift. Like with the natural breast augmentation procedure, your surgeon uses liposuction to remove fat from areas where it is unwanted, then injects it into the buttocks (instead of the breasts) to create a fuller, rounder behind.
Of particular interest to patients of Asian descent is the Asian eyelid surgery – in which the “double eyelid” which is common amongst many other ethnic groups is created surgically. This fold in the upper eyelid helps the eyes look larger. For patients who do not naturally have this trait, the surgery can create natural looking upper-eyelid creases that flatter the face and draw more attention to the eyes.
If you are looking forward to an all-over makeover, you may want to consider body contouring or post-gastric body sculpting (for patients who have successfully completed the gastric-bypass process.) These procedures are really series of surgeries aimed at giving you a complete refresh – you’ll get things like a facelift, upper arm lift, breast lift, thigh lift, lower body lift, and liposuction, all in one day. One thing to consider with such an intensive course of surgery is the recovery – with so many body parts healing at the same time, it can be tough. However, for those willing to sacrifice a few weeks of comfort (typically 4-6 weeks of at-home rest) the payoff can be great.
Plastic Surgery: For Men
When many people think about plastic surgery in Beverly Hills, they think of middle-to-upper class women, not men. But that’s changing; the newest statistics from the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery show that plastic surgery for men is growing fast. More men are benefitting from the professional and personal benefits of looking sharper. Men are especially keen to ‘sign up’ when they learn that many of the techniques are quick are require little downtime.
When a man walks into the plastic surgeon’s office, he is looking to address decidedly ‘male’ issues. He wants to put an end to love handles and beer bellies with liposuction. Also popular is male breast reduction, eliminating gynecomastia or male breast tissue which hides the sculpted, masculine chest. There is chin and cheek augmentation to create a more masculine face shape using implants. Men can also get ear surgery to reduce the size and angle of overly prominent ears, which are more visible with short haircuts. Plastic surgery for men after weight loss is increasingly looked to as an option for the appearance they want.
Plastic Surgery: What to Expect
First, you will see your plastic surgeon for a consultation. During your consultation, be prepared to discuss:
- Your surgical goals
- Medical conditions
- Medications and drug allergies
- Vitamins and herbal supplements
- Alcohol, tobacco, and drug use
- Previous surgeries
During your consultation, your surgeon will also:
- Evaluate your general health status and any risk factors
- Take photos
- Discuss your options
- Recommend a course of treatment
- Discuss likely outcomes of treatment
- Discuss risks or potential complications
Don’t be shy about discussing your feelings and questions with your plastic surgeon. This is the time to ask anything and everything.
To help get you thinking, here are some questions you may want to ask:
- Where will my surgery be performed? Will it be done in a hospital?
- Am I a suitable candidate for this procedure?
- What will be expected of me to get the best results?
- What surgical technique is recommended for me?
- How long with my recovery period be and what kind of help will I need during recovery?
- How are complications handled?
- What are my options if I am dissatisfied with the outcome of surgery?
- Can I look at before-and-after photos for this procedure? Can you show me what results are reasonable for me to expect?
Plastic Surgery: Preparation, Day of Surgery & Recovery
Depending on what type of surgery you will have, you may need to prepare by:
- Getting lab testing
- Getting a medical evaluation
- Adjusting your medications or taking new medications
- Stop smoking
- Avoid taking aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs or herbal supplements which cause excess bleeding
On the day of your surgery:
- You will arrive at the hospital or surgical center at your appointment time and be checked in.
- Anesthesia will be administered for your comfort during surgery. Your doctor may choose local, intravenous, or general anesthesia.
- Different steps will be taken to perform the surgery, depending on which procedure you are having done.
- When the surgery is complete, you will be taken to a resting room for a few hours, so you can wake up from anesthesia.
- Depending on your procedure, you may spend the night in the hospital or go home the same day.
During your plastic surgery recovery, bandages or compression garments may be used to cover treatment areas to help reduce swelling and compress the skin.
In addition, small temporary drains may be placed in existing incisions beneath the skin to remove excess blood or fluid.
You will be given specific instructions about how to care for yourself, what to watch out for, and when to follow up with your plastic surgeon.
It may take several months for the swelling to fully disappear. As it does, your new form will gradually be revealed.
Plastic Surgery: Is It For You?
We mentioned above that plastic surgery isn’t just for women. It also isn’t just for the rich, aging, or makeover addicts. A study commissioned by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons found that 71% of people who are seriously seeking plastic surgery make $60,000 a year or less. 64% are under 50-years-old, and 81% are having plastic surgery for the first time.
Other positive outcomes of the survey? “Our interviews with patients showed they did not see surgery as a panacea for everything in their lives. They did not see plastic surgery as a magic bullet. They had a very realistic idea of what they could expect."
The lesson is: don’t ask a surgeon to turn you into your favorite celebrity. You want to look like you, only an enhanced version of yourself. Mila Kunis’ nose doesn’t belong on your face – your nose does, and your surgeon knows how to make it fit better.
ABOUT THE AUTHORDr. Gabriel Chiu is a board-certified plastic and reconstructive surgeon at Beverly Hills Plastic Surgery. Dr. Chiu and his team use the most advanced techniques along with the highest technology to elevate your natural beauty to its fullest potential. Always, patient safety is their highest priority. His exceptional surgical results and thousands of ecstatic patients demonstrate his surgical precision and diligent attention to detail.Dr. Chiu’s surgical expertise and charismatic demeanor allow his patients to achieve their personal aesthetic goals in a caring and relaxing environment.