Overcoming the Fears Associated with Cosmetic Surgery

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image=”2997″ img_size=”ful”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row full_width=”stretch_row”][vc_column][vc_column_text]Over the past 16 years of practice, I have seen a pattern of emotions that most cosmetic surgery patients experience as they go through the decision-making process to have surgery and the recovery process after surgery. I have always made it a priority to try to prepare patients for this “emotional roller coaster” in an effort to try to minimize any fears and anxieties they have before their surgeries. Recently, I had the opportunity to experience this from the patient’s perspective, rather than the physician’s perspective. My wife underwent an elective cosmetic surgery and I went through the entire decision-making process and subsequent perioperative period with her, not as a physician, but as a husband who cares about the safety and well being of my wife, above all. This allowed me to gain additional insight into the emotional aspect of contemplating and preparing for cosmetic surgery. The experience has been invaluable for me, and has allowed me to better understand what patients experience.

If you are considering facial rejuvenation procedures or cosmetic surgery, I’m happy to answer any questions you might have or address any concerns. For our family, the decision to have an elective surgery was not one that was hastily made, and at Youthful Reflections we understand and support our patients no matter what decision they make or how long it takes them to make a decision. We want to be here for you every step of the way.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row full_width=”stretch_row” content_placement=”middle” css=”.vc_custom_1475603858931{margin-bottom: 20px !important;background-color: #f2f2f2 !important;}” el_class=”row-gray”][vc_column][vc_column_text]

Considering Cosmetic Surgery

What makes someone consider having cosmetic surgery?

We are all more critical of ourselves than anyone else will ever be. When we look in the mirror, we have a tendency to pick out even the most subtle perceived imperfections. These perceived imperfections may be congenital (present since birth) or acquired (developmental, traumatic, age-related). Regardless of the cause or longevity of our perceived imperfections, for some people these perceived imperfections can make them feel very self-conscious or insecure. This can manifest in many ways. Some may avoid social situations, dating, relationships, and intimacy due to their insecurities over their appearance. Others may feel that their appearance limits their opportunities in life, such as acquiring a competitive job, getting promotions at work, acceptance in social settings, and attracting potential relationship partners. For some, it is simply a matter of wanting to feel better about themselves.

Since my practice focuses primarily on rejuvenation of the aging face, many of my patients feel that they look on the outside much older than they feel on the inside, due to the effects of aging, such as sagging of the neck and jowls, wrinkling of the skin, loss of volume in the cheeks and midface, bags under the eyes, or drooping of the brow and upper eyelids. They want to look as young as they feel. Ultimately we all want to look and feel our best.

When you begin considering cosmetic surgery it is natural to experience some fears and doubts. At Youthful Reflections we are here to answer our patients’ questions throughout the research and planning phase, as well as before and after all cosmetic procedures. We want our patients to be well informed and comfortable with their decision. If you are considering facial cosmetic surgery or rejuvenation procedures, let us answer any questions you might have.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

Researching Cosmetic Surgery

When you are considering cosmetic surgery to address aesthetic concerns, it is quite natural to experience some fear and apprehension. Some people are ready to proceed immediately. However for most, there is a process of deliberation and contemplation that will vary from one person to the next. Some people may spend years desiring and considering cosmetic surgery before they actually get up the nerve to even seek a consultation. They may spend extensive time researching procedures and plastic surgeons, reading online reviews and forums, and obsessing over their appearance, but unable to take that next step to schedule an evaluation. This is the beginning of the emotional roller coaster that may last a few weeks for some and years for others.

Always seek reputable sources for information regarding cosmetic surgery. Much of the information on the Internet is inaccurate and provided by non-medical people. Be certain to seek a board-certified Plastic Surgeon or Facial Plastic Surgeon with extensive experience and expertise in the procedure that you are considering, and review their before and after pictures and patient reviews to ensure that they deliver the kind of results that you hope to achieve. Always try to maintain realistic expectations. Improvement is the goal in cosmetic surgery, and perfection is generally not achievable in the hands of any surgeon.

