The number of people opting for cosmetic procedures has risen over the past five years. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, 1.8 million cosmetic surgical procedures were done in the year 2018. This is partly due to the fact that plastic surgery technologies and procedures have progressed rapidly over the years, enabling affordable cosmetic procedures to become more accessible to the wider public.

Preparing for plastic surgery is crucial for a successful outcome. Deciding whether you should opt for plastic surgery should be done only after careful consideration of many factors including your physical and mental wellbeing, your doctor’s qualifications, the final cost and more. While your surgeon will take you through the various pre- and post-operative instructions, here are a few important essentials to keep in mind before you embark on a plastic surgery journey.

  1. Maintain a healthy weight before and after surgery

It is essential to maintain an appropriate body mass before and after procedures such as liposuctions, breast enhancements and tummy tucks. While you don’t need to be at a perfect weight before surgery, you must achieve a healthy weight and maintain it for your results to be long-lasting. An ideal body mass is important as it plays a vital role in surgery, recovery and in the end results. Fluctuations in weight after surgery can cause unanticipated volume changes, which can negatively impact the surgery results.

  1. Plan and take appropriate time off

While it is certainly possible to go back to work after a long weekend of recovery, it is preferable if you take the required time off work as advised by your surgeon. It generally takes up to two weeks before you are ‘restaurant ready’ again – meaning if you were to go to a restaurant, the person at the table next to you wouldn’t be able to tell you had anything done. We all want instant gratification, but recovery from plastic surgery is a journey, not a race. While your ‘restaurant ready’ looks can happen in the recommended timeframe, in some cases the results may take up to a year to fully materialise. The body’s healing process is complex and is unique to each person and you should give it the time required to heal completely.

  1. Make wise decisions regarding costs and procedures

Cost should never determine which surgeon or surgery you choose. Plastic surgery is a serious decision that you should take for yourself. It’s always wise to get your plastic surgeon’s professional opinion on the type of surgeries he or she would recommend doing. Also, remember not to rush your decision. The decision to go ahead with surgery can be a tough one, and you must give yourself time to think about it. Choose someone considerate and approachable enough to guide you through the entire process.  It is advantageous to schedule your surgery at a time when you don’t have a lot of external stressors because your recovery is the focus of what you’re doing and making it a priority will help your recovery go as quickly and smoothly as possible.

  1. Research your surgeon and clinic

It is important to choose the right surgeons to perform your surgery. Consider their years of experience, surgery results and the hospitals or clinics they are associated with. Do adequate research into the surgeon’s background and credentials including the board of certification. Be sure to learn about the procedure as well because this will help you frame the right questions to ask your surgeon. Your surgeon should guide you through the surgical procedure in detail, so you have a clear idea of what to expect. A well-reputed clinic, with established standards of hygiene, safety and aftercare procedures is another important factor to research into after you consider plastic surgery.

While it is good to feel confident before surgery, it is equally important to stay well informed before surgery day arrives. Key to this confidence will be the relationship you develop with your dermatologist and plastic surgeon. Keeping the above pointers in mind will help ease the process and help you achieve the results you desire.

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