Charles Perry, MD, Plastic Surgeon
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March 6, 2009

Plastic Surgery and Expectations; Some thoughts to Consider Prior to Undergoing Your Plastic Surgery Transformation

Posted by Dr. Perry in Current Events, Plastic Surgery, Preparing for your Cosmetic Surgery

Plastic surgery offers the powerful chance to change the appearance. This opportunity provides hope to those afflicted by accidents and unforeseen injuries that often disfigure the appearance. It also offers those with congenital anomalies the opportunity to alter whatever they were born with into something that they desire. It allows people to choose their own appearance. It allows one to rejuvenate their body and remove unwanted excess or attain a little more in areas making clothes fit better or some to feel beautiful. Plastic surgery provides hope. The challenge with this opportunity is often that the expectations of what can be achieved often exceed the possibilities of what surgery can provide. In some circumstances the expectations can even exceed what can be done in multiple surgeries.
This is a difficult situation and plastic surgeons as well as some cosmetic surgeons will often refuse perform a procedure if after consulting with a patient it still appears that the expectations exceed the normal or expected outcome of surgery. It is important to also make sure that the patient understands that surgery has many unknowns and results vary widely based upon the individual’s own tissue and healing process. No two people are identical and no two healing processes are identical. This creates the possibility of variance and unpredictable results. If one cannot handle variance cosmetic or even plastic surgery may not be right for you.
Before having plastic surgery it is important to remember that a touch up or revision surgery is a real possibility and that it will cost more to do such. Many people choose to have additional surgeries when the outcome of the surgery is not what they anticipated or when their expectations change after the healing process and a little more enhancement is desired. This is a slippery slope as one usually cannot be too beautiful, too young, or have too much money. We suggest that once a decision is made and a procedure is completed that one waits six months to a year before considering any more changes to the appearance as this feeling of wanting to do more is common and perfection is not attainable.
Remember that the healing process also changes your mood. The healing process will create some anxiety and can result in a depressed mood state. This can often be the most difficult part of the recovery process. We see this most commonly for larger surgeries such as abdominoplasty and mastopexy or breast lift as well as for facelifts and blepharoplasties. It is important to remember that the mood and the anxiety pass as the healing completes and your new look emerges.
It is important to consider the effect healing and the appearance transformation will have on your mind prior to surgery and develop a plan to deal with these predictable responses to surgery and changing expectations. We have observed that having a spouse, partner, significant other, or friend that remains positive and supportive throughout the healing process often results in a more peaceful recovery and in overall better results. At Chrysalis Cosmetics we spend time prior to your surgery going over your expectations and expected results. We also counsel about the known unanticipated results and all the options for handling the situation. This pre-transformation educational process is done in a verbal and written format so that you have opportunities to go over this prior to any change of your physical appearance. We feel that while your physical appearance changes your inner self changes as well and this is often the more challenging part of the transformation process for our patients. We like to think of our service as more than just a procedure, product or service but a relationship that may allow you to maintain or enhance your look through the years. It is so important to remember that your expectations about what looks good will change throughout your life time. It is also interesting to note that these changes often occur at times in people’s lives when the most change is occurring such as before a wedding, a new job, a big move or even a promotion at work. It is an exciting time to be involved and we look forward to facilitating a safe and predictable experience for you during your transformation.

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