My area of expertise is in Cosmetic and Reconstructive Facial Plastic Surgery, with a specific focus on facial rejuvenation surgery. I am double board-certified by the American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and the American Board of Otolaryngology. I have performed well over 10,000 surgical procedures on the head and neck, including over 5000 facial rejuvenation procedures and over 3500 facelift procedures. My experience and expertise in facial rejuvenation surgery is unparalleled in Nashville and the surrounding areas.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row full_width=”stretch_row” content_placement=”middle” css=”.vc_custom_1475603868818{margin-bottom: 20px !important;background-color: #f2f2f2 !important;}” el_class=”row-gray”][vc_column][vc_column_text]

Common Concerns & Misconceptions: What if I end up looking plastic or not like myself?

So, what are the fears and concerns that prevent people from moving forward with cosmetic surgery to achieve their aesthetic goals and improve their self-image?

The first fear to consider is the possibility of having an undesirable result or complication. Over the past 20 years, there has been a great deal of focus by the media on plastic surgery gone “bad.” The tabloids commonly report on celebrities who have been “overdone” and have a very “plastic,” unnatural appearance. Individuals such as Michael Jackson, Kenny Rogers, Priscilla Presley, and Joan Rivers are the images that have been engrained in our minds by the media when thinking about cosmetic surgery. The popular TV show, “Botched,” has focused on patients who have had disastrous complications and undesirable results from cosmetic surgery.

These individual cases do not represent the reality of cosmetic plastic surgery. They focus on the uncommon instances of poor outcomes and complications in order to attract the interest of a society that finds entertainment in the suffering of others. The vast majority of cosmetic plastic surgery is associated with great results and rare complications. Obviously, there are risks to any type of surgery; however, the incidence of complications is extremely low in cosmetic surgery, especially with surgery in the face and neck. Even when complications do occur, they are typically minor in severity and easily managed without affecting the overall surgical result.

The best way to diminish the likelihood of complications or poor results is to seek out a board-certified Plastic Surgeon or Facial Plastic Surgeon who has extensive experience and expertise in the procedures that you are considering. The incidence of complications increases in the hands of inexperienced surgeons or physicians practicing outside their area of expertise. In addition, experienced, board-certified surgeons are better equipped to manage complications when they do occur, thus diminishing the potential for long-term negative effects.

My area of expertise is in Cosmetic and Reconstructive Facial Plastic Surgery, with a specific focus on facial rejuvenation surgery. I am double board-certified by the American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and the American Board of Otolaryngology. I have performed well over 10,000 surgical procedures on the head and neck, including over 5000 facial rejuvenation procedures and over 3500 facelift procedures. My experience and expertise in facial rejuvenation surgery is unparalleled in Nashville and the surrounding areas.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

Common Concerns & Misconceptions: Will family and friends think I’m vain?

Another common fear that arises in cosmetic surgery patients is fear of being unfavorably judged by friends and/or family for being “vain”. Vanity is defined as excessive pride in, or admiration of, one’s own appearance or achievements. This is exactly the opposite of what most cosmetic surgery patients are dealing with. They just want to feel and look their best in order to improve their self-image and confidence. It is not a prideful thing. It is just human nature to want to look and feel good. Most people shower and brush their hair daily and get their hair cut and styled on a regular basis. Most everyone buys and wears clothes that make them feel like they look good. Most women wear make-up to enhance their appearance and make them feel more self-confident and beautiful. These are not signs of vanity. Undergoing cosmetic surgery to address physical concerns that are making you feel unattractive, old, or self-conscious is no different. It is simply an attempt to improve your confidence and self-image.

Cosmetic surgery has become much more common and accepted by most people in the 21st century. If someone is critical of another person undergoing cosmetic surgery, it is likely that they are jealous, have their own insecurities, and may not be in a position where they can undergo surgery to address their own aesthetic concerns. When we perform cosmetic surgery, we are not doing it to make the patient’s friends or family feel better about their appearance. We are doing it to help the patient feel better about themselves and improve their self-confidence. No one else really even needs to know about the surgery and likely will not know unless the patient chooses to tell them about it.

Properly performed cosmetic surgery should look natural, and will likely not be apparent to anyone else but the patient. My area of expertise is in Cosmetic and Reconstructive Facial Plastic Surgery, with a specific focus on facial rejuvenation surgery. I am double board-certified by the American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and the American Board of Otolaryngology. I have performed well over 10,000 surgical procedures on the head and neck, including over 5000 facial rejuvenation procedures and over 3500 facelift procedures. My experience and expertise in facial rejuvenation surgery is unparalleled in Nashville and the surrounding areas.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row full_width=”stretch_row” content_placement=”middle” css=”.vc_custom_1475603868818{margin-bottom: 20px !important;background-color: #f2f2f2 !important;}” el_class=”row-gray”][vc_column][vc_column_text el_class=”row-gray”]

Common Concerns & Misconceptions: What if my family doesn’t support my decision?

