Choosing Cosmetic Surgery

People get cosmetic surgery for many reasons. Some want to look younger. Others seek to change a feature they've never liked.

The decision is personal. One of the keys is to set realistic expectations.

Cosmetic surgery won't change your life. It won't solve personal problems or make you look like someone else. But it may give you greater self-confidence and add to your sense of well-being.

Successful results often depend, in part, on how well you and your surgeon communicate. Make sure you feel comfortable with your surgeon and that you are open with them about your goals and questions.

Why Do You Want Cosmetic Surgery?

Many people have good reasons for seeking cosmetic surgery. They've thought it over carefully, are in good health, have good self-esteem, understand the risks of the procedure they're considering, and are doing it for themselves.

Other people, however, are doing it to try to please someone else -- often their spouse or partner -- and their hopes go way beyond what the procedure can do.

Ask yourself:

  • What is your motivation? Are you doing it for someone else, or for yourself?
  • What do you want to change and why?
  • How long have you wanted to do this?
  • What are your expectations?
  • Does your surgeon agree that your goals are reasonable?

Knowing why you want cosmetic surgery and whether you're likely to get the results you want will help you decide whether to get the procedure or to reconsider your options.

WebMD Medical Reference Reviewed by Stephanie S. Gardner, MD on February 03, 2019



Mayo Clinic: "Cosmetic surgery: What to know beforehand."

American Society for Dermatologic Surgery: "General Dermatologic Surgery Information."

American Society of Plastic Surgeons: "Patient Safety: Guide to Safe Plastic Surgery."

The American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery: "Facial Plastic Surgery Today."


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