The chilly winter months can often be an ideal time for a surgical procedure. The weather’s unpleasant enough that you won’t feel as though you’re missing out on anything when you’re spending time at home recovering. The hustle and bustle of the recently past holiday season can make the idea of spending time sitting back, relaxing and recovering seem pretty appealing.
Whether you’ve been thinking of having plastic surgery for years now or have only recently made the decision, there is a good way to approach it and a not so-good way. There’s are some pretty important dos and don’ts to think about that can help you make the most of a facial plastic surgery procedure, whether it’s a facelift, eyelid surgery, or something else.
Do: Research the Procedure
One of the best things you can do before any procedure is research. You want to make sure the surgery is actually going to do what you are expecting it to do, for one thing. You also want to have a general sense of what you can expect after the procedure is over, in terms of recovery time and healing. Finally, you want to do a fair amount of research about your surgeon.
There are a few misconceptions out there about what certain surgical procedures actually do. For example, a facelift focuses on the lower portion of your face, reducing loose skin in the chin, lower cheek and neck area. It’s an ideal surgery if you are struggling with loose jowls or with sagging cheeks. If your problem area is on the upper part of your face, for example, if you have drooping eyebrows or lines across your forehead, a facelift isn’t the appropriate surgery. Instead, you might see better results from a brow lift or eyelid lift.
Finding out what the surgeon will do during the procedure can also help you better prepare for the surgery. Some people fear that a facelift will make their face look tight or pulled back. While that might have been true when older methods were used, modern facelift techniques produce a much more natural looking result. Ask the surgeon about the techniques he or she uses and ask to see pictures of former patients, so that you can get a sense of the quality of the work he or she performs.
Along with discussing the surgical process with your surgeon, you’ll also want to do some research into his or her background. You want a surgeon who is board certified, has plenty of experience performing your chosen surgery, and who performs that surgery on a regular basis. It’s no good seeing a doctor who performed several facelifts a week a decade ago, but now doesn’t perform the surgery very often; his or her skills might be rusty or his or her technique not fully up-to-date.
Don’t: Rush In
Plastic surgery isn’t something to be rushed or a decision to be made lightly. You want to make sure all of your questions are answered before any procedure and that you feel absolutely sure that the surgery is the one for you. If you have a big event coming up soon and are feeling pressure to have surgery before it, keep in mind that it might be better to wait until after the event to schedule your procedure. That way, you’ll be able to recover at your leisure, instead of feeling under pressure to heal as quickly as possible.
Do: Listen to Your Surgeon
Your surgeon will most likely give you a list of things to do in preparation for the facelift or other surgery, and a list of things to do after the procedure is over to help the recovery. While it might be easy to shrug off the instructions from your doctor as just recommendations or suggestions, it’s actually very important to you follow them to the letter.
For example, if you’re a smoker, your surgeon will direct you to quit at least two weeks before the surgery. Being an active smoker when you undergo plastic surgery increases your risks for complications and can interfere with the healing process. Your surgeon may also give you specific instructions about the types of medication or supplements you can take or should avoid before your procedure and about what you can and can’t do during the recovery period.
Don’t: Listen to Others
When it comes to plastic surgery, it seems as though everyone has an opinion. As you make the decision to have a specific procedure or as you prepare for your surgery, you might get a fair amount of unsolicited advice from concerned family members or friends. While having the support of your loved ones is important, it’s also important that you filter out any potentially negative comments or any potentially harmful advice.
For instance, don’t let others pressure you into have surgery or pressure you into having a procedure you don’t want. Try to ignore any horror stories certain people might enjoy telling you. While it is important to be aware of the risks and possible complications from surgery, it’s also important to know that those risks and complications tend to be rare.
If you are ready to start weighing your plastic surgery options more carefully or simply want to learn more about your options, Dr. Jessica Kulak, an aging face specialist who practices in Virginia and Maryland, is here to help. Dr. Kulak can answer your questions about surgery and provide guidance and advice about which procedure or procedures are best suited for you. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Kulak, call 301-222-2020 to reach the practice in Maryland or 703-481-0002 to get in touch with the practice in Virginia today.