Are you thinking about getting facial plastic surgery? Whether you’re considering a facelift, eyelid lift, rhinoplasty or other facial procedure, it is important to fully understand the procedure, what you can expect in terms of results and recovery, and your personal reasons for wanting plastic surgery. If you’re still not sure if a surgical procedure could be right for you, take a look at these top factors to consider before getting facial plastic surgery.
1. What’s Your Motivation?
When considering any major life decision, it’s a good idea to think about why you want the procedure done in the first place. Do you want a facelift because you think it might help fix another aspect of your life such as a broken relationship? Or is your motivation for plastic surgery more along the lines of wanting to look and feel refreshed and more self-confident? The latter is a much healthier reason to consider a facelift or other procedure than the former.
2. Do You Have Realistic Expectations?
In addition to your motivations, your expectations for your final results will play a key role in helping you decide if you could be a good candidate for facial plastic surgery. While a facelift can help you look years younger, it’s not going to transform a 60-year-old face into a 20-year-old face. Understand the limitations of the procedure you’re considering to make sure you don’t end up disappointed or discouraged afterward.
3. Are You In a Good State of Emotional Health?
Similarly, you want to make sure you’re not making a rash decision to get a brow lift or other procedure while going through something emotionally taxing. When we feel sad, depressed or otherwise troubled, we can sometimes make decisions that we otherwise would never make while in a healthy emotional state.
If you’re going through a breakup, divorce, unemployment or other difficult situation, wait until you’re able to think logically and clearly before making a big life decision.
4. Is Plastic Surgery Financially Doable for You?
According to statistics from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the average cost of a facelift in 2018 was $7,655. This number does not include added costs such as anesthesia and operating room fees. While this number can vary based on your location and the specific procedure(s) you choose, it can be used as a ballpark figure to help you decide if facial plastic surgery could be affordable for you.
Most plastic surgery centers offer financing options to help make your procedure as affordable as possible. However, if your procedure will make you unable to afford your day-to-day living expenses, you might consider saving up before moving forward.
5. Have You Consulted a Plastic Surgeon?
Even if you’re not entirely sure that you’re ready for plastic surgery just yet, scheduling a consultation with a plastic surgeon can help you better understand your options and help you decide.
When choosing a facial plastic surgeon, always look for:
- Board certification by the American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery
- Ample experience performing facial plastic surgeries
- Excellent online reviews and credentials.
You also want to be wary of any plastic surgeon who advertises “too good to be true” prices or who seems pushy or coercive during your consultation. You should never feel pressured into plastic surgery.
6. Do You Understand the Risks?
Any surgical procedure is going to come along with certain risks, so be sure you discuss the risks specific to your procedure with your plastic surgeon. A good candidate for plastic surgery should be in good general health, without any major health complications. Your plastic surgeon should perform a physical exam and take a detailed look at your medical history prior to moving forward with a surgical procedure.
One of the most common questions that people ask prior to facial plastic surgery is, “Will this leave a scar?” In short, yes, all surgical procedures — including those for cosmetic purposes — pose a risk of scarring.
While a skilled plastic surgeon can place incisions so they are easily hidden, know that the tradeoff of plastic surgery is some scarring.
7. Have You Considered Nonsurgical Options First?
Often, people start with a liquid facelift, both to see what their surgical results might look like and to hold off on surgery until treatments like fillers, BOTOX® and lasers no longer yield the same dramatic results.
If you haven’t explored your nonsurgical options yet, you might consider those prior to moving forward with facial plastic surgery. There is now a wide variety of nonsurgical cosmetic treatments available that may be able to help you achieve your goals without surgery. In other cases, some people choose to combine surgical and nonsurgical solutions for optimal results.
Dr. Waleed Ezzat is board certified by the American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and the American Board of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery. He is a fellow of the American College of Surgeons and an active member of the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and the American Academy of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery. He is also an assistant professor at the Boston University School of Medicine, and frequently presents at medical conferences both nationally and internationally.