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The 5 W’s of Cosmetic Surgery


According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, almost 16 million cosmetic and six million reconstructive procedures were performed in 2015, a combined three percent increase from 2014.

Once a taboo subject, the thought of having cosmetic surgery is becoming more acceptable. People are having an easier time considering plastic surgery and having an open conversation about their options.

Regardless if cosmetic surgery is medically necessary or elective, it’s important to take time to consider your options. The ‘who’, ‘what’, ‘when’, ‘where’ and ‘why’s’ of plastic surgery are incredibly important. Ask yourself the following:

  • Who will be your doctor? Do your research and look into the training and qualifications of the surgeon. Are they specially trained in the procedure you’re considering? Do they have a high rate of patient satisfaction? There are a number of websites where you can read patient reviews. Your doctor’s office also should be a convenient distance from your home, because most cosmetic procedures require post-surgery follow up visits.
  • What are your expectations? Consider whether the results you’re looking for are reasonable. Surgeons can make things better, but it’s important to have realistic expectations of what cosmetic surgery can and can’t do for you.
  • When is the right time to have your surgery? On average, cosmetic surgery patients think about having a procedure done at least a year before having a consultation with a plastic surgeon – it’s not often a decision made overnight. Consider how the timing of your surgery will affect your work and personal life. You also will need proper support if undergoing a surgery that requires a recovery period. Who will be able to physically help you while you recover, and how does this fit into their schedule?
  • Where will your surgery take place? You’ll want to make sure that the surgery site is an accredited center – whether it’s done in a doctor’s office or a hospital. Where will your surgeon perform the surgery? Having surgery done at a hospital like Community Hospital Long Beach can help ensure a safe environment with a specialized care team readily available in the event anything unexpected occurs.
  • Why are you doing it?It’s important that when you decide to undergo cosmetic surgery, you’re doing so for yourself – not to please someone else. Your long term satisfaction after a cosmetic procedure can be highly dependent on your motivation and expectations surrounding that procedure. Talking to friends or family who have gone through something similar is always helpful, and can give you an inside perspective on what you can expect.

Take the time to consider cosmetic surgery and get answers to any questions you may have. Making sure that you’re comfortable with the procedure, your doctor and hospital, is incredibly important, and can help create a positive experience.