As a plastic surgeon in suburban Chicago, part of my responsibility is to evaluate if a patient is a good candidate for plastic surgery. When assessing a potential patient, I consider the following important points:
Clean Bill of Health
In addition to adding to overall quality of life, good health can improve a patient’s experience during surgery and lead to a faster and easier recovery. If a patient smokes or is significantly overweight, plastic surgery is not advised until the patient has quit smoking or has achieved meaningful weight reduction. A patient also must demonstrate good psychological health. While plastic surgery can often make people feel better about themselves, it is not intended as a treatment for emotional or psychological issues.
Knowledge Is Power
Patients considering plastic surgery should spend time researching the procedures they are interested in. They should develop a thorough understanding of the benefits as well as the potential risks. I urge patients who are contemplating plastic surgery to do their homework before making a decision.
If you are considering a particular procedure, I recommend that you gain information about it from reliable sources and talk with others you know who have had similar procedures. Then, compile a list of questions to bring with you to your consultation and discuss them with your plastic surgeon. Be sure you have all the information you need to make an informed decision before proceeding with surgery.
Patients’ lives generally improve following plastic surgery. They frequently feel more confident, try new activities, meet new people, and wear new and chic styles of clothing. However, I want my patients to have realistic expectations about what plastic surgery can and cannot accomplish. During a pre-surgical consultation, I help the patient understand what is reasonable to expect. In general, plastic surgery enhances or refines natural physical assets while preserving each individual’s unique characteristics.