Am I A Candidate for Cosmetic Surgery?
Surgery of any kind is a major undertaking. But having elective cosmetic surgery, especially if it’s extensive, takes extra consideration.
You might ask yourself, “am I a good candidate for cosmetic surgery” or “what are the benefits of cosmetic surgery?” Some people are excellent candidates, while others are not.
The best way to find out whether you should proceed or not is to consult with a board-certified surgeon. But, if you are early in the process and looking for general information, here are some of the major factors that might help you know whether you are a candidate for cosmetic surgery.
What is your BMI?
If you are obese, there are many complications that could arise in surgery. The extra tissue means extra vascularity, more blood flow, and more places for infection to take hold. Stitches and healing are a major issue in obese and morbidly obese people. Consider dropping weight before going under the knife.
Do you smoke?
If you smoke, you might not be a good candidate for cosmetic surgery because smoking inhibits healing.
With many cosmetic surgery procedures (tummy tucks, for example), there is a lot of trauma to the body, a lot of incising and a lot of stitches. Healing quickly is key to reducing complications. Tissue that doesn’t heal quickly enough can die, causing necrosis and infection.
If this happens, often a revision surgery is needed, extending the period of healing. It is recommended that you stop smoking several weeks before surgery and abstain for several weeks afterward.
Do you have a chronic illness?
Even minor illnesses that are chronic can increase the risk of complications after surgery. Inflammation and a suppressed immune system can lead to slow healing and infection.
You want your body to be working well in order to recover as quickly as possible. Diabetes is especially dangerous because of reduced vascularity and blood flow, which will slow healing.
Do you have realistic expectations?
Look online to get a realistic idea of what your surgery will actually do for you. A good app that shows accurate results is RealSelf. It’s like a Facebook feed for people who have had cosmetic surgery. It shows their healing process and often there is journaling, showing how it feels and how the process works.
You will most likely always have scars, though often they end up being almost invisible. You will look like an improved version of yourself, not a completely different person.
There could be complications, no matter how unforeseen they are. Puckering, tumors, hernias, necrosis, popped stitches, swelling (often for many weeks) and other unpleasant results are not uncommon.
Do you have help and support at home?
Depending on the extent of the surgery, you may need support at home. If you have several small children or your surgery involved multiple invasive procedures (tummy tuck, breast augmentation and liposuction in one) you will need someone to take care of you.
For the first few days you will need a lot of help, even to use the restroom. So, if you don’t have support at home, you may want to reconsider surgery. Dealing with recovery when you are alone is a bad idea because it’s actually unsafe. If anything were to happen, you may not be able to reach the phone.
These top factors are the major things that your surgeon will consider before giving the green light for surgery. While some of these factors are unchangeable, some of them can be remedied with a little discipline and a change in habits.
Ready to talk with Dr. Rimma Finkel?
If you are determined to become a candidate for cosmetic surgery, talk to Dr. Finkel in your first consultation. She will talk you through all your questions, and make you feel comfortable about your decision. Schedule today.