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Advice on Choosing Cosmetic Plastic Surgery

The decision to undergo any type of cosmetic surgery is intensely personal. After all, this type of surgery is completely voluntary. Unlike other necessary surgeries, we’re often driven to consider cosmetic surgery from a combination of social and emotional factors. Our body images in part are shaped by society. Although cosmetic surgery will not change your life, it may give you greater self-confidence and add to your sense of well-being. Do not make this decision lightly. It will not solve personal problems or make you look like someone else. Successful cosmetic surgery results are often dependent on the communication between you and your surgeon. Make sure you feel comfortable with your surgeon and that you feel you can communicate openly and honestly with him or her.

Fees and Insurance

Fees for cosmetic plastic surgery generally are paid prior to surgery. Costs vary widely and depend on the complexity of the operation, where the surgery takes place and which anesthetic is administered.

As a rule, cosmetic plastic surgery is considered “elective surgery” and is not covered by most insurance plans. Some operations that have a significant functional aspect – such as breast reduction, if the weight of your breasts causes pain or interferes with normal activities – may be considered reconstructive rather than cosmetic. Check with your plastic surgeon, who may recommend that your insurance company be contacted before surgery to determine whether coverage is available.

Never choose a doctor solely on the basis of lower cost. After checking for certification by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and membership in ASAPS, you should entrust your face or body to the plastic surgeon with whom you feel most comfortable.

Surgical Facilities

Cosmetic plastic surgery is safely performed in an accredited office-based surgery facility or free-standing ambulatory surgery facility, or it may be performed in the hospital. If your surgery will be performed outside of the hospital, be sure that your doctor has privileges to perform the same procedure in an accredited hospital. By selecting an ASAPS-member surgeon for your cosmetic plastic surgery on Find-a-Surgeon (insert link), you can be assured that he or she qualifies for such privileges.

Risks and Complications

Cosmetic plastic surgery, like all surgery, has risks. Plastic surgeons perform thousands of successful operations each week, but as with any type of surgery, a patient can have an adverse reaction to the anesthetic or be affected by postoperative complications. These problems can occur even when the surgeon has performed the operation with the utmost skill. ASAPS believes that fully informed patient consent is essential to any medical or surgical treatment. Your ASAPS-member plastic surgeon is the best source of this information as it relates to your particular surgery.

Post Surgery

For most cosmetic plastic surgical procedures, you will need to restrict your normal activities for a time following surgery. It takes time, as well, for the visible signs of healing to subside. Plan your work and social activities to allow sufficient time for recovery.

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