Even though it may not be medically necessary, cosmetic surgery is serious business. You are putting your healthy body on the line for a procedure where there is no way to see the finished result until it’s done, and it’s all going to cost you thousands of dollars. That being said, plastic surgery is often a very positive experience, and most patients come out happy and healthy. So what do you need to know to be one of the success stories?
Expectations Vs. Reality
The very first thing you should do when meeting with your surgeon is establish what you are expecting from the surgery. Ask your surgeon how realistic it is, how it will need to be adjusted based on the procedure or your body, and then adjust your expectations to fit accordingly. If you know what the surgery will give you, you will be much less likely to be disappointed.
Mental Health Resources
Although you might feel more confident after plastic surgery, many people actually go through mood swings and hormone changes. You might be so happy with your decision one moment and regretting it the next. Be aware that this might happen, and have a good counselor—whether just a friend or a professional—on hand.
Money, Money, Money
Don’t get sticker shock. Before you commit to the surgery, ask how much it will cost—including all the hidden fees. When just taking into account the procedure itself you might forget the cost of the consultations or the anesthesia. Find out the total cost, and figure out how you will pay for it. As a non-essential procedure, the vast majority of insurance plans will not cover your surgery. Having a payment plan, however, and knowing the real cost, is something that should be well established long before you go under the knife.
The Real Cost: Time
The most important part of your surgery and its success is often not the surgery itself; it’s the recovery. It is important to find out everything you can about the recovery process. How much time will it take? What resources will you have? Will you need to wear certain garments? Will you have access to medications? What follow-up appointments will you have? There are so many questions. You need to know how this important time period will be affecting your body—and therefore your work schedule and lifestyle.