Having a plastic surgery procedure requires physical and emotional support. A support
system built of understanding and able friends and family is a must following surgery.
Ninety-eight percent of plastic surgery procedures are done in a “outpatient” setting,
which means that you don’t spend any time admitted into a hospital after your
procedure. Once your pain is well controlled in the recovery room, and you are fully
awake from the anesthesia, you will be “discharged” from the place where you had
surgery. Your caretaker will be your family member or friend who has volunteered to
take care of you. To most, it makes sense to have help after surgery. However, some
people mistakenly believe they’ll be fine on their own. “I’m tough,” “I heal fast,” and “I
don’t need help” are a few comments I hear that I know can lead to a disaster. Let me
give you a few reasons why you need help for at least two to three days after any
In addition to someone helping you recover, you will need someone to temporarily take
over whatever personal responsibilities you have, both at work and around the house. You’ll be stuck mostly in bed, which means you will need help for basic things such as meals, driving to the doctor, and chores around the house.
If you want to recover properly and safely, you’ll need to secure help and be comfortable with letting things go for a while. Learn more about what to expect from your surgery by getting your copy of, “Making the Cut” available for purchase on Amazon.
When it comes to your cosmetic procedure, being realistic about your outcome is
a high-priority conversation you should always have with your plastic surgeon. It
is of utmost importance for a patient to understand what surgery is capable of
changing and to what degree. If you expect something that is impossible to
achieve, you are setting yourself up for failure.
You Won’t Become J. Lo or Brad – That’s a Good Thing
Plastic surgery cannot radically change your bone structure, skin, muscle, or fat
so much that you will look exactly like another person or even give you any of
that person’s exact physical characteristics. Often we encounter patients who
have the misguided notion that looking like someone else is going to give the
lifestyle of that person. There is no way that looking like a celebrity is going to
give you the attention or opportunities that someone else has.
Too often, we see people who say they want to look like Brad Pitt, J. Lo, or Kim
Kardashian. Although it is okay to refer to the type of result you want (“I want
Angelina Jolie-type lips”), you need to know that you will not suddenly be
transported to a mansion in Beverly Hills and make movies. You also need to
know that Angelina Jolie’s lips look good on Angelina Jolie, J. Lo’s buttocks look
good on J. Lo, and so on. This type of result may not look good on you because
the rest of “you” is completely different.
The important thing to remember is we are helping you become your best self – not to become someone else entirely! Learn how to have realistic and healthy expectations for your next cosmetic procedure by getting your copy of, “Making the Cut” available for purchase on Amazon.
Your mental and emotional health is of utmost importance.
Anyone who has a current, untreated psychological diagnosis is not a candidate
for plastic surgery. That doesn’t mean that if a person does have a diagnosis,
they cannot have surgery ever, but they should be being treated for the disorder
and they should discuss the idea of having plastic surgery at length with their
psychologist first. Make sure your psychologist is involved in the entire process of
the procedure—before, during, and after.
You may need a dosage adjustment of any medications, as well as counseling
through the different stages of recovery. The reason why this is so important is
that plastic surgery has been shown to magnify certain psychological ailments.
After surgery, people are more likely to feel scared and vulnerable. They can’t
move around as much. They’re stuck at home recovering. They’re in some
degree of pain, which can cause changes in the hormonal activity of your body
and brain. Having surgery releases stress hormones from the adrenal glands that
affect your mood and thinking.
All these drastic hormonal changes can be tough for anyone to deal with, but
they can be even harder on people with a psychiatric diagnosis. This means that
if you have obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), depression, or anxiety, and
it’s not under control when you have the procedure done, then you can have significant problems and worsening symptoms in the immediate post-operative period. Even if your disorder is under control, your symptoms may be magnified, which is why it’s important that your psychologist be involved every step of the way.
Learn more about the psychological impact of cosmetic surgery and how to be prepared for it by reading, “Making the Cut” available for purchase on Amazon.
In a previous post I discussed the importance of receiving quality care, and that
you’ll ultimately get what you pay for. I include a detailed average price list for all
common procedures in my book, “Making the Cut.” Your quote might be slightly
higher or lower, but a warning sign is if something is much lower than the
There are a lot of people doing cosmetic surgery today, especially in the United
States, who have not been trained appropriately. Many have learned how to do
these types of procedure over a weekend course! Weekend courses do not train
doctors to do these procedures correctly or handle the complications that might
occur afterward. So, if your doctor’s quote is significantly cheaper than what you
see here, you’re going to want to ask why. Just as with anything else, if the price
sounds too good to be true, there’s usually a (bad) reason behind it.
