Are You a Good Candidate for Cosmetic or Plastic Surgery?

Someone considering cosmetic surgery needs to know some important information that helps determine if they’re a good candidate. Good candidates for cosmetic surgery are people in good health, who have realistic expectations and an understanding of the risks involved with the procedure they’re considering. Inappropriate candidates for cosmetic surgery are those with serious health conditions such as heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, depression or a bleeding disorder. Smokers, those who consume too much alcohol and obese people are also poor candidates for cosmetic surgery.

Pre-surgery considerations

The cosmetic surgery surgeon may suggest that patients make certain lifestyle changes before undergoing the procedure. These changes can include quitting smoking for 2-4 weeks before surgery and refraining from smoking for 2-4 weeks post-procedure. Quitting smoking enables proper healing of the body and even non-smokers should avoid exposure to secondhand smoke before and following cosmetic surgery. The surgeon and patient need to have an extensive discussion before surgery about the patient’s lifestyle, health, medical conditions, supplements and medication. This helps the surgeon and patient come to the right decision about a procedure. Patients considering cosmetic surgery need to disclose what type of herbal products and vitamins they take because some of these non-prescription products can interfere with surgery medications and increase the risk of bleeding.

Types of cosmetic procedures

A person’s unique characteristics such as skin type factor into the decision to undergo a cosmetic surgery procedure. People with light colored hair and fair skin can benefit from skin resurfacing while those with delicate, thin nasal skin acquire the most positive results from nose surgery, also called rhinoplasty. To help someone considering cosmetic surgery make an informed decision, he or she needs to understand the specific facial procedures available including:

Nose surgery (rhinoplasty) – Good candidates are those with a large, droopy or crooked nose or a nose with a bump. Inappropriate candidates are children, those who play contact sports and people with thick skin. In 15-20% of cases, best results require additional procedures.

Eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty) – Good candidates are those with under-eye bags, droopy eyelids or puffiness. Inappropriate candidates are those with crow’s feet, dark circles or fine lines. Patients need to accept the risk of dry eyes, eyelid pulling, visible scars and the extremely rare risk of blindness.

Brow/forehead lift – Good candidates are those with deep forehead wrinkles, frown lines or heavy eyebrows. Inappropriate candidates are those who scar easily or are balding. Patients need to be able to accept the risk of numbness in the forehead and scalp and the possibility of losing hair around the surgical area.

Cheek implants – Good candidates are those with early cheek sagging or flat cheekbones. Inappropriate candidates are those who have excess skin sagging better remedied with a facelift. Patients need to understand the risk that cheek implants can be rejected by the body, shift to an abnormal position or become infected.

Lip augmentation – Good candidates are those with thinned lips or who are younger and want fuller lips. Inappropriate candidates are those with diabetes, herpes, an autoimmune disease, serious allergic reactions or who have taken the acne drug Accutane recently. Patients need to understand the risk of an allergic reaction to the material implanted in the lips.

Chin implant – Good candidates are those with a chin not in balance with their nose or those with a weak chin. Inappropriate candidates are those with a dental bite that requires realignment of the jaw. Patients must be willing to accept the risk of implant infection, rejection and shifting.

Facelift/necklift (rhytidectomy) – Good candidates are those where the skin and soft tissues of the face and neck have deep wrinkle sagging, double chin or jowls. Inappropriate candidates include those who are significantly overweight or who have skin that isn’t flexible and elastic. Patients need to accept the risk of scarring, numbness, skin loss, change in hairline or partial facial paralysis.

Patients need to understand and remember that not all cosmetic surgery procedures last forever and that nothing can stop the natural process of aging. Someone in their 30s who undergoes a facelift may only experience the benefits for 10 years while a person who waits until their 40s or 50s may only need one or two procedures to maintain results. Do you want more information about plastic surgery and cosmetic surgery? This is a good resource: Belcara Health

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