When considering plastic surgery it is important to have a good understanding of what is involved. This can be gained by asking questions such as the following:
What is Involved in the Surgery
The surgeon should explain how the procedure will be carried out and how the work will be done. Ask about details such as where incisions will be made, what suturing material will be used and what the expected result will be.
Where will the Surgery be Performed
Minor procedures such as scar revision are sometimes done in the surgeon’s rooms. Other procedures can be done on a day basis in a clinic or hospital while some will require an overnight stay. Ask about the options as the longer the stay, the higher the expense.
What Type of Anesthesia will be Used
Some procedures are done with local anesthesia while others require a general anesthetic. In some cases, the patient has a choice of both. General anesthesia is normally the kinder choice for young children but recovery time is shorter with local anesthesia.
How long will the Procedure take
The surgeon will be able to give a fairly accurate prediction of how long the surgery will take. The length of time in theatre affects the cost so it is an important factor to consider.
Is a Hospital Stay Required
Procedures such as otoplasty and rhinoplasty can often be done on a day patient basis. The person is admitted early in the morning and can go home in the afternoon or evening. More extensive surgeries such as breast reconstructions will require an overnight stay.
What Side Effects can be Expected
Surgery is invasive and the body reacts with swelling, bruising and bleeding. It is important to rest and keep the affected area elevated and supported. Surgery to the nose causes black eyes and severe bruising in the eye area. Face lifts can also cause extensive bruising. Surgery to pin back ears can cause a lot of pain in the first week. Anesthesia can cause vomiting and tiredness and infection is always a possibility.
Adjusting to the New Look
This is something that often catches people by surprise. It can take months for swelling and tenderness to subside and anxiety is common as they wait to see the final result. Even then, some people will be unhappy with the look and may consider repeat surgery to correct the apparent fault.
Plastic surgery is not something to be taken lightly. Before embarking on a journey of self improvement it is important to look into the pros and cons and make a wise informed decision.
Recommended Reading: Your Complete Guide to Cosmetic Plastic Surgery, edited by Stacy Gregg, Penguin Books 1997/2005