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Is A Nip & Tuck Right for You?

Aug 17, 2007
Cosmetic surgery: it is the latest trend in overcoming self-esteem issues that stem from wrinkles, weight gain, skin disorders or breast size. Celebrities are doing it. Your friends are doing it. But should you consider cosmetic surgery?

Before taking the plunge, it is important to consider the reasons for wanting to have cosmetic surgery done. Ask yourself the following questions:

1. Is my condition bad enough that cosmetic surgery may be my only option?
2. How is this problem - that could be fixed by cosmetic surgery - really affecting my social or professional life, if at all?
3. Can I solve this problem on my own through exercise, counseling, medication, or over the counter creams, lotions, etc.? Am I doing this because it's an easy way to solve a problem?
4. What are the benefits of cosmetic surgery? How will it change the way I feel or think about myself?
5. Are there underlying self-esteem issues that cosmetic surgery will only temporarily cure?

Cosmetic surgery can definitely make you feel better about your appearance, but only if you already have a positive self-image before any cosmetic surgery is done. People who have had cosmetic surgery have experienced greater self-confidence and improved social or sex lives, but there is not any solid evidence that it will improve your mental well-being.

Other Considerations for Cosmetic Surgery

Once you have determined that cosmetic surgery may be the appropriate option for you, it is also important to consider the following:

1. How is your overall health?

2. Do you have realistic expectations about the outcome of the surgery? By changing your appearance, there are no guarantees that it will solve your problems at home or at work.

3. If you are experiencing a very stressful time in your life such as divorce, grieving the loss of a loved one, job loss or mental illness, consider cosmetic surgery once you have overcome these difficult issues.

4. What can you afford to have done? Cosmetic surgery is expensive and typically not covered by insurance. Most of the time there is not a finance option for this type of surgery, so you will need to have the full amount up front before the procedure.

5. Do you have the time? With some procedures, there may be an extensive amount of recovery time (anywhere from one day to one month) that may require you to take time off from work or take you away from your household responsibilities.

6. Consider the risks involved; like any other surgery, there are possible problems that may arise or side effects that you may experience.
* Nausea, dizziness and pain
* Numbness and tingling
* Fluid buildup
* Poor blood circulation
* Infection
* Bleeding
* Uneven or lumpy appearance

7. The outcome may not be what you had hoped or expected. There are instances where cosmetic surgery has gone terribly wrong and the outcome was devastating. These are rare instances, but are still possible.

8. Plastic surgery is not suitable for people who are prone to mood swings or erratic behavior, abuse drugs or alcohol, or are receiving treatment for clinical depression or other mental illness.

9. Get other opinions. Make sure you chose a licensed surgeon who will discuss the pros and cons of your procedure, and will also be honest with you about what to expect after surgery.

* Make sure your surgeon is experienced and certified in the type of procedure you are having done
* Seek recommendations from people you trust, not merely a referral service

The Decision is Made

If you have now decided that the time is right for you to have cosmetic surgery, make sure you have a support network that will help you both physically and emotionally before and after the procedure. It is common that you may experience a bout of depression after surgery, so it's essential that you have loved ones around who aren't negative or judgmental about cosmetic surgery.

Don't worry what you look like immediately after surgery. As with any procedure, you will not see the change right away, as there may be some swelling, bruising or scars that will fade with time. If you are having a procedure done that will dramatically change your appearance, be aware that you may need some time to adjust to the changes of your body, as will those who are close to you.
About the Author
Dr. Lycka is one of North America's foremost authorities on cosmetic and reconstructive surgery. You can find out more at http://www.barrylyckamd.com and http://www.restoringyouthonline.com. He is founder of The Ethical Cosmetic Surgery Association (http://www.ecsaonline.com).
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