While more and more people might be considering plastic surgery these days — a study from RealSelf.com found that about 20 percent of women were actively considering some form of surgery — there are still some people who have absolutely ruled it out. About 20 percent of women surveyed said they wouldn’t see any type of medical professional to change the way a certain feature looked. About a quarter of women surveyed would try a retail option or non-invasive treatment, but not surgery.
A number of relatively common fears keep people from seriously considering plastic surgery. While being concerned about a procedure is to be expected, many of the fears connected to surgery are unfounded.
How Will You Pay for It?
Admittedly, plastic surgery isn’t cheap, or at least, it shouldn’t be, when it’s performed by a board certified facial plastic surgeon in a hospital or surgical center setting. According to the RealSelf survey, about 60 percent of women were concerned about going into debt for surgery or being otherwise unable to pay for it.
Financing is available for many surgeries and minimally invasive procedures. For the most part, working with a company that specializes in funding plastic surgery or other medical procedures is a better option than paying for a procedure with a private loan or credit card. Some companies, such as CareCredit, offer an interest-free option, allowing you to pay off the balance over a period of six or 12 months, without having to pay interest charges.
Even if a small amount of interest is charged, breaking the full cost of the surgery and other fees down into a set monthly payments can make the cost of surgery more manageable for many people. The trick is to make sure you can afford that monthly cost before deciding to go forward with the procedure.
Will the Pain and Recovery Process Be Unbearable?
Few people want to subject themselves to considerable amounts of pain and discomfort after surgery. Fear about the level of pain they might experience keeps plenty of people from pursuing a procedure like a facelift. For the most part, though, pain after surgery is usually pretty minimal. There might be some soreness or discomfort, but many patients find that a pain reliever is enough to help minimize it.
A recovery period is needed after any type of plastic surgery procedure. But the recovery might not be as long as you fear. For example, many people are able to return to work within two weeks. After an eyelid lift, you can expect to go back to work after about a week. Your activities will most likely be limited for another few weeks or a month, but you won’t be confined to your bed or unable to see people for more than a day or two.
What About the Risks?
No surgical procedure is completely risk-free. A patient might have a negative reaction to the anesthesia or might have a lot of bleeding during surgery. But generally, the risks during and after a procedure are rare. Less than 3 percent of patients experience complications after facial plastic surgery.
There are a number of things you can do before a procedure and afterwards to minimize your risk for complications. Your surgeon will let you know which medications, vitamins and herbal supplements should be avoided to reduce the risk of bleeding or an interaction with the anesthestic. If you smoke, you’ll be told to quit a few weeks before surgery and to abstain for a few weeks afterward. Smoking and using other tobacco products can interfere with your body’s ability to heal, as the nicotine in tobacco restricts blood flow.
Will You Hate the Results?
You’ve probably seen the results of a poorly performed plastic surgery, either on a celebrity or on a person you’ve passed on the street. While your surgeon doesn’t have a crystal ball that can say with 100 percent certainty that you’ll love your surgical results, you can rest assured that an experienced facial plastic surgeon uses techniques that produce a natural look.
Discussing your concerns about surgery and what you hope to get from it, in depth, with the surgeon before the procedure will help you both get on the same page.
Finding a Surgeon You Trust
There are a lot of surgeons out there who claim to perform facelifts and other surgeries, but not everyone is a board certified facial plastic surgeon. About 40 percent of the women in the RealSelf survey stated that they were concerned about finding a surgeon they could trust.
One of the first things to look for when you’re checking out potential surgeons is board certification. Being board certified means that a surgeon has completed years of specialized training, passed an examination, and has performed a certain number of procedures. After you’ve found a board certified facial plastic surgeon, the next step is to schedule a consultation and get a feel for that surgeon. Even if a doctor is very talented and skilled, you might not have a good rapport with him or her. You might want to schedule several consultations with a number of doctors, until you find one you can talk to easily and who understands your concerns.
At the Naderi Center in Virginia and Maryland, Dr. Jessica Kulak is an aging face specialist who specializes in surgeries such as facelift, eyelid lift, and minimally invasive procedures. If you are concerned about the effects of aging on your face, but nervous about the idea of surgery, schedule a consultation with Dr. Kulak. She’ll give you the full scoop on specific surgeries and make recommendations for you. Call 703-481-0002 for an appointment in Virginia or (301) 222-2020 for an appointment in Maryland.