American Society of Plastic Surgeons
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When to consider plastic surgery reversal


when to consider plastic surgery reversal

After a boom in popularity for cosmetic treatments such as eyelid surgery, Brazilian butt lifts and lip fillers in recent years, some plastic surgeons across the country are seeing a rise in the number of requests for plastic surgery 'reversal' procedures.

While there are many reasons why a person might consider plastic surgery reversal, it is important to have realistic expectations about the capabilities and limitations of these procedures.

Follow along as we discuss some of the most common reasons why people request a reversal of their plastic surgery, as well as some tips to help you decide if you could be a good candidate for a reversed cosmetic procedure.

What is plastic surgery reversal?

Plastic surgery reversal refers to the 'undoing' of a successful cosmetic treatment or procedure for the purpose of restoring one's pre-procedure appearance. A plastic surgery revision, on the other hand, is typically sought after an unsuccessful procedure for the purpose of fixing errors or complications.

The extent of a plastic surgery reversal procedure will depend largely on the type of the initial procedure performed. Hyaluronic acid facial fillers, for example, can be dissolved using an injectable enzyme that has a nearly immediate reversing effect. On the other hand, surgical procedures like breast augmentation and Brazilian butt lifts require a more extensive procedure in order to reverse their results.

Reasons you might consider plastic surgery reversal

There are a number of instances when plastic surgery reversal might be reasonably considered. However, as with any cosmetic procedure, there are risks that come along with plastic surgery reversal.

Having frequent cosmetic surgery procedures to chase the latest cosmetic trends as they come and go is not recommended, as lasting effects such as scar tissue, tissue damage and permanent changes to one's facial features or body shape can result from repeated cosmetic surgeries and reversals.

Medical complications

Medical complications such as infections or tissue damage can occasionally occur following a cosmetic procedure. While some people may choose a plastic surgery revision to fix the issue and restore their desired plastic surgery results, others may want or need to consider a reversal procedure.

Psychological or emotional concerns

The best candidates for any cosmetic procedure, nonsurgical or surgical, will be in good physical and mental health. However, there are instances when psychological or emotional concerns related to one's appearance can arise after a cosmetic procedure. If the results of your cosmetic treatment or surgery are causing undue emotional distress, a reversal may be the best solution.

Changes in personal preferences

Personal preferences do change over time and may lead to a desire for a plastic surgery reversal. Common examples of this include no longer wanting large breast implants or wanting to restore ethnic facial features that may have been lost in a previous procedure.

Personal or lifestyle changes

Sometimes, big life changes such as a career change, having a baby, change in marital status or experiencing a new health concern can trigger a need or want to reverse a previous cosmetic procedure.

What to expect after plastic surgery reversal

Prior to your plastic surgery reversal procedure, your plastic surgeon should help you clearly understand what you can expect in terms of results. In some cases, virtually all traces of a previous procedure can be erased. In other cases, achieving 100% of your pre-procedure appearance may be more difficult or even impossible. Your plastic surgeon should walk you through what to expect so that you can go into any reversal procedure with realistic expectations about your results.

If your cosmetic reversal procedure involves surgery, you can expect a similar recovery experience as with your initial plastic surgery. You may need to schedule some time away from work and other activities as you recover, and results may take some time to develop gradually.

How to know if plastic surgery reversal is right for you

Choosing to reverse a cosmetic procedure can be just as big of a decision as choosing to get the initial procedure. Take the long-term outcome into consideration – not just immediate needs, wants or changes in trends.

While plastic surgery reversals and revisions are possible, they shouldn't be taken lightly. Discuss the risks and benefits with a board-certified plastic surgeon to help you weigh your options and make an informed decision that is right for your individual circumstances.


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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