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Cosmetic surgery can help improve your
appearance, but it’s not for everyone
Understand the benefts, risks and
limitations before you decide to pursue
cosmetic surgery
Cosmetic surgery, or plastic surgery,
might seem like the easiest way to shave
years of your appearance or improve
your physique
If you’re not satisfed
with your appearance, cosmetic surgery
may help you not only to look better,
but also to feel better
As with any
surgery, though, cosmetic surgery has
risks and limitations
Here’s what you
need to know if you’re considering
cosmetic surgery
Factors to
Cosmetic surgery changes your
appearance by altering parts of your body
that function normally but don
t look the
way you want
Before you proceed with
cosmetic surgery, consider
• Your expectations
improvement, not perfection
If you
expect cosmetic surgery to turn you
into a movie star, you’re bound to be
Don’t count on surgery
to save a rocky relationship, gain a
promotion or improve your social life
• Expense
Cosmetic surgery isn’t
covered by most health insurance
Te cost varies depending on
the procedure, ranging from hundreds
to thousands of dollars
Also consider
the cost of any follow
up care or
additional corrective procedures
• Risks
Dissatisfaction is possible
afer any type of cosmetic surgery
Surgical complications are possible,
too — including excessive bleeding or
infection at the surgical site
• Recovery
Afer cosmetic surgery, you
may need days, weeks or even months
to recover
Understand the physical
efects that may be part of your
recovery, as well as how the surgery
may afect aspects of your personal
and professional life
• Psychological changes
Your self
esteem might improve afer cosmetic
surgery, but cosmetic surgery isn’t
likely to relieve depression or other
mental health conditions
Cosmetic surgery:
What to know
Finding a qualifed
cosmetic surgeon
If you decide to pursue cosmetic surgery,
ll probably have your choice of
cosmetic surgeons
Choose one who
specializes in the procedure you
d like
to have done and is certifed in the
specialty by a board recognized by the
American Board of Medical Specialties,
such as the American Board of Plastic
Surgery or the American Board of Facial
Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery
Beware of misleading certifcations from
unrecognized or self
designated boards
If you
ll be having a procedure that
requires general anesthesia, be sure that
the operating facility has been accredited
by a national
or state
accrediting agency, such as Te Joint
Commission, or is licensed by the state
in which the facility is located
s also important to remember
that not all referrals are equal
recommendations from people you
trust, such as your family doctor or a
friend who
s had a successful procedure
If you call a hospital to ask for a
recommendation, you might simply be
referred to the next cosmetic surgeon on
a revolving list
Meeting your surgeon
When you
ve narrowed your choice of
surgeons, schedule a consultation — or
multiple consultations with diferent
Te surgeon will evaluate the
part of your body that you want treated,
and you
ll share your medical history,
list any medications you
re taking, and
discuss your desires and expectations
During the initial consultation, ask the
• Am I a good candidate for this
procedure? Why or why not?
• Are there treatments other than
surgery that might work just as well or
better for me?
• How many times have you done this
procedure? What were the results?
• Can you share photos or diagrams to
help me understand the procedure
and the expected results?
• Can the desired efect be
accomplished in one procedure, or do
you anticipate multiple procedures?
• What are the specifc surgical options?
What are the pros and cons for each?
• What type of anesthetic will be used?
How will it afect me?
• Will I be hospitalized? If so, for how
• What are the possible complications?
• How will my progress be monitored
afer surgery? What follow
up care
will I receive?
• How much will the procedure cost?
• How ofen is
needed? Is it covered in the cost
Te closer you work with your surgeon
to establish specifc, measurable and
achievable goals before surgery, the
more likely you are to be satisfed with
the results
Remember, though, even if
ve done your homework and found
a surgeon you like
at a price you can
the decision to pursue cosmetic
surgery is yours and yours alone
sure you
re absolutely comfortable with
the surgeon and committed to your
treatment choices