Should I have cosmetic surgery?
You feel like you are ready to go ahead with your cosmetic surgery, and you may think you have every base covered. But, your Plastic Surgeon’s ethics and years of experience have led them to advise you to delay your surgery. Most patients are realistic, and once the reasons are explained, understand that I am advising them to delay surgery for their own good. Sure, those who don’t agree will most certainly find a surgeon who may be all too willing to perform their surgery.
Reason #1: Your partner and/or your family is unsupportive
Support before and after your cosmetic surgery cannot be emphasised enough. You need to have someone who you can count on to pick you up when you are discharged, stay with you for at least 24 hours after surgery, and other help such as with children and household chores, especially in the first couple of weeks after surgery. If you are left holding the baby, literally, you should delay having surgery until you can find a support person who can help you through this period. Not only will you not be able to do some things after surgery, but you will also risk complicating your recovery too. I have seen those patients who have help at home recover better than those who are not getting the support that they need in the early stages of recovery. Organise your post-op care person or people – much of your recovery will depend on it.
Reason # 2 : You are attending an event or have travel plans
Putting a timeframe on your recovery to try and meet a deadline, such as an event or travel, is never a good idea. Eg “I want a mummy makeover 2-3 weeks before I head off on a beach holiday”. I will recommend delaying surgery in this instance. Studies have shown that your state of mind can influence how the body reacts to stress. A positive frame of mind is more likely to help healing than a negative or stressed one. Even if a complication arises, positive people tend to bounce back quicker from it than those who are negative or who are worried about missing out on the event/travelling and overdo things during the initial recovery period. Worrying about missing the deadline can also place undue pressure on your plastic surgeon, whose paramount concern is your healing – the event or travel plans are not important. So please, be upfront and tell your plastic surgeon about your plans and you can come to an agreement about whether to delay your surgery, especially where you are cutting it close.
Reason # 3 : You are having cosmetic surgery for someone else
Cosmetic surgery is a personal decision and is life changing. However, you should not be doing it to please your partner or anyone else. It will not save a marriage or relationship, or bring back lost love. It can be a positive experience for those patients who are truly doing it for themselves. Patients have reported increased self esteem after cosmetic surgery, but it wasn’t from the surgery per se.
Reason # 4 : You have a history of mental health problems or are experiencing a traumatic life event
You should speak with your plastic surgeon and be upfront about any major life events or changes you are undergoing, and any history of depression, anxiety, body dysmorphia or any other mental health problems. In some cases, you may be referred to a mental health professional to help assess whether you are ready to undergo cosmetic surgery.
Reason # 5 : You want to copy a famous person / celebrity
Patients who name body parts according to famous people and hope that cosmetic surgery will give them the same look eg “I want J Lo’s buttocks, Gwyneth Paltrow’s nose, Angelina Jolie’s lips etc” should think about their expectations and whether or not they are realistic. These statements pose concerns for experienced plastic surgeons because, while it is fine to be inspired by a particular person, you should also accept that there are limitations on what can be achieved by your own anatomy.
In conclusion, you should feel comfortable enough to have open communication with your plastic surgeon about your medical history but also your current life circumstances, and expectations from your cosmetic surgery. An experienced plastic surgeon will be qualified to give you their professional opinion as to how realistic your expectations are, and whether you should wait to have surgery. I know you could be disappointed in having to delay your surgery, or perhaps be told that you are not a good candidate at all for the cosmetic procedure you want, but surgeons like myself want to ensure that our patients achieve satisfaction after surgery. It is why we do what we do. Cosmetic surgery is elective – you have time to think about it. Only proceed when you feel you are ready. If you ever feel pressured, you need to stop and re-evaluate.
Have any questions? Please ask me or post your comments below