Embarking on plastic surgery, no matter which procedure, requires considerable consideration and decision-making. There are wide-ranging implications to factor in – it’s an operation and so will require going under anaesthetic and as a result there is the potential for medical risk. There is also an aesthetic risk – will you be happy with the results? Often procedures are not reversible, and if they are it would take another operation and twice the recovery period to do so.
On the other hand, it can produce great results that can create feelings of happiness and confidence, as a recent study discovered. So what factors should you take in to account before reaching this decision?
1. Can I Afford It?
Often, prospective plastic surgery patients will take personal desire in to account before anything else, however finances should really be your first concern. Cosmetic surgery does not come cheaply and so you ought to research the cost and the impact that this will have on you first. Ideally you will have the amount already saved up, or a savings plan and a time frame in which to save up the necessary funds and which still allows you to prioritise essential expenditure.
Some people resort to loans to pay for surgery however this is not always a good idea, unless you are certain of your financial security in the months to come. If you lost your job, for instance, how would you keep up your loan repayments? If you come to struggle with the monthly repayments would the cosmetic work have been worth it?
Plastic Surgeon Adrian Richards, of Aurora Clinics in the UK, advises caution:
“We do discuss finances with our patience as our initial consultation covers all aspects of their care, including whether or not they can afford it. Some patients asking for our most popular surgery, breast implants, want to copy their idols yet have little idea of the cost involved.”
2. Am I Getting It For The Right Reasons?
You will likely be considering plastic surgery to make yourself feel happier or more confident about an aspect of your appearance that you are currently unhappy about. It may be difficult to ascertain whether or not you are unhappy in general or merely with this specific physical aspect of yourself. Try to do so though – if you are feeling low and are considering this as a quick fix then it likely won’t solve your problems.
How are you feeling in general? If you are overall generally content and are very specific about what you are looking to improve, and why, then there is no psychological reason against you undertaking your desired procedure. If, on the other hand, you are feeling low in self-esteem and are unhappy with your appearance in general, then it may be that cosmetic surgery is not the right solution for you.
If this is the case you may wish to undergo a course of counselling before making any major decisions about physical work to your body or face.
3. Have I Allowed Plenty of Time To Get Used To My Decision?
If you are comfortable that you can afford to go ahead and are sure of the reasons for doing so, then why wait? New boobs or are new nose are not the same as new outfit, however, being that you are stuck with them for the long-term. Because of this it is sensible to allow some time, weeks or even months, before making your final decision.
People seeking their first tattoo are often advised to wait a whole year once they have decided on their design, to make sure that they are definite about it. Considering the permanence of both decisions, a year is not really that long in the scheme of things.
4. Will My Employer Accommodate Me?
You will also need to consider the logistics of your decision, which for many people will mean notifying their workplace. Make sure that you are able to take adequate time off for your recovery; it’s also sensible to have contingency plans in place. Would your employer allow you extra time if there were complications, for instance?
Once you are satisfied with all of these criteria you need to start researching where you will undertake the surgery, and by which surgeon. Ask to see qualifications, testimonials and before and after pictures in your initial consultation, as well as doing your own research in to reviews and feedback for a specific clinic or doctor.
And after that, good luck with your decision!
by Dani Porter
Dani is a freelance writer who specialises in the beauty industry, with a focus on aesthetic surgery and treatments.