Plastic surgery can be exciting. For many, being able to choose plastic surgery is something they’ve dreamed of for a long time. Choosing how you look and feel about yourself means taking control of your life and gaining confidence.
However, with any surgery comes risk. Plastic surgery is no exception. Despite being excited about plastic surgery, many are terrified of undergoing the knife and sometimes this fear can take over. We’ve answered many patient concerns when it comes to pre-surgery jitters, here are just a few.
I’m scared of anesthesia
This is an incredibly common fear, and we can understand that. Although most patients logically understand that it’s highly unlikely anything will happen, it’s very easy to let your mind wander and worry. Anesthesia has come a long way, and there are many different types out there, ranging from general to twilight to“TIVA”: Total IV Anesthesia. In general anesthesia, patients have a controlled airway, allowing them to “sleep” through the surgery with a ventilator to help them breathe. Twilight is different in that you sleep through your surgery, but you’re usually under for less time, and breathe on your own. TIVA can be done with or without control of the airway.
Keep in mind, breathing on your own is not necessarily a safe thing, though many patients tend to perceive it as being safer. There is something to be said about a controlled environment via general anesthesia, where an airway has been established and breathing is always taken care of. Should anything occur where your airflow is compromised, it’s already been taken care of. In fact, most anesthetic complications involve problems with the airway.
Again, it’s important to focus on the facts when it comes to anesthesia. You may have heard stories, perhaps from friends, about a delay in waking up post-surgery. This is not necessarily a bad thing—in fact, sometimes a delayed wake up is intended! It’s actually much preferred to waking up during the surgical procedure. And remember that while going under anesthesia is not something that you do every day, driving a car likely is—and driving a car has substantially higher risks than anesthesia ever will!
Finally, to really drive this point home, Anesthesia News reports that deaths by anesthesia are less than 1 per 100,000 (the actual number is only 0.11!). This is far less than what it was in the 1950s.
Speak with your doctor about your concerns, and they can answer all of your questions about how your surgery will be accomplished and put your fears to rest.
What if I wake up during the procedure?
Hollywood hasn’t helped in minimizing this fear, as patients waking on operating tables has been a theme in many movies over the years. But truly, the likelihood of this happening is so extremely rare and when it does happen, it tends to happen before the surgery has begun or after it’s finished. Anesthesia today is safer than it has ever been throughout history. Because of anesthesia, surgeries of all kinds are available in a safe, pain-free environment.
Choosing to have a procedure I don’t need is risky, and I feel guilty
We wholeheartedly agree that electing to have a procedure is no casual decision. The way we often approach conversations with patients who are conflicted is to advise for them to be self-observant. If you are just giving the idea some thought, then we urge you to take time and think about what you desire. But if you find yourself thinking about it daily—so much that it is impacting your decision to join in everyday activities as well as your relationships with others and your self-esteem, then perhaps you should give it more serious consideration. Plastic surgery may be an elective procedure, but you need to consider how your self-confidence and self esteem impact your quality of life.
What if something goes wrong?
Your chance has finally come to have the procedure you’ve been wanting for so long—but now doubt creeps in. What if you don’t like the results? What if something goes wrong and it’s not what you imagined?
This, too, is completely understandable. The permanence of plastic surgery is all at once desirable and intimidating. This particular fear can really only be managed by having a good conversation with your doctor—but first you also must choose your doctor wisely.
It’s absolutely critical that you choose a surgeon licensed by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS). Plastic surgery is not the same as general surgery – there is an art to it and there are several ways to accomplish your goal. Surgeons are trained in many different ways and every surgeon has their own preferences. By choosing an ABPS surgeon means that your surgeon meets certain global requirements on education and how they perform their surgeries. When you choose an ABPS doctor, you are choosing the highest level of certification available.
Your doctor can discuss your concerns with you and walk you through your procedure. Additionally, your doctor can walk you through different ways to approach your surgery (for example, choosing saline versus silicone for breast augmentation) and they can speak to their experience. Feel free to ask questions, seek second opinions and review before and after photos. Understand your surgeons aesthetic and make sure you can communicate well. If you have difficulty communicating with your surgeon before surgery why would it be better after?
Would you like to explore the idea of plastic surgery? Contact us, we’re here to talk.