Sometimes a lack of support from a patient’s spouse or family members may pose a barrier to moving forward with cosmetic surgery. Every good spouse is going to tell you that you look beautiful as you are and that you do not need cosmetic surgery. They are dealing with some of the same fears as a potential patient when they think about their spouse or family member undergoing cosmetic surgery. The truth is, they will likely love you no matter how you look, and they probably don’t even notice the physical imperfections that bother you. However, we are not treating the spouse or any other family member. We are treating the individual patient. Our goal is to make the patient feel better about themselves and the way they look, not to make a spouse or family member feel better.

Every patient must make the decision for himself or herself. I think it is important for the spouse to be involved and supportive in the process of information gathering and decision-making. I can relate to this on a very personal level. I feel that my wife is the most beautiful woman on earth. However, she had some aesthetic concerns that made her self-conscious and insecure. When she wanted to consider cosmetic surgery to address these issues, I didn’t think she needed anything. However, it wasn’t about me. It was about her. I chose to be supportive through the process, because I wanted her to feel good about herself, above all else. I participated in her research and information gathering. I went to her doctor’s appointments with her and supported her throughout the decision making process.

Once my wife made the decision to proceed with surgery, I helped her prepare, supported her throughout the process, and took care of her during her recovery. It was a very valuable learning process for me as a plastic surgeon to be able to experience the process from the patient/spouse perspective. It was also a very valuable experience for us as a couple to go through this journey together. It strengthened our relationship and brought us closer together. My wife knows, without a doubt, that I will stand by her, care for her, and support her through whatever challenges we face in life, including surgery.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

Common Concerns & Misconceptions: Am I able to afford cosmetic surgery?

Another important fear people have when considering cosmetic surgery is the cost. Cosmetic surgery is not cheap, and it shouldn’t be. You don’t want to look for the cheapest deal when it comes to cosmetic surgery. Often times, you get what you pay for. The cost of cosmetic surgery does not just reflect the cost of the procedure. Typically the cost includes the initial consultation, the preoperative preparation, the facility, anesthesia services, the procedure, and the postoperative care and follow-up visits. The difference in cost from one surgeon to another is typically reflective of their experience and expertise.

If a surgeon is proposing surgery at a cost that is dramatically less than any other surgeon in the area, be very aware that they are likely providing a lesser procedure, spending less time, or cutting costs in other ways that may not be in the best interest of the patient. It is very important to properly vet your surgeon by asking about their experience and credentials, viewing their before and after pictures, and reading reviews from their patients. If a surgeon does not have many before and after pictures or reviews from happy patients, that would be cause for concern.

To read Dr. Boggess’ patients’ reviews, click here.

The financial cost of a procedure is going to be a consideration for every potential patient, but it should not be the primary consideration. Most reputable, experienced surgeons are going to be relatively close in price for the same procedure. Also, most surgeons offer various financing options that help to make cosmetic surgery affordable for patients by establishing a monthly payment plan that fits their budget.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row full_width=”stretch_row” content_placement=”middle” css=”.vc_custom_1475603868818{margin-bottom: 20px !important;background-color: #f2f2f2 !important;}” el_class=”row-gray”][vc_column][vc_column_text el_class=”row-gray”]

Common Concerns & Misconceptions: Will I be in a lot of pain?

Many patients have a fear of pain from surgery. Unfortunately, you cannot have surgery without experiencing some degree of pain. However, the pain typically resolves fairly quickly and can be managed with the use of prescription pain medications. The pain following facial plastic surgery procedures is usually described as mild to moderate in severity. However, everyone’s perception of pain is different. What one person considers mild, another may consider severe. I typically prescribe a narcotic pain medication, such as hydrocodone or oxycodone, to be used during the early postoperative period. Most patients take the medication as needed during the first week, but I have had many patients tell me that they didn’t take any after the first night. Often patients will switch fairly quickly to Tylenol for pain.

