Despite the ever-increasing popularity of aesthetic procedures — and incredible advances in cosmetic medicine — plastic surgery is still a somewhat controversial topic. But while naysayers may dismiss it as shallow, most patients credit plastic surgery with enhancing their life.

The reality is, having plastic surgery is a very personal choice, and it requires a great deal of self-reflection. If you are interested in pursuing plastic surgery, you need to ask yourself some tough questions before making any decisions.

Here, Orange County plastic surgeon Rob Kessler reveals what you should be asking yourself as you consider having surgery.

Are you finished developing physically?

The adolescent and teenage years are often filled with a lot of self-loathing and embarrassment about one’s appearance. However, with a few notable exceptions, good plastic surgeons refuse to operate on teenagers that are still going through growth spurts.

Operating on an area of the body that is developing could compromise the results of surgery. And, to put it plainly, most teenagers lack the mental maturity to undergo an elective cosmetic procedure and understand the magnitude of their decisions.

As a rule of thumb, your height, weight and breast size (where applicable) should be stable for at least a year before having surgery, and you should be at least 18 years old.

What is the specific area/feature that bothers you?

Dr. Kessler’s most successful plastic surgery procedures are those performed to improve a feature or area of the face or body that has always bothered the patient. Good examples are non-surgical rhinoplasty to change the size or shape of the nose, or breast augmentation to increase the size of small breasts.

Your plastic surgeon will ask you detailed questions about the area(s) you hope to improve with surgery, to get a solid understanding of your specific concerns.

What do you expect to accomplish from surgery?

You may want Angelina Jolie’s lips, Kim Kardashian’s breasts or Jennifer Lopez’s buttocks, but plastic surgery won’t make those things happen. Nor will it get you that corner office promotion or make the guy from your CrossFit class finally notice you. What it will do is fine-tune what you already have and make you feel better about yourself! Think about your expectations of treatment and be honest with yourself.

Have you researched your desired procedure and surgeon?

It is essential to do your own research on your desired procedure and selected surgeon. Is the surgeon certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery? How many years of experience do they have performing your desired procedure? What does the procedure itself entail, and what is the typical recovery like?

Are you aware of the possible risks?

Facing the potential risks and complications of surgery is hard, but critical for every patient. The good news is that with an experienced, talented plastic surgeon, serious complications rarely occur.

Schedule a Plastic Surgery Consultation with Dr. Kessler

If you would like to schedule a consultation with board certified plastic surgeon Rob Kessler, please call 949.644.6544 or email our practice today.

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