What should you consider before undergoing cosmetic surgery?

11 December 2015

What should you consider before having plastic surgery?

By Plastic Surgeon Dr Dirk Kremer

Thanks to technological advancements, the cosmetic industry has grown dramatically over the last two decades, and as a result, more and more people are turning to plastic surgery as a way of fixing certain aspects of their appearance. I believe plastic surgery has done wonders for the world of medicine; it has helped people who have suffered catastrophic injuries recover, and given joy to those unhappy with their appearance. However, as with everything, plastic surgery has been abused to the point where it has ruined lives. That is why, if you’re considering plastic surgery, you need to make sure you’re fully prepared.

There is more to plastic surgery than just turning up at the hospital, having the surgery, and getting on with your life a few hours, or days, later. You need to take into account a number of practical things before undergoing surgery, and I take a closer look and what you should consider below.

Have you researched your surgeon?

Once you've made the decision to have plastic surgery, the next step is to choose your surgeon. You may have seen stories in the news recently about botched plastic surgery; these stories all usually have the same thing in common: a cosmetic surgeon who wasn’t experienced enough or even qualified to perform cosmetic surgery – leading to horrible consequences!

Plastic surgery is safe when performed by a qualified surgeon such as myself. When choosing a surgeon, do some research, look at as many before and after images as possible, seek out online reviews where possible, or even speak with former patients if you know any. If you still need more information, don’t be afraid to call the surgeon’s office to arrange a consultation. Remember, a consultation doesn’t mean you’re making a commitment to have cosmetic surgery! In the end, if you are happy and feel you can trust an aesthetic surgeon, then you've found the right one for you!

Will the results be permanent?

Depending on the cosmetic procedure you’re having, the results will either be permanent or temporary. For example, a breast augmentation is a cosmetic procedure that will permanently increase the size of your breasts, whereas Botox treatments tend to wear off within 6-12 months. Speaking with your plastic surgeon before any surgery is vital, as s/he will be able to answer any questions you might have. You don’t want to have a breast reduction only to regret the surgery 2-3 months later!

Are you prepared for any complications?

Plastic surgery, as with any medical operation, carries risks, and complications can happen. While technology and surgical education make complications a rarity, it’s best to be prepared. I would advise you to speak with your cosmetic surgeon to find out more about the procedure you’re having and any possible side-effects that may arise, that way, you’ll be fully prepared to deal with every scenario.

Will you need to take time off work?

As one of the best plastic surgeons in London, I see hundreds of patients every year and I always advise them to consider whether they’ll need to take time off work after getting work done. For example, Botox treatments can be performed in less than an hour and you’ll be free to return to work straight away, however, for more invasive surgeries such as a breast augmentation or abdominoplasty, an overnight stay in hospital is required and I always advise patients to take a week or two off work to aid the recovery process. Knowing these facts will help you organise your aesthetic procedure around your day-to-day life.

Where will the cosmetic procedure take place?

Another important factor to consider is where your operation will take place. As a London-based plastic surgeon, I see patients from across the country and always discuss the issue of accommodation and travel with them. If you have to travel hundreds of miles to get to the hospital, you’ll need to prepare for after the surgery. Do you have transport for getting home, and if not, have your arranged a place to stay? Both of these issues should be addressed beforehand to avoid a stressful experience following the operation.

Are you financially prepared?

Unless your cosmetic procedure is being performed on the NHS, you will have to pay. The cost of cosmetic surgery can vary depending on the procedure you’re having, but you should take the cost into consideration before having any plastic surgery. I wouldn't recommend taking out a loan to have surgery unless you’re certain that you’ll be able to pay it back; getting into debt can lead to serious hardships in both your personal and professional life. You should also be aware of travel and accommodation costs that you may have to pay for, and, for procedures such as Botox, you should factor in the costs of subsequent treatments. I would also advise avoiding cheap plastic surgery deals, especially in some foreign countries where plastic surgeons aren't as qualified or regulated as they are here in the UK. Your health is paramount, and if a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is!

Have you told your family and friends?

Plastic surgery isn't something to be embarrassed about, but I do understand that some patients don’t want to broadcast their surgery to the world. You don’t have to tell anyone if you don’t want to, but remember, some procedure are likely to produce results that are more noticeable than others. For example, family, friends and work colleagues are much more likely to notice a breast lift or a tummy tuck compared to a nose job or, in some cases, a non-invasive facelift. At the very least, I would recommend speaking with your partner and/or close family so that there aren't any uncomfortable or confrontational conversations following your plastic surgery, it will also make the process of arranging transport and accommodation post-procedure much easier.

I hope you have found this article helpful and are feeling fully prepared if you do plan on having cosmetic surgery; as one of the top plastic surgeons in London, I pride myself on my reputation and always prioritise the health of my patients. If you would like to discuss any of the aesthetic procedures (including my signature range) I offer here at Harley Street Aesthetics, please contact me on 0845 519 7232 or email: info@harleystreetaesthetics.com.


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