Saturday, July 15, 2017

Plastic Surgery—do your homework

What is plastic surgery?

Plastic or cosmetic surgery is defined as an operation that reconstructs an aspect of your body into a new and different form. The term plastic comes from the Greek word plastikos meaning to mold or give form to. Cosmetic surgery is elective, nonessential surgery. These are operations you choose to undergo to correct, add to, or reduce aspects of yourself that you are dissatisfied with.

There are two main things I have to say about cosmetic surgery. First, get more than one opinion. Many books recommend getting at least three opinions before you let someone cut on your face (or body). Next, I highly recommend consulting a nutritionist, even if your plastic surgeon doesn’t suggest you do so, to get a good vitamin and mineral program started before you have surgery. This will give you a better chance of recovery and possibly lessen scarring.

I have seen a lot of plastic surgery in my practice. Many clients ask who I would recommend as a good plastic surgeon. I explain it is not only the choice of surgeon that affects the outcome of surgery; it is first and foremost your body and how well it repairs itself. Do you tend to scar easily, or do you recover from wounds rapidly without noticeable scarring? Everyone’s body heals differently. How healthy you are and how you heal will greatly affect how good your surgery will look.

Finding a skilled surgeon (an artist) is the second part to the “best outcome” equation. Get referrals from friends and go to several doctors before you decide on “the one.” Make sure the doctors you see are members of the American Board of Plastic Surgery. This is not to be confused with the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery.

According to Arthur W. Perry, M.D., in his book Are You Considering Cosmetic Surgery, “The American Board of Cosmetic Surgery is a self-designated board. Its membership is open to doctors who practice cosmetic surgery but do not necessarily have the qualifications for membership in the American Board of Plastic Surgery.” There are many doctors performing plastic surgery who are not members of this prestigious society. I have heard over and over again that this is the first criteria you want to look for in a doctor for cosmetic surgery. (Perry’s book is older, but a good one nonetheless.)

For most procedures you will be under general anesthesia. My recommendation would be to make sure your body is in tip-top shape so you will be strong and healthy and have the best chance for optimum recovery. This area of pre-op and post-op nutrition is rarely if ever addressed. Sometimes in life you have to take matters into your own hands. In this instance, I recommend you do so. Why not go the extra mile if it could mean a better experience and recovery from surgery?

Deciding to have plastic surgery isn’t a good thing or a bad thing, it is simply personal preference. As I’ve written in many of my anti-aging/aging with grace articles, if you continually notice a so-called flaw—day after day—it inevitably begs to be changed. Many times this is the case with wanting plastic surgery. You see something “wrong” with your face and feel compelled to change it. Plastic surgery will certainly do the job. Please pleasedo your homework!

Just as a side note: Whenever you need to have a cancerous growth removed from your face, I recommend going to a plastic surgeon. They will almost always do a better job aesthetically with any incisions that need to be made and therefore your chances of having a “good” scar on your face improves dramatically.  

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