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If you were to look at a line graph of the demand for plastic and reconstructive surgery for the last 20 years or so, you would see it growing steadily. Since 2000, the number of cosmetic procedures conducted annually has increased by a staggering 115%. This is as reported by the American Society for Plastic Surgeons (ASPS). Moreover, according to the Real Self US Aesthetics Interest Survey of 2018, four out of five Americans report wanting to change at least one part of their bodies. The main motivations for having plastic surgery are “to improve self-esteem/confidence” (43%) and “to look as good as I feel” (34%).

The world loves these top 3 plastic surgery procedures

Statistics by the International Society of Plastic Surgery (ISAPS) in 2016 indicate that the three most popular surgical procedures worldwide are the following:

1. Eyelid surgery

2. Breast augmentation

3. Liposuction

For those who consider a cosmetic procedure, their top concerns are cost and fear of complications or bad results. Thankfully, nowadays, patients can enjoy the benefit of having access to good quality, safe and professional procedures. They also have an array of options. Besides, according to a study published in Clinical Psychology Science in 2013, individuals who undergo a little nip-tuck have an improved enjoyment of life and physical satisfaction. So how can you ensure you get the results you’re looking for, without running the risk of a botched procedure?

Dr.Vivienne Jandera, a plastic and reconstructive surgeon, as well as the current and first female president of APRASSA (the Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons of SA), gives the following advice for those considering plastic surgery.

Choose the right procedure for you

The internet provides the public with valuable information about plastic surgery. These days, patients are so much more informed about procedures than before. But there are two problems: the information on the internet is not verified, and some of it is just rubbish. And, as a patient, you can read a lot and still not always have insight. Do your research and make sure that your sources are verified and tell the truth about the procedure you’re considering.

Choose your surgeon

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Your best referral is one that comes from someone who has been to that surgeon and was happy with the experience. It is wise to select a surgeon who is a member of the American Association of Plastic Surgeons (AAPS) or the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS). It might sound obvious, but you should check that your doctor is a qualified plastic surgeon. You can often find fancy clinics that are run by general practitioners who do cosmetic surgery, and some offer a full range of plastic surgery procedures. Patients often think that the GP will be cheaper. This is often not the case, and they haven’t even gone through the required training.

Also, practically, it is better to select a surgeon in the area where you live. Should you have a complication following your procedure, it won’t do you any good to have your surgeon’s office hours away from your home.

For your first consultation

You should feel comfortable with your surgeon. Individuals have different personalities and it’s important to establish a rapport with your doctor. If you don’t feel entirely happy after the consultation, consider consulting another surgeon. However, too many consultations aren’t a good idea either, because it can end up confusing you even more. Quality and comfort are what you’re looking for. Price shouldn’t be the only criterion for selecting your surgeon.

In addition, several patients are determined to have a procedure that is not correct for them, despite being advised otherwise. For example, they want liposuction of the tummy when they have a lot of loose skin and need a tummy tuck instead. These patients will keep going for consultations until they find a surgeon who will do what they want. Please don’t be that patient.

The Need For Trust Between the Patient and the Surgeon

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It is reasonable for you to ask how often the surgeon performs the procedure you are considering – the answer will usually be very reassuring. This trust should also go both ways – honesty needs to be present on both sides. Patients should be upfront with their surgeons about any medical conditions they have, and be truthful about their smoking habits. For example, if your plastic surgeon asks you to stop smoking before a procedure and you continue to smoke secretly, you may have disastrous post-operative wound complications. Once you have decided to do the surgery, it is important to follow all instructions. After-care is such an important part of the process.

Choose your timing

It is important to give yourself enough time to recover after your procedure. So take that into account when doing your planning. And please, don’t forget your post-surgery instructions – they are given for a reason, after all.

Johane du Toit

Johane du Toit

Johané du Toit is a content specialist and freelance editor for Longevity Magazine. With an Honours degree in journalism from the North-West University at Potchefstroom, she has a keen interest in medical and scientific innovations and aspires to provide the public with the latest reliable news in the fields of medicine, fitness, wellness, and science. Johane is happiest outdoors, preferably near a large body of water or in the mountains, and loves waterskiing, cooking, travelling and reading.

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