What To Expect When You Undergo Plastic Surgery


It’s not just celebrities who are seeking out face lifts, breast augmentations, and tummy tucks anymore. Now people from all walks of life are visiting plastic surgeons in the hopes of improving their appearance.  Studies show that in 2016, Americans spent over $16 million on cosmetic plastic surgeries. Proving that it’s becoming more accessible and affordable for everyone.The most common plastic surgery procedure is a breast augmentation, liposuction and nose reshaping close behind.

But what’s it really like to go under the knife, and what can patients expect afterwards?

Cosmetic surgery and plastic surgery are actually not the same

Not everyone gets surgery just to look better, many others choose to go under the knife to regain function in certain areas of the body. As the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery says, cosmetic surgery involves one goal: enhancing appearance. Plastic surgery, however, typically involves reconstructing parts of the body damaged from trauma, burns, disease, or birth disorders.  Plastic surgery training differs greatly from cosmetic training, too. And any licensed physician can legally perform surgery of the cosmetic sort, no matter what sort of training they’ve actually had. Because of this, you absolutely must do your research on a doctor’s experience before choosing them for a procedure.

Doctors first show you, pictures of what to expect after

Cosmetic and plastic surgeons will certainly do their best to correct what you want, but they certainly aren’t miracle workers. For this reason, during your consultation, your doctor will show you realistic photos of what you can expect to look like post-surgery.  As Dominic Bray states, the initial meeting is to discuss what you would like to change, the surgical ways your problem can be solved, and photos of other patients’ results. You’ll also get a rundown of all the pros and cons. Your doctor will also ask about your lifestyle and any supplements or medications you’re taking at the time, as these can have the potential to impact your recovery.

Some procedures can be 6 hours and they are not always single operations

Some procedures take under an hour, while others can turn into an all-day affair. Certain procedures, such as facelifts, are incredibly involved. Some more complicated lifts often include eyelid surgery, fat grafting, and procedures around the neck, and overall, you can expect to be in surgery for five to six hours.

Tummy tucks and body lifts have the longest healing time

If you’re looking to get some work done, planning for recovery time is crucial. For procedures like breast augmentations, arm lifts, and liposuction, doctors recommend taking a week off from work. More involved surgeries, like tummy tucks and body lifts, may put you out of your job for up to a month.  A good rule of thumb is to always plan for more time off than you think you’ll need.

Certain surgeries are insanely dangerous

Thanks to medical advancements, it’s safer than ever to undergo cosmetic surgery. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t know the risks. A body lift, for example, is one of the riskiest procedures because multiple plastic surgeries occur at once. Lifting the belly, thighs, buttocks, and genitals all at once means you’re under anesthesia for hours on end, which can impede recovery.  Liposuction, also comes with a laundry list of risks, like possible perforations in the stomach wall and blood clots. Facial reconstruction, particularly around the jaw area, is extremely complex, making them difficult to perform.

Risks involved

Cosmetic surgery, like any type of surgery, is not without risks. Plastic surgery procedures can result in complications ranging from an unattractive or unnatural final result to scarring or even death.  Many people mistakenly assume that elective (optional) procedures, such as cosmetic surgery, aren’t as serious as other types of surgery. But all surgeries, even simple dental procedures, present the possibility of serious complications. In addition to the general risks of surgery, there’s always the possibility of issues arising due to anesthesia.  With any surgery, the patient has the ability to reduce the risk of complications. The best way to reduce the risk is to choose the surgeon who performs the procedure wisely.

The closer you work with your surgeon to establish specific, measurable and achievable goals before surgery, the more likely you are to be satisfied with the results.  Remember, though, even if you’ve done your homework and found a surgeon you like at a price you can afford — the decision to pursue cosmetic surgery is yours and yours alone. Make sure you’re comfortable with the surgeon and committed to your treatment choices.