Liposuction, tummy tucks, breast implants… They are performed all over the world on a day-to-day basis. The reality is that plastic surgery is no longer news in itself, as it has become something available and accessible for people from different social and economic backgrounds. Moreover, with the beauty standards of modern society presented everywhere, we are often led to believe that beauty is a commodity, that it can be bought from every corner on the street, and the only requirement is to have the money to pay for it. But is this the reality? Can we get plastic surgery the same way we get hair extensions or acrylic nails?
In the eternal search for beauty and youth, what could be more helpful? The anatomical gifts we received from Mother Nature or is having money just enough? Many people will say that with money you can achieve everything, but they are wrong. The morphological characteristics of the patient are essential when trying to achieve a certain result through plastic surgery. Moreover, the health and emotional condition also play a significant role in determining the eligibility for one procedure or the other. In other words, plastic surgery is not only an issue of having the money to finance it, but also being able to undergo it in the first place. So can anybody undergo plastic surgery?
The results of plastic surgery
When it comes to plastic surgery, we need to have the big picture in mind. For this, we need to understand if the results are according to our expectations. Unrealistic results are one of the main contraindications to undergo plastic surgery. When considering the results of plastic surgery, there are three major aspects that influence the outcome:
– The physical characteristics of the patient before the surgery
– The skills and experience of the plastic surgeon
– The patient understanding and accepting the consequences of the procedure chosen (a good balance between expectations and possible results)
Due to the abundance of information available online and offline from reliable and less reliable sources, people seem to believe that any expectation can be considered normal, doable, and guaranteed if they just choose the right plastic surgeon.
Unfortunately, the results can’t be guaranteed when it comes to plastic surgery. This is not a factory that uses machines to build cars; this is a human being working with human tissues, and mathematics don’t apply here. Even the most experienced plastic surgeon can get results that are not completely satisfactory to the standards of the patient. But again, there are certain cases in which not much can be done in one sitting. For example, if you have V shape buttocks and you want to look exactly like the Kardashians after butt implant surgery, you will be disappointed, no matter how talented the plastic surgeon is. Changing this buttock shape is difficult (almost impossible), and it usually is a process or a combination of procedures and not just one simple intervention. Another example would be having an A cup bra size and wanting to jump directly to an F cup. This is not recommended, and it might not even be possible due to the limitations set up by your anatomical features (i.e. little mammary gland tissue to cover a big size implant).
We often describe the work of a good plastic surgeon in terms of art, and it is very appropriate. However, keep in mind that a painter works on a blank canvas while the plastic surgeon is faced with certain limitations from the start. This leads us to a question I often get from my patients: “Will my breasts look exactly like my friend’s who had the procedure with you?” In a vast majority of cases, the answer is no to this question. Even if the same plastic surgeon would perform the same procedure with the same surgical plan on sisters, the results can be very different exactly because there are morphological characteristics that are different from patient to patient.
When considering plastic surgery or thinking that it is a one size fits all, keep in mind that your initial anatomy counts enormously towards the end result. It is this initial anatomy that might even deem you as ineligible for one procedure or the other. Just think about fat transfer. On paper, they sound great and are an easy and efficient method to sculpt and redefine your body. But in practice, they can only be performed on patients with adipose fat tissues in other areas of the body.
Your ability to undergo plastic surgery or not can only be determined by your plastic surgeon and after a proper medical examination and a thorough discussion about your dreams and expectations from the procedure. Now let’s take a look at who can actually undergo plastic surgery.
The ideal candidate for plastic surgery
Any surgical procedure entails a risk, but the preexistence of chronic afflictions makes this risk increase exponentially. People suffering from diabetes, arterial hypertension, heart and lung conditions, severe depression, or people who are obese or severely overweight are usually not the ideal candidates for plastic surgery. Also, smoking and alcohol are on the list of contraindications before undergoing plastic surgery. You need to discuss these issues with your plastic surgeon before the intervention as it is his responsibility to help you make the correct decision knowing all the factors involved.
So how does the ideal candidate for plastic surgery look like? Well, he or she doesn’t smoke, is emotionally stable, and generally speaking has a healthy lifestyle. This patient will also have realistic expectations from the surgery, and he or she will understand that plastic surgery is meant to improve your appearance and not change your life altogether. This patient should also understand that there are complications that can occur after the procedure, as well as long-term consequences. For example, in the case of breast reduction surgery, breastfeeding after the intervention might be difficult or even impossible. It is common for patients undergoing plastic surgery to experience a certain level of post-operative pain and discomfort. A surgical procedure, even if performed for aesthetic purposes, is not the same as getting hair extensions. There will be a recovery period of adjusting to the changes induced by surgery. The patient needs to be aware and accept this to be eligible for plastic surgery.
To get a clear idea if you are one of the people who could undergo plastic surgery, you can try answering these questions:
– Are your expectations from the procedure realistic?
– Are you able to manage in case of unsatisfactory results?
– Are you fully aware of the risks and complications?
– Can you take the necessary time off for the recovery period?
– Are you undergoing the procedure for a valid reason?
– Is the intervention your own choice?
The answer to all these questions must be a firm yes before scheduling your plastic surgery intervention. To help you in making the best decision, always choose a board-certified and experienced plastic surgeon who performs the procedure you are interested in routinely.
Weight fluctuations, aging or the simple effects of gravity, as well as anatomic characteristics that are not in harmony with your body image, are aspects that can create the need to undergo a plastic surgery intervention. To be able to enjoy the benefits of satisfactory results after an aesthetic intervention, you will need to undergo a thorough medical examination during the pre-operative consultation and be in good physical and emotional condition.
Not anybody can undergo plastic surgery. There are limits imposed either by your anatomy or your health condition. However, a responsible and experienced plastic surgeon will help you decide what path is the right one for you, if you are a good candidate for the procedure you have in mind, how to prepare for it, and what to expect in terms of aesthetic results.