The number of people choosing to have plastic surgery has soared in recent years. Technological advances have increased the options you can consider. But do your research before you consider any operation. All surgery carries some risk. And while plastic surgery can improve a part of your body, it rarely improves your whole life. Make sure your goals are realistic.
Are You a Good Candidate for Cosmetic Surgery?
Generally speaking, you are a good candidate for cosmetic surgery if you are close to your ideal body weight, a nonsmoker, and are emotionally and socially in good shape. You should be exercising and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. It's generally wise to have less than one alcoholic drink a day for women and two drinks a day for men, and to limit your caffeine. Alcohol is a mild blood thinner, and caffeine can slightly raise blood pressure, so cutting back on both is a good idea before surgery. Finally, you must understand and accept the disadvantages of cosmetic surgery, such as cost, inconvenience, discomfort, and medical risk.
Why? It's important to have realistic expectations. Cosmetic surgery cannot change your life or make you 20 years younger. Moreover, if you smoke or drink a lot, you face a higher risk of complications and the results from a cosmetic procedure may not last as long as you'd like.
You may be a poor candidate for cosmetic surgery if you have serious health problems that include:
- High blood pressure
- A bleeding disorder
- Heart or lung disease
- Severe allergies
- High cholesterol
If you suffer from any of these health problems -- or if you smoke or drink alcohol excessively -- you face a higher risk of complications. Some surgeons insist that smokers quit for at least four weeks prior to surgery and remain smoke-free for two to four weeks after surgery. This helps proper healing and recovery.
Be sure you give your surgeon a complete medical history, including medications such as aspirin, vitamins, hormones (oral contraceptives and estrogen replacement) and herbal compounds and supplements you take. These products can interfere with blood clotting or with other medications used during surgery.