One of the advantages of aesthetic plastic surgery is that it is an elective procedure. Unlike surgical emergencies of the ER, you have time to prepare.
If you’ve been considering a procedure, here are a few ways to get started:
1. Research board-certified surgeons.
Ok! You’ve decided you want to do… something. Most of us have an idea about the new look we are seeking which resembles the reflection in the mirror when we pull the neck and jowls up and back…or is that just me? But actually, we have no clue how to get there. Even if you’ve spent hours researching buzz-worthy procedures and reviewed hundreds of before-and-after slideshows on the internet, the fastest and best way to figure out how to get where we want to be is to consult with a registered plastic surgeon. These are experts of the human body who will evaluate your body, your personal musculature and skin quality and recommend a treatment plan that is 100% personalized for you.
Start your search by finding a registered specialist on the MCNZ website. Set up an initial consultation with at least a few to discuss your desired results. As you listen to their recommendations, also take note of how you feel. You will be putting your trust in this expert for months to come as you prepare for and recover from your procedure. You want someone with whom you can communicate easily, who acknowledges your concerns, and who paints a clear picture of your preparation, healing protocol and realistic expectations for the results. Screen as many doctors as needed until you feel comfortable.
2. Research the procedure, recovery times and possible complications.
Now that you’ve decided on the course of action with your plastic surgeon, educate yourself on the procedure, the recovery times, and possible complications. Knowledge is power. Go into your surgery knowing what the entire process will entail, and ask your doctor any additional questions that come up. They have answers and believe me, they’re used to being interrogated. We are all nervous when trying something new – and surgery is a commitment. Know what you’re getting into beforehand.
3. Adopt healthy habits. No time to start like the present!
We know what we “should” be doing on a regular basis – eating more vegetables, exercising, drinking tons of water. But sometimes our daily grind distracts us from self-care. Yet to be an ideal candidate for surgery, it’s time to make health the top priority. Some doctors will advise losing a certain number of pounds, even if you’re going in for a weight reduction procedure. This is because “healthy patients recover better,”
Knowing what your plastic surgeon recommends will provide you with a health goal and a timeline to work toward in anticipation of your upcoming procedure.
4. Stop smoking.
Smoking impairs healing and recovery, which could mean scarring. After investing time and money on a surgery – that’s the last outcome we want! Your doctor, your plastic surgeon and the surgeon general will all advise kicking the habit for good. But if you’re not sure that’s an attainable goal, start by planning to quit smoking for four weeks before your procedure and not to resume until four weeks after and who knows? Maybe the temporary stop becomes a long term or permanent quit!
Like any other surgery, this will be a major life moment. Aesthetic plastic surgery is a major life decision, one that can—thankfully—be planned for. Check out the preparation toolkit page and let’s get planning!