American Society of Plastic Surgeons
For Medical Professionals
 

Is plastic surgery right for you?


Do you need plastic surgery? Probably not. In most cases, plastic surgery is a want, not a need. Most people considering plastic surgery fall into one of two camps. The first is composed of people who are happy with their appearance, but still find themselves wondering "what if?" The other group knows what they want, and they usually come to my office with a very detailed list of what they desire.

Men and women of all ages choose to have plastic surgery for several reasons. Some simply want to fit in by normalizing physical aspects of their bodies, especially among younger patients. Others want to achieve a striking look, perhaps through breast augmentation. Some want help maintaining a healthy body weight through liposuction. Still, others wish to restore their youthful appearance through facelifts or a myriad of nonsurgical procedures like chemical peels, Botox injections and dermal fillers.

Ensuring natural results

When done right, plastic surgery respects your body while restoring your youthful appearance. Also, when done correctly, plastic surgery can augment aspects of your body in a way that is natural and complementary to your physique. When done wrong, however, plastic surgery attempts to create an artificial look that may, in fact, decrease your body image. This fad is evident in social media: oversized lips, breasts and buttocks. The "look at me, I've had plastic surgery" look is not appealing to most, and a good plastic surgeon should steer you away from this appearance. Plastic surgery is enhancing your unique beauty; it is not about making you look like a celebrity.

Deciding to have plastic surgery or any kind of elective surgery should not be an impulsive decision, but one that is very carefully thought out. The best candidates for cosmetic surgery are individuals who are looking to have their appearance improved and enhanced, not perfected. These candidates are physically and mentally healthy and have reasonable expectations of how cosmetic surgery will enhance their appearance. Basically, the ideal cosmetic surgery patient is someone who wants to look as good as they feel.

Choosing the right plastic surgeon

The important notion to consider when deciding if you want plastic surgery is whether the reason is a good reason. Once you have decided to have plastic surgery based on a healthy reason then your next step is to find a board-certified plastic surgeon who has the experience, expertise and can show proof exceptional long-term results. A relationship with a plastic surgeon, I find in my practice, is not a one-off event. Ideally, the relationship develops into a long-term partnership between you and your plastic surgeon. Together, you and your plastic surgeon can determine what is needed to look your best and be your best at any given age and stage in your life.


The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.

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