Why it's done

Because cosmetic surgery can bring lasting and dramatic changes to the outside appearance, it is important to understand how these changes may affect you on the inside. Before making an appointment to see a cosmetic surgeon, you should consider your motives for wanting to change how you look.

Many physical characteristics can be successfully changed through cosmetic surgery; others cannot. Good candidates for cosmetic surgery:

  • Have realistic expectations about what can be accomplished.
  • Understand the medical risks, physical effects during healing, how the surgery will affect them personally and professionally, what lifestyle changes may accompany the recovery period, and the expenses involved.
  • Have discussed their goals for surgery with their surgeon and resolved any questions.
  • Have chronic medical conditions under control.
  • Have no history of smoking or commit to abstain from smoking (including secondhand smoke) and nicotine products, including chewing tobacco and nicotine patches, gums or lozenges for 4-6 weeks before and after surgery.
  • Have had a stable weight for six months to one year.
July 19, 2017
References
  1. Neligan PC. Managing the cosmetic patient. In: Plastic Surgery. 3rd ed. London, England: Elsevier Saunders; 2013. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed April 28, 2017.
  2. Cosmetic procedure questions. American Society for Dermatologic Surgery. http://www.asds.net/PatientSafetyPreProcedureQuestionnaire.aspx. Accessed April 28, 2017.
  3. Questions to ask your plastic surgeon. American Society of Plastic Surgeons. https://www.plasticsurgery.org/patient-safety?sub=Questions+to+Ask+Your+Plastic+Surgeon. Accessed April 28, 2017.
  4. Neligan PC. Patient safety in plastic surgery. In: Plastic Surgery. 3rd ed. London, England: Elsevier Saunders; 2013. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed April 28, 2017.
  5. Quit smoking before your operation. American College of Surgeons. https://www.facs.org/education/patient-education/patient-resources/prepare/quit-smoking. Accessed April 28, 2017.
  6. Patient safety tips. American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. http://www.surgery.org/consumers/patient-safety/surgical-risks-overview. Accessed April 28, 2017.
  7. Tummy tuck guide. American Board of Cosmetic Surgery. http://www.americanboardcosmeticsurgery.org/procedure-learning-center/body/tummy-tuck-guide/. Accessed April 28, 2017.
  8. Ericksen WL1, Billick SB. Psychiatric issues in cosmetic plastic surgery. Psychiatry Quarterly. 2012;83:343.