It is very uncommon for patients to be taking narcotic pain medication after the first week. I have never had any patient experience any type of chronic pain issues from cosmetic facial surgery.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

Common Concerns & Misconceptions: Will it take a long time to recover?

Recovery time and time off from work is a very important consideration for people contemplating cosmetic surgery. In my experience, most people can return to most routine activities within 5 – 7 days. However, they may still have some visible signs of surgery, such as bruising and swelling that may persist for up to 10 – 14 days. Therefore, I suggest that most of my patients plan at least one week off from work to recover, but if they want to allow time for visible signs of surgery to resolve, they should plan 10 – 14 days off from work. Most patients are able to get back out in public after that time without others being able to detect that they had a cosmetic procedure. That doesn’t mean that the healing process is complete at that time, but the visibly apparent signs of surgery have typically resolved by then.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row full_width=”stretch_row” content_placement=”middle” css=”.vc_custom_1475603868818{margin-bottom: 20px !important;background-color: #f2f2f2 !important;}” el_class=”row-gray”][vc_column][vc_column_text el_class=”row-gray”]

You may feel like you’re on an emotional rollercoaster when you’re considering cosmetic surgery

Feeling like you’re on an “emotional roller coaster” is common for the cosmetic surgery patient. Most people have been bothered by their perceived imperfection for which they are seeking cosmetic surgery for quite some time before they actually begin to research treatment options and consider a consultation. Once someone decides to schedule a consultation, they generally become excited about the possibilities, but also begin to experience the apprehension that comes with realizing that things are about to get real. The day of the consultation is usually a very exciting time. The patient finally gets to meet with the doctor to discuss their aesthetic concerns, and the doctor has an opportunity to fully assess the patient’s individual anatomy, concerns, and goals and devise a treatment plan to achieve the optimal results. It can feel like a great burden has lifted for the patient to finally realize that there is an opportunity to improve the cosmetic issue that has often concerned them for a prolonged period of time. The surgeon will typically demonstrate for them the result that can be achieved, which adds to the excitement that the patient feels.

After the consultation, when the excitement of the consultation begins to fade, the fears and concerns begin to creep in again and create doubt in the patient’s mind. If you are experiencing feelings of fear and doubt, it is a good idea to write down your concerns and possibly schedule another visit with your physician to address your questions and concerns.

Once you decide to schedule your procedure, there may be another period of excitement, followed by another period of fear and apprehension. Typically, the physician’s office staff will be communicating with you during this time to help alleviate your fears, address your concerns, and prepare you for your procedure. As the procedure date approaches, the excitement and apprehension will tend to wax and wane. It is best to avoid reading too much on the Internet during this time. Most information on the Internet is inaccurate and only serves to increase the fear and anxiety. It is best to discuss any concerns that you have with your surgeon and their office staff, who can provide you with accurate information related to your procedure and care.

It is a good idea to review all of the postoperative care information provided by your physician’s office prior to your procedure so that you can know what to expect and have everything that you need during the recovery period. It is also a good idea to get all prescriptions filled in advance so that you don’t have to go to the pharmacy after your procedure.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

How to prepare for the surgery and your recovery time.

On the day of your procedure, things will likely be moving too quickly for you to worry too much. It is normal to feel nervous. However, those nervous feeling tend to relieve fairly quickly once the pre-anesthetic medications are given. After the procedure, there will certainly be 2 – 3 days of some discomfort from the surgery. Most people are taking pain medication during this time and often don’t recall much later. There will also be variable amounts of bruising and swelling that occurs during the first 2 – 3 postoperative days. It is important to bear in mind that swelling and bruising are normal side effects of surgery and will resolve over time.

Some patients will go through a period of depression during this time, worrying that they made the wrong decision or that they will have a poor surgical outcome. You must remember that you will look worse before you look better, and this is a normal part of the recovery process. Usually 3-4 days after surgery, the swelling and bruising will begin to decrease and the postoperative pain will begin to decrease.

By the time of the 1-week postop visit, most people are beginning to feel somewhat normal again and the bruising and swelling will be improving enough to begin to see the surgical result. However, keep in mind that it takes several weeks, and even months in some cases, for things to really look the way they are going to finally look after surgery. Be patient with the healing process and know that everything will gradually improve over the following weeks and months after the surgery. Most patients are looking pretty good at 2 – 3 weeks and great by 6 – 8 weeks after surgery.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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