No matter which cosmetic procedure you’re considering having, it's important to understand your motivation for wanting plastic surgery and whether the results you’re looking for are something that surgery can achieve. Having cosmetic surgery, such as breast implants, a facelift or rhinoplasty (nose job), is a big decision and there are several things to consider before deciding to take this exciting, life-changing step.
I’ve been a plastic surgeon for twenty years and I can say from experience that during the entire process of having cosmetic surgery, you need to be honest with yourself. You're the one who has to live with the outcome. If you rush into surgery without thoroughly thinking about it, it might be the wrong result, even if the surgery goes well.
I would also like to advise you not to have surgery on a whim. If you have thought through the entire scenario and prepared yourself for the procedure, the recovery period and the results, the experience will be much more positive.
Questions to ask yourself when considering plastic surgery
People might seek cosmetic surgery to solve problems or during difficult times in their lives when they feel bad about themselves — divorce, for example. These are not good reasons to have surgery. I always advise my patients to ask themselves these questions before undergoing a surgical procedure:
- How long have I been thinking about this surgery?
- Did anything specific set off this desire?
- What is my current life situation (happy, sad, stressed)?
- Why am I thinking about surgery now?
- Are there other ways I can achieve the results I want?
- Am I expecting the surgery to change my life as well as my appearance?
- Am I considering cosmetic surgery for myself or to please someone else?
- Am I expecting the surgery to improve my relationship(s)?
- Am I expecting surgery to improve my social skills or job prospects?
- Can surgery really give me the look I want?
If after asking all these questions, you decide to have plastic surgery, remember that it is only one aspect of your wellbeing, which also includes your lifestyle, nutrition, work, family, friends and social life.
When not to have plastic surgery
- Not feeling good about yourself. If you're feeling anxious about your relationships, social situations or work, don't assume that surgery will make everything better. Instead, I would strongly urge you to consider counseling. Talking with a qualified, professional therapist could help you find ways to overcome these anxieties and build your confidence.
- Mental health issues. If you're being actively treated for a major psychiatric disorder, you should postpone the decision to have surgery. You're in a vulnerable position and may not be able to make an informed decision.
- Aiming for perfection. Sometimes people can have an unrealistic view of how they really look and can see imperfections where there are none. A reputable plastic surgeon will not operate on a part of the body that he/she considers to be normal because a patient who wants to change that body part usually has a psychological issue that they should resolve first before undergoing surgery.
- Wanting to please someone else. Having plastic surgery should be your decision and yours alone. If you feel someone else is pressuring you into having surgery, such as a partner, you may want to seriously reconsider the relationship. You never want to permanently change the way you look to make someone else happy. If you want to have surgery, by all means go ahead, but do it for your own reasons and not because someone else wants you to look a certain way.
Alternatives to plastic surgery
There are many non-surgical cosmetic procedures such as injectables, that are much less invasive than surgery and still give you beautiful, natural-looking results. These include:
If you are interested in plastic surgery
If you are thinking about having plastic surgery and would like to schedule a free consultation, please contact me. I will send you additional information prior to your appointment. In addition,please visit my website where I describe all of the plastic surgeries and non-surgical cosmetic procedures I offer.
Board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS), a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) and the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (ASAPS), and a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons (FACS), Samuel J. Beran, MD is a plastic surgeon with offices in Manhattan, Harrison and Mount Kisco, NY. With years of experience and a thorough command of the most advanced techniques and technologies, he consistently provides his patients with the highest level of plastic, cosmetic and reconstructive surgery of the breast, face, skin and body.