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Making a Decision for Plastic/Cosmetic Surgery

Usually one is interested in cosmetic surgery because one has identified something about himself or herself that one considers as a flaw. If this "flaw" is something that bothers one so much that it is constantly on one's mind, then perhaps one is ready for an improvement. Before making a decision for cosmetic surgery, it might be helpful to consider the following questions:

What is it that I am not happy about my face and body?

There are generally 2 types of "flaws". The first type refers to those which we are born with, or developed into having. This would include single eyelids, flat noses and small breasts. The second type is usually the result of the process of aging eg. droopy eyelids, eyebags, deflated cheeks and sagging breasts.

What changes do I want to make?

It is important to have a realistic expectation. Most sensible and experienced plastic surgeons would help you become a better looking version of yourself, rather than aiming to turn you into someone else.

How much do I really want to make these changes?

This very often depends on how much psychological and social impact this "flaw" has on you. For example, for those with prominent ears, some would keep a certain hairstyle to cover up the ear, while some would prefer to go for corrective surgery so that he or she can keep whatever hairstyle they want.

What are the options available, and what am I willing to go through to make the changes?

Surgery may not always be the only effective option. Very often non-surgical alternatives are available. Surgical results are always more dramatic compared to the non-surgical ones. However, it comes with risks and downtime. Understanding all your options gives you a better chance of making a decision you will be happy with.

How can I take time out to recover?

The fast pace of life in our modern society makes it rather hard to take time out to recover from cosmetic surgery. Work and social commitments often make it difficult to plan time for recovery. This is especially so for surgeries on the face. Most find it rather easy to plan for surgeries on the body, as it is usually easy to hide with appropriate clothing. However, regardless of the type of surgery, with careful planning you can create the recovery time you need. A good, honest and experienced surgeon will be able to give you a good idea of the necessary recovery time during the initial consultation.

Am I able to afford the cost of the surgery?

Cosmetic surgeries are usually not cheap. So if you have been thinking about undergoing cosmetic surgery for some time, you will have to factor the cost into your decision. If you have saved the money with the intention of spending it to make yourself look better, so that you will feel better, then you may be ready. You should not put yourself under unnecessary financial stress. So the best advice is to plan and save until you are in a financial position to comfortably afford the surgery.

Will I be able to keep my cosmetic surgery a secret? Do I want to? Do I need to?

Whether it is easy to keep your cosmetic surgery a secret depends very much on the type of surgery you undergo. Surgical procedures done on the body are usually easy to hide with appropriate clothing. Surgeries on the face, such as eyelid surgeries on the other hand will be more difficult to hide, especially during the initial recovery period. As cosmetic surgery become more and more widely accepted, people are beginning to be more open and honest about the cosmetic procedures they have undergone. Many feel that they have nothing to hide, and find that having to hide the fact that they have undergone cosmetic surgery creates additional stress that is unnecessary.

But if you belong to the group who prefers to keep your surgery a secret, then you have to plan your recovery carefully. You can plan a holiday overseas after the surgery, so that when you meet your friends after the break, they may attribute your rejuvenated look to that relaxed holiday you just had. If you choose to recover from your surgery at home, you may want to ensure that you have sufficient help especially during the initial period. A good clinic with experienced doctor and staff will be able to provide you with very specific recovery instructions to ensure optimum recovery and personal safety.

Am I able to deal with any complications?

All types of surgery come with the risk of complications. It is impossible to predict what complications will occur after any type of surgery. Besides the surgeon's skill and experience, other factors such as individual patient's unique healing ability and scarring tendency also play a significant part. Hence it is important that you can find a reputable and qualified plastic surgeon with a good team of staff whom you feel you can trust to take good care of you.

How should I find the right surgeon?

Once you have decided that cosmetic surgery is something you want to do, the single most important next step is to find a qualified and reputable plastic surgeon. With the modern information technology, information is just a few clicks away, via the internet. However, it is important to look for information only from reliable sources. If you have friends or family members who have undergone a cosmetic surgical procedure, try to speak to them and ask them for their experiences and advice, if any. It is important that you arm yourself with the necessary information and knowledge.

Some useful websites:

[+] Plasticsurgery.org.sg

Guidelines on Aesthetic Practices

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