Make sure you can answer yes to all of these questions before you proceed:
Make the best choice for your cosmetic procedures. Learn ways make the best choice in surgeon by getting your copy of, “Making the Cut” available for purchase on Amazon.
In my previous post I addressed the fact that being a smoker is essentially a
deal-breaker for most plastic surgeons when a patient is looking to move forward
with a procedure. Read that post to understand some of the reasons why.
Is there any way to work around this if cosmetic surgery is really what you
The best-case scenario is to quit smoking completely before you have surgery of
any kind. That’s the best strategy for getting you safely through surgery, the
recovery process, and for your overall health. But even if you’re not going to quit
entirely, we tell our patients that they must give up smoking for at least four
weeks before the procedure so that most of the deleterious effects of smoking
have time to reverse themselves. You must also stay off cigarettes for at least
four to six weeks after surgery so that your skin receives enough blood supply to
After six weeks, your incisions should be healed, but if you want the scar to look
its best, you should stop smoking cigarettes for the remainder of the healing
process. Your scar is continually healing for up to a year or longer after surgery.
Due to a lack of oxygen being delivered to the area that is healing, the scar could
end up looking worse than it would have if you hadn’t smoked.
It’s Really That Important…
Smoking before surgery is such an important issue, and the effects can be so
damaging that we can’t just take the patients’ word that they’ve stayed away from
cigarettes for the minimum amount of time. Unfortunately, sometimes, people will
mislead their doctors so they can still have the surgery they want. In our practice,
we use a urine test called the cotinine test to tell us whether there’s still nicotine
in a person’s body. Nicotine from one cigarette can stay in the body for up to a week or longer and can be detected by this test. If a patient has a positive cotinine test, we will cancel the procedure.
The best choice for you and your health is to quit. Learn effective ways to
overcome this habit and prepare for the body you want by getting your copy of, “Making the Cut” available for purchase on Amazon.
Most plastic surgeons will tell you that smoking is a deal breaker when it comes
to having a cosmetic procedure. Why? Smoking anything with nicotine slows
healing tremendously and increases the risk of scarring and infection, as well as
Smoking also makes the anesthesia for the surgery itself more difficult because
anesthesiologists have a harder time maintaining tight control of your vitals.
Postoperative pain control is also more difficult in smokers.
Recovering from the “Flap”
Although smoking is considered bad for any kind of plastic surgery, it is
especially harmful for procedures requiring a “flap.” A flap is raised when you are
having a procedure involving removal of skin. Raising a flap means that we’re
actually lifting skin and pulling it tight and then sewing it back together.
The reason this is important is because when we raise a flap, we’re
disconnecting blood vessels from underneath the flap so we can move the skin.
When we disconnect blood vessels, we’re relying on the other blood vessels that
are traveling long distances to that same skin to provide healing oxygen to the
Skin: Your Largest Living Organ
It is important to know that even though the skin is the biggest organ in the body,
it has some of the smallest blood vessels in the body. You can see proof of the
effect of smoking on skin as smoker’s age. They get wrinkles a lot faster, and
their skin looks thin and crepey. That’s because, over many years, smoking has
decreased the blood supply to the skin, and without years of adequate blood
supply, the skin looks damaged and older at a much earlier age.
Patients who smoke are at an increased risk for skin necrosis, which is when
areas of skin actually die and turn black. Necrosis of the skin (dying skin) is a
difficult problem to deal with after surgery and increases the recovery time
significantly. It causes scarring and infections and can, sometimes, lead to
If you’re smoker, learn how you can prepare yourself to undergo surgery by
getting your own copy of my book, “Making the Cut” available for purchase on Amazon. I’ll also touch on this in my next blog post.
Many people mistakenly believe that they will lose a lot of weight with surgeries
like liposuction or a tummy tuck; however, you’ll rarely see a significant change
on your bathroom scale. In fact, most people will actually weigh more
immediately after surgery because of the swelling that occurs. (Of course, that
extra weight will go away once the swelling goes down.)
Start with Your BMI
A typical specimen of the tissue we remove during these procedures only weighs
two to five pounds. You might look as if you’ve lost twenty pounds because of the
way the surgeon has contoured your body, but fat and skin don’t weigh a lot per
inch removed. For the most part, you can expect to lose less than five pounds on
the scale even though you might look significantly different. That’s why it’s
important that you’re in an acceptable BMI range before the surgery, because
having surgery alone is not going to do the trick.
There are surgeries that can help with excess weight, but they are not usually
done by plastic surgeons. If your goal is to lose a significant amount of weight on
the scale, you should speak with a reputable doctor and consider weight-loss
surgery (also called bariatric surgery) before plastic surgery, though it’s important
to understand that the two types of surgery often go hand-in- hand. If your BMI is
over forty and you really feel that there’s no way you’re going to lose the weight
on your own, then it can be an option to pursue bariatric surgery.
