When deciding to undergo a facial plastic surgery procedure, there are many factors your surgeon will take into consideration, and one of the most important is the condition of your health. What do we consider a “healthy person” and why does it matter? Here are some questions we consider before a potential surgery:
- Does the patient have any chronic illnesses? This includes but is not limited to blood disorders, heart disease, lung disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes. There is always a risk of undergoing anesthesia, but having a chronic disease can create a higher risk of undergoing the procedure.
- Is the patient on any medications? Certain medications can cause excess bleeding during surgery. Medications and supplements should always be disclosed and your doctor may advise to stop taking them before surgery.
- Does the patient exercise and eat well? Exercising at least 20 minutes a day keeps the body and heart healthy. Some patients may even choose to start a yoga routine to prepare their mind and body for surgery through relaxation techniques. Also, a healthy diet that is rich in nutrients and high in protein is one of several factors that may facilitate the healing process.
- Is the patient a smoker? We’re all aware that smoking can wreak havoc on the body, but it is also increases risk when undergoing anesthesia. Additionally, smoking causes disease in smaller blood vessels and as such smokers are at increased risk for poorer healing and increased risk of complications from surgical procedures. Those who smoke are advised to stop at least 2 weeks before and after surgery.
- Is the patient grounded and realistic about the surgical procedure? Unfortunately, sometimes people can have an underlying psychiatric disorder, such as body dysmorphic disorder, that plays a large role in their desire for cosmetic surgery, and should be appropriately referred for counseling. People who have recently experienced traumatic life events, those with unrealistic expectations, and patients with obsessions over minor imperfections may not be good candidates for surgery.
- Does the patient have realistic expectations? I do my best to fully understand a patient’s goals and provide them with excellent results. Cosmetic surgery can improve a person’s self-esteem, but cannot make them look like someone else or fix personal problems. In fact, many patients have considered their surgical procedure for 2 years or longer.
Many facial plastic surgery procedures are cosmetic and strictly voluntary. It is very important to be upfront with your surgeon about any health issues before surgery. A physical examination by your general practitioner is usually required before surgery is performed. Always be sure to check your surgeon’s credentials to make sure they are double board certified by the appropriate organizations.
Post provided by Benjamin Stong MD