According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, Americans spent over $12 billion on plastic surgery in 2013 and that number is only likely to increase with the years. Cosmetic or plastic surgery might seem like an easy way to shave the years off your appearance or improve your physique. Plastic surgery, however, has many risks and limitations that are not often widely publicized, so you should make a plastic surgery plan before you go under the knife.
The internet is full of horror stories involving optimistic patients coming out of the operating room with medical issues as a result of surgery and even the rich and famous don’t seem to be able to escape the dangers of plastic surgery. The media circus surrounding botched celebrity plastic surgery has created such a furor that one could be forgiven for thinking that there are more botched procedures than successful ones.
In reality this is far from the truth. Tens of thousands of people every year recover from plastic surgery happy with their results and confident in their new appearance. So, what separates those unlucky few from the vast majority of people who are satisfied with the results of their plastic surgery?
The answer, barring those cases that are just plain unlucky, is research. Many of these saddening cases can be attributed to people who did not plan their surgery as completely as they could have done and went into the operating room with a skewed vision of what they were undergoing.
We think that education is imperative when it comes to health and so if you’re considering having cosmetic surgery you should fully research your plastic surgery for these reasons:
Any doctor can perform any plastic or cosmetic surgery
Although it may be surprising to hear, in North America almost any qualified doctor can legally perform cosmetic surgery. This means that there are now many health care providers performing surgery procedures who are not all necessarily qualified to do so. The last thing anyone having surgery wants is to find out that their ‘is actually a cardiovascular surgeon trying to make a quick buck. This is the most extreme case and admittedly very unlikely to happen but the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery highlights the more widespread and subtle problems this legal leniency allows.
Plastic surgeons & cosmetic surgeons get different training and are tested under different standards. Within each field, there are other specialities to consider, for example, facial reconstructive plastic surgery, or hand and neck surgery.
Although a plastic surgeon may offer to do any surgeries, they may only have trained extensively in one area of the body. The American Board of Cosmetic Surgery has a very informative post about the differences between plastic and reconstructive surgeons that anyone considering surgery should read carefully.
Plastic surgery is permanent
The majority of cosmetic surgeries carry a degree of permanence in that no matter how reversible the procedure is claimed to be, once you change your body through cosmetic surgery, things will never really be the same again. Not only is it a significant mental hurdle to overcome, but such drastic physical changes could have effects on you in the future that you may not be able to contemplate now.
If you don’t like the results then even procedures that have minimal permanence are not as easy to reverse. Besides the expense, there is always the risk that further surgery will just exacerbate the issues. Is this likely to happen? A study by theAesthetic Surgery Institute found that over a quarter of patients were unhappy with some aspect of their face-lift and unless you have a few thousand dollars just lying around then you probably won’t be able to have these addressed. Planning your surgery properly means you’re more likely to be happy with the results.
On average, a nose job will cost you approximately $4,000. The cost of a face-lift will be closer to $6,500. A tummy tuck could cost anywhere between $5,000 and $10,000, depending on the amount of tummy to be tucked. Even for the wealthiest among us that’s not a sum to be sniffed at. There may be other costs associated with surgery such as consultation or hospital fees and the costs of any travelling you may have to do to have surgery.
Once you begin to factor in any time you may have to take off work to recover, ointments, creams and supplies you may require while healing, the costs begin to rack up. Then, depending on the surgery you have, there may be a plethora of lifestyle purchases you must make, for example new clothing, make-ups, fitness regimes, etc.
There is also always the small risk that you require revision surgery if something does not go to plan or there is a complication. Not all surgeons will waive their fees for this and you may end up paying the cost of surgery twice. Making a plastic surgery plan can help prevent this.
It can mess with your head
When considering cosmetic surgery of any kind, it is easy to become fixated on the positive effects the surgery may have on your psychological and emotional state. No doubt most people who go under the knife only want to do it once, but countless ‘plas-dicts’ have said the same thing. The holder of the world record for having the most cosmetic procedures, Cindy Jackson said in an interview with ABC, “I didn’t set out to set a world record, it was never my ambition, it’s just that I had so much done.” Since 1988 Jackson has spent around $100,000 on procedures; you can read more about her incredible story here.
Think about when you try to dye your hair and the results don’t match what you expected; what do you do? You try to fix it with more dye. In most cases this just aggravates the issue. Once this has begun it is easy to slip into a cycle of surgery where,”patients can feel very driven to get cosmetic procedures; that it is their only hope,” psychiatrist Katharine Phillips says, noting that while Body Dysmorphic Disorder affects under 5% of Americans, it affects up to 15% of cosmetic surgery patients.
Even if no further surgery is performed and the results are ideal, you could still end up unhappier than you were to start with. ANorwegian study found that adolescent girls who underwent cosmetic surgery were more likely to show symptoms of anxiety and depression which, researchers concluded, means cosmetic surgery won’t fix any underlying mental health problems.
It can be risky
In the same way we should all diligently read the warning labels on beauty products and medications, we should be aware of the risks related to cosmetic surgery. You may not know, but pre-existing conditions like diabetes, obesity, heart disease or smoking can all interfere and cause complications, putting your health at risk. There are many possible complications of cosmetic surgery as with any surgery but the best way to avoid this is to plan your surgery.
These may seem like a lot of reasons not to get plastic surgery, but in reality these risks are no more numerous than the typical dangers faced undergoing any type of surgery. The difference with cosmetic surgery is mainly that people do not take the time to fully appreciate the risks, or consider, at length, the effect and results surgery will actually have.
If you take the time to research and plan your plastic surgery properly, you can significantly reduce the risks to yourself and your body while drastically improving the likelihood that you will get your ideal results. It may seem a tiresome task to begin with but there are many interesting sites like CosMedicList.com that make it simple to plan your cosmetic surgery and take the first steps towards an improved you in the safest way possible; with thought, care and attention.
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