Realistic Expectations From Cosmetic Plastic Surgery

Written by Amy Pusey (last updated September 10, 2018)

Plastic surgery offers the opportunity for individuals to alter their appearance. It can correct imperfections, enhance attributes, or be used for restorative reasons following accidents, burns, or birth deformities. What is important when you decide to have plastic surgery is that you are seeking to satisfy you, and not doing it in hopes of pleasing someone else. Plastic surgery is generally defined by two categories, which are reconstructive and cosmetic. Reconstructive surgery affects function and cosmetic pertains to changing your appearance. There are approximately 25 different types of plastic surgical procedures available today. The most popular of these surgeries include the following:

  • Rhinoplasty. Performed when reshaping your nose or correcting a deviated septum.
  • Liposuction. Process that extracts excess fat from different areas, such as thighs, upper arms, and abdomen.
  • Breast Augmentation. Typically conducted to enlarge and lift the breasts, but some individuals seek breast reductions and reshaping.
  • Face Lift. Removes wrinkles from the face through the tightening and removal of excess skin for a smooth and firm appearance.
  • Tummy Tuck. Different from liposuction because it involves the removal of excess fat and skin to tighten the area of the abdomen.

A good plastic surgeon will have a consultation with you prior to scheduling any surgical procedures. They are responsible for ensuring your understanding of the possible outcomes of the requested surgery. It is also important they assess your reasons for wanting the surgery and expectations for results to make sure you are psychologically prepared for changes you will experience post-operation. Physicians look for reasons that focus on how you feel about yourself, and are concerned when the reasons are about others, such as looking better to save a marriage. A few positive reasons may be:

  • "I do not look as young as I feel, so I want to the outside to match what is inside."
  • "I want to do this for me, and I will be happier with myself if I do it."
  • "I look like I am frowning all the time because of changes in my features, and that is not how I am as a person."

Plastic surgery offers the opportunity for great physical change, and it is critical that you have sound psychological expectations. What follows are some questions you may want to examine prior to seeking your physician consultation:

  • Were you teased as a child about your looks and are looking to plastic surgery to take away those painful memories?
  • Do other people treat you poorly and by having plastic surgery you believe they will treat you better because you will look more attractive?
  • Are you seeking plastic surgery as a means to maintain the attentions of a particular individual with whom you have an intimate relationship, such as a spouse?

Finally, you want to be sure that you have appropriate physical expectations following surgery. Plastic surgery generally requires a certain amount of recovery time because your body has experienced a trauma. You should prepare your mind for the actual physical results immediately after surgery. These may typically include:

  • Are you expecting to see yourself as you were envisioning yourself in your mind before surgery?
  • Are you anticipating physical perfection after completing your surgery?
  • Will you be prepared for the extreme bruising and swelling that will accompany surgery and some of which may possibly last in some measure for up to a year post-surgery?
  • Can you handle seeing scars that are initially more pronounced than originally anticipated?

The better you prepare yourself for the psychological and physical changes pre- and post-surgery, the stronger you will be in successfully getting through the potentially long recovery period.

Author Bio

Amy Pusey

With over 18 years experience in operations and human-resource management, Amy Pusey uses her skills in her consulting and freelance writing activities. She is a freelance writer for, as well as a resume writer for ...


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