Learn more about what is the best next step for you by getting your own copy of
my book, “Making the Cut” available for purchase on Amazon.
Groupon is great for getting a deal on your next pizza delivery – not for your face
lift or tummy tuck. It is truly unfortunate to see people looking for the “best deal”
they can get for their plastic surgery procedure. Radio advertisements offering
unbelievable prices, Groupon deals, and “coupons” for plastic surgery are,
unfortunately, everywhere now.
You Get What You Pay For
Remember, when you purchase a procedure, what you are really “buying” is the
doctor who is performing the procedure and the facility it is being performed in.
Unfortunately, in the United States, any doctor can perform any kind of procedure
whether or not they have been appropriately trained in that particular specialty or
not. The laws really leave it up to patients to do their research on what they are
paying for. Hospitals generally won’t allow surgeons to do procedures that are
not part of their particular specialty, but that doesn’t prevent the doctor from
doing it in his or her office.
There are many things to keep in mind when considering the costs of a plastic
surgery procedure. In general, the total cost is usually presented as a total of
multiple charges. One is the cost of the surgeon to perform the procedure itself.
Then there is the cost of the operating room, which includes the sutures, gauzes,
nurses, and all the supplies and people needed to perform the surgery in a safe
environment. You must also factor in the cost of the anesthesiologist, who
watches over you to be sure you are safely asleep for the surgery. Finally, there
is the cost of any implants to be used, the cost of garments, the cost of blood
work, and the cost of medications you will need after surgery. When you get a
quotation for a procedure, you want all those costs to be included in the quote and explained in detail.
To do it right requires the appropriate cost. Understand the appropriate amounts to expect for all plastic surgery procedures and how to find the right surgeon by getting your own copy of my book, “Making the Cut” available for purchase on Amazon.
While there may be a number of reasons why pursing plastic surgery may not be the right decision for you currently, the number-one reason to not have plastic surgery is ill health. This is an absolutely essential consideration.
If you are not healthy and you undergo any kind of elective surgery, not just plastic surgery, you are setting yourself up for potential complications, including not making it through the procedure. Of course, no one wants to undergo an elective procedure only to end up dying or being hospitalized for a long period of time. You want to have a successful surgery and a normal recovery so that you may enjoy the results afterward!
Ensuring that you’re healthy enough for surgery is absolutely essential and the number-one concern that you should have. Remember, virtually all cosmetic plastic surgery is “elective.” That means it is completely your choice to undergo the procedure, and we have total control of the timing of the procedure.
It is a huge mistake to undergo an elective procedure when your physical condition is not optimized for success. In order to make sure you’re healthy enough for elective surgery, you should first go to your regular doctor for a medical checkup. If your doctor doesn’t perform the type of pre-surgery clearance exams that will prepare you for plastic surgery, you should find a doctor who does.
In this era of personal empowerment, you must, as the patient, take charge of your own health. Don’t rely on the doctor to make all the right decisions for you. Sometimes, the doctor may forget to ask you about your health history, check blood work, and so on. It is your right to ask questions, so ask, “How do you know that I am healthy enough to undergo surgery?”
Learn more about what your evaluation criteria should be for undergoing surgery by getting your own copy of my book, “Making the Cut” available for purchase on Amazon.
The field of plastic surgery has undergone a major transformation in the past few decades. When plastic surgery was first gaining popularity in the 1970s, it was primarily the domain of movie stars, models, and the elite. By the late 1980s, more and more people chose to have plastic surgery, as they saw their favorite celebrity have a successful outcome. Still, the appeal was limited because plastic surgery was so expensive and required a significant amount of time and money.
However, by the turn of the twenty-first century, a revolution in plastic surgery was underway. Stories about the growing number of procedures and their amazing results flooded the various media outlets; popular primetime television shows, such as Extreme Makeover, Dr. 90210, and others, helped make plastic surgery a hot topic around dinner tables and hair salons across America.
It’s a Real Possibility to Consider
The days of plastic surgery only being a realistic option for the rich and famous are over; now virtually anyone has the opportunity of a cosmetic enhancement if they so choose. In 2011, the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery conducted a survey that found that more than half of Americans (51 percent) had no problem with the idea of cosmetic surgery, and 67 percent said they would not be embarrassed if their friends and family knew they had had cosmetic surgery.
This may be due to the pervasiveness of individuals having these procedures done. The number of people having cosmetic procedures rose in 2015 from the previous year in every single age group, from teens (aged thirteen to nineteen years old) to people over fifty-five. The numbers also rose among both men and women and among every ethnic group.