Who Should Have Cosmetic Surgery?

Who should have cosmetic surgery?   Evaluating appropriate candidates for cosmetic surgery includes several factors.   My ultimate concern is for patient safety.

I recommend that patients with serious or uncontrolled medical conditions do not have elective cosmetic surgery.   The risks of anesthesia and surgical complications are too great for a desired aesthetic surgery.   I also require a current history and physical by an independent primary care physician.   We frequently discover patients with undiagnosed hypertension in my clinic during routine consultation visits.   Such conditions must be under proper control before surgery is even considered.

I strongly recommend that all tobacco and nicotine products be discontinued 4 weeks before surgery and abstained from for four weeks after.   Smoking interferes with skin blood flow, healing and recovery.   Certain procedures like tummy tuck and facelift can be prone to skin loss and terrible scarring due to a patient still smoking.

Excess weight also interferes with quality of result, as I have mentioned in a previous post.   Extra subcutaneous fat interferes with skin tightening during body contouring surgery and there can also be an increased risk of infection after surgery.   Finally, anesthesia complications are greater in patients carrying excess weight.   I counsel patients to be within 20 pounds of their desired weight before considering cosmetic surgery.

Next time: Patients with unrealistic expectations.


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