Am I A Candidate for Cosmetic Surgery?
Undergoing any type of surgery is a serious endeavor. In cases when cosmetic procedures are voluntary rather than urgent, and require extensive alternations, it is best to seek professional advice and take extra consideration. Before you undergo cosmetic surgery, it’s crucial to assess whether you are a suitable candidate and acknowledge the potential benefits and drawbacks. Being an ideal candidate for cosmetic surgery depends on many factors. While some individuals may be optimal candidates, others may not be. To determine whether cosmetic surgery is the right path for you, the first step would be to seek advice and guidance from a board-certified surgeon. However, if you are in the preliminary stages of exploring this topic and its general information, take a look at these several key factors that can help you determine if you should proceed with a huge change such as cosmetic surgery.
What is your BMI?
BMI stands for Body Mass Index, which is a measurement of an individual’s body fat based on height and weight. BMI is widely used in healthcare as a simple and quick screening tool that helps medical professionals determine whether people’s weight is within a healthy range of their height.
In terms of cosmetic surgery, it is crucial to mention that obesity can cause numerous and significant complications during and after the surgery. The excess tissue can lead to increased vascularity, greater blood flow, higher risks of infections, and blood clots. Additionally, obese patients would take much more time to heal and recover from cosmetic surgeries since suture placement can also pose significant challenges.
Although some obese patients consider undergoing cosmetic surgery to receive transformative results and lose weight by going under the knife, they should be aware of limitations and potential consequences. Some fat areas are not safe to remove during the liposuction or any other procedure due to health reasons and doing otherwise can only create more harm. So, being realistic when it comes to losing weight through cosmetic surgery is something every patient should be aware of.
For those obese patients who still want to pursue any kind of cosmetic surgery, it is advisable to lose some weight naturally and therefore minimize any potential negative effects and surgical complications.
Do you smoke?
There is no special need to emphasize the multiple negative effects cigarettes and other tobacco products have on our health. Apart from nicotine, they contain over 4,000 chemicals harmful to us and our surroundings. If you are a smoker, discuss quitting this habit with your doctor.
The most crucial impact that nicotine has on our bodies is delayed wound healing. This chemical causes the narrowing of the blood vessels, which further decreases the flow of blood and oxygen to the healing tissue after the surgery. Cosmetic surgeries, such as tummy tucks, implicate major trauma to the body, which may require extensive incisions and sutures. A quick healing process is important for minimizing complications. If our body fails to heal itself properly and tissue starts to die and deteriorate, this can easily lead to an increased risk of necrosis and other infections, as well as to a revised surgery.
Another disadvantage of smoking is that it increases the level of carbon monoxide in the blood, which lowers the oxygen supply in tissues. A satisfactory level of the oxygen in blood ensures the survival of the treated tissue.
Increased pain, loss of skin, frequent infections, thick scarring, permanent vessel damage, and blood clots are just some of the many consequences that smoking has on patients who undergo cosmetic surgery.
Not only do classic cigarettes contain nicotine, but cigars, chewing tobacco, patches, pipes, and e-cigarettes are equally detrimental. Even people who are not active smokers, but are passively exposed to it, aren’t adequate candidates for cosmetic surgery because only one puff of smoke can narrow blood vessels.
If you are seriously considering cosmetic surgery, follow your surgeon’s advice and recommendations and quit smoking at least a few weeks before and after the procedure. It won’t be bad to quit for life, too!
Do you have a chronic illness?
The risks of complications from cosmetic surgeries are greater for those with chronic illnesses, especially diabetes. It is essential for patients to disclose their entire medical history to their surgeons for complete and appropriate evaluation. Uncontrolled medical conditions are more likely to increase surgical complications and prolong the healing process. Thoroughly assessing the patient’s medical history helps in understanding the steps that should be taken prior to surgery.
Diabetes is the number one chronic disease that may affect your candidacy for cosmetic surgery. In a nutshell, diabetes is a chronic disease that reflects in your body’s failure to effectively use the sugar from your diet and leads to abnormally high levels of sugar in your blood.
A high level of sugar can result in excessive bleeding, poor and slow healing process, and heart issues. Diabetes also represents a concern because too much insulin can affect anesthesia during the surgery and a higher risk of infection after it.
No matter if your diabetes is chronic or not, your surgeon will assess the severity of your condition and determine whether you are the right candidate or not. In most cases, diabetes that is not chronic is not as dangerous as a chronic one. However, your surgeon will take care of all the necessary precautions and measures during the surgery and recovery period.
Many other autoimmune diseases can create problems during and after cosmetic surgeries. If you have psoriasis, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, chronic rheumatic heart disease, or any other, make sure to let your surgeon know about it. Many chronic autoimmune diseases can be life-threatening and surgeons would often not approve the cosmetic procedure.
High blood pressure and other blood disorders are other problems that must be taken into consideration in pre-operative consultations. Blood disorders, such as blood clotting or excessive bleeding may lead to experiencing serious complications during the surgery. Just like in other cases, your surgeon will assess the severity of your condition and advice avoiding the surgery.
Do you have realistic expectations?
When considering cosmetic surgery, you should know that it cannot do magic, but it can significantly improve your appearance and lifestyle. The individual’s decision to undergo cosmetic surgery is often driven by a combination of emotional and social factors. Whether you want to look younger for professional or personal reasons, change a physical feature you don’t like, or improve your life in general, having realistic expectations about those changes is something that will lead you throughout this process.
It is easy to convince yourself that you are doing cosmetic surgery to gain more appreciation, save your relationship/marriage, or fit into society. When you undergo cosmetic surgery for all the wrong reasons, you will be nothing more than disappointed and less happy than before. Cosmetic surgery can’t change your life or solve your problems. It can’t make you look like your favorite celebrity, or make you more loved. Cosmetic surgery is there to drive your confidence and make you feel better about yourself.
You will know you are the proper candidate for cosmetic surgery once you realize that perfection doesn’t exist and that cosmetic surgery can only improve and not perfect your appearance.
Communicating your expectations and desires with your surgeon is nothing to be ashamed of. An understanding and professional surgeon will be able to discuss your expectations with you, as well as surgical options suitable for the look you want to achieve. Who knows, you may end up more satisfied than you hoped for.
Before putting your money, time, and health on the line, consider once again the true reasons behind your desire to have cosmetic surgery. Is it because you know it will make you truly happier with yourself, or you are doing it for someone else?
Do you have help and support at home?
Depending on the length and extent of the surgery, you can leave the hospital on the same day and act like nothing happened, or you may need more time to recover and receive proper care at home. It is more likely you will need someone to take care of you during your recovery and provide you with help for the first few days.
Your surgeon will expect you to have someone to be there for you after the surgery. Otherwise, you may reconsider having the surgery. Listening to your doctor’s instructions and advice is not optional, it is mandatory. You, as well as your family members who will take care of you, should receive and follow detailed post-recovery instructions, including medications, dosages, wound care, how, when, and how much to move, diet plans, work, and other factors.
Recovering from surgery can take several weeks and based on the severity of your procedure, you may be able to perform basic daily and personal tasks during the day, or none at all. Someone should always be by your side to help you go to the bathroom, prepare meals, take care of medications, ensure general comfort, and be around for any potential emergencies.
Ready to talk with Dr. Rimma Finkel?
Dr. Finkel is here for all your questions if you are determined to become a candidate for cosmetic surgery. She will answer all your questions and make you comfortable about your decision. Schedule now!