The number of cosmetic surgeries performed in North America continues to increase annually. Information is more accessible than ever to prospective patients in this information age, both online and through various other media channels. Although cosmetic surgery is heavily publicized, it is important to understand that not everyone is a suitable candidate. If considering aesthetic enhancement, this blog will help you to determine “Am I ready for cosmetic surgery?”.

  • Realistic expectations before you’re ready for cosmetic surgery

Makeover shows often portray immediate results, condensing the consultation, surgery, and final results within a 30 or 60 minute program.  It is important for patients to understand that cosmetic surgery is a long process.  It takes many months up to one year to achieve final results.  Often media programs do not show the bruising, swelling, and incisions during early healing and skip over to the end aesthetic outcome.  Patients must be committed to the recovery process and understand that results are not immediate.  Despite emphasizing this point pre-operatively, many patients ask why final results are not apparent within a few days of surgery.  It is also important to have realistic expectations as to what cosmetic surgery may achieve.  It is often a useful tool to bring in photograph examples to articulate changes you wish to achieve.  It is not possible however to replicate desired features.

  • No recent life stressors before cosmetic surgery

It is recommended to defer cosmetic surgery if going through any major life stressors or changes.  This precaution relates to understanding whether one’s goals may be achieved through cosmetic surgery and the likelihood of patient satisfaction.  A tummy tuck, for example, may increase one’s self-confidence.  It alone will not help you start a new relationship or win back an ex-spouse.  I recommend for patients to wait until they feel emotionally ready for cosmetic surgery and are proceeding for the right reasons.

  • You’ve done your research

It is important to understand the risks and benefits of a given cosmetic surgery as well as anticipated healing and recovery time. Although cosmetic procedures are offered in many settings, patients should research practitioners to ensure that they are qualified to perform a given procedure. In Canada, plastic surgeons are board-certified by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons. Many plastic surgeons will have also completed dedicated fellowship training in aesthetic surgery.  Take time to research your surgeon’s credentials and all aspects of the procedure before proceeding.  This may lower the risk that you will be dissatisfied post-operatively and may lower the risk of healing complications.

  • You’re committed to recovery following cosmetic surgery

Recovery time will vary between cosmetic procedures, however 4 to 6 weeks recovery is generally required before resuming a normal activity level.  Cosmetic surgery is not medically indicated. It is critical to closely follow post-op instructions to lower risk of complications. Non-compliance may increase the risk of medical complications and may also compromise the aesthetic result.

Please contact us if considering cosmetic surgery in the Toronto area to schedule a consultation with Dr. Power.

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