[By Anna Laurie]
In our modern society that strives for perfection, plastic surgery had certainly gone mainstream with many psychology experts championing it as an acceptable way for people to improve upon their self-esteem. However, many of these procedures are fairly major and to hop on top of the operating table without careful consideration is simply pure folly. Everyone should have a right to make their own decision, but I would recommend not making it at a spur of the moment. Here are some key points one should consider before undergoing cosmetic correction, so that you will be fully prepared before you embark on your makeover journey.
Dollars & Sense
Cosmetic surgeries are usually not cheap so it’s vital to figure out how you’re going to pay for the procedure you wish to undergo. Unfortunately, almost all insurance plans and most health relief subsidies do not cover for elective plastic surgery— meaning that you’ll have to foot the bill out of your own pocket. If you have saved the money with the intention of spending it to make yourself look better, so that you will feel better, then you may be ready. You should not put yourself under unnecessary financial stress or worse, be coerced to choose a surgeon based solely on price point due to the tightness of your purse strings. So the best advice is really to plan and save until you are in a financial position to comfortably afford the surgery, including but not limited to medical fees and other life expenses incurred while you’re recuperating from your surgery.
Mental health & Life situation
Most reputable plastic surgeons will evaluate the mental health of any patient who walk through their doors before deciding upon his or her suitability for plastic surgery. Having a little nip and tuck can dramatically boost a person’s self-esteem but it’s not going to cure proven mental afflictions such as anxiety and depression.
Many plastic surgery experts strongly discourage individuals from undergoing surgeries during dramatic life events. Consider carefully your life situation at that moment in time. If you just stepped out from a failed relationship or marriage, or are suffering from a job loss, it might be a better idea to get your emotions in order before jumping into a body-altering and life-changing situation. Unlike impulsive shopping and binge eating, the “damages” done with having cosmetic surgery while your nerves are riding on an emotion rollercoaster are at times irreversible with the risk of permanent scarring.
Credentials & Reputability
Finding a surgeon that matches your budget is important but never ever go to one who isn’t properly certified even if you can save mega dollars by doing so. It’s absolutely vital to choose a provider who is properly trained and certified by the relevant board of authority. If you are considering haivng procedures done overseas, it is especially important to make sure you get these issues sorted out. Do not based your decision solely on “word of mouth” as many backstreet surgeons would have years of experience under their belt but are nevertheless operating without proper licensing.
Go through the before and after pictures of his works, asking specifically for those that depict the surgery of your choice so that you’ll be able to judge for yourself if the results match those that you’re after.
“Always look at those sugar coated online images depicting amazing transformations with a pinch of salt as they seldom show what patients got to go through during recuperation to achieve them,” warns Dr. Tan Ying Chien, consultant plastic surgeon with The Sloane Clinic. “The dramatic results are often achieved via a series of procedures with protracted periods of healing that can be both painful and costly.”
Risks & Recovery
Any surgery will come with a certain set of risks. It’s important that your surgeon is open with discussing potential risks and complications that accompany the procedure you’ve chosen so that you’re aware and prepared, just in case.
The fast pace of our modern society makes it rather hard to take time off to recover from cosmetic surgery. Work and social commitments often make it difficult to plan time for recovery, especially so for procedures done on the face. Most find it rather easy to plan for surgeries on the body, as it is usually easy to hide with appropriate clothing. A good, honest and experienced surgeon will be able to give you a realistic idea during the initial consultation to help you schedule your surgery for a convenient time that fits within your life. He will also be able to assist you in drawing up a plan to deal with the recovery.
I have never had plastic surgery but I’m sure I would consider doing so when the need arise someday. I also know how quickly a specific trouble spot can take over your thinking and am all for effective procedures that help someone feel better about themselves. However, plastic surgery can be pretty major both physically and mentally. Always go in with your eyes wide open and do the necessary research and preparation before you say yes to it.
To help you understand more about cosmetic procedures and discover how you too can transform your face with the latest aesthetic techniques designed with the Asian face in mind, mark your calendar for The Face Of Beauty, an interative workshop featuring well-known Korean plastic surgeon, Dr Moon Hyoung Jin in collaboration with Singapore plastic surgeon, Dr Tan Ying Chien.
* Selected as Article of the Month Jun 2014*