One of the best, yet often least considered, ways to minimise the risks associated with cosmetic surgery is preparation.
Any invasive procedure, whether preformed for cosmetic reasons or otherwise, carries risks. The best way to avoid the risks associated with surgery is to know what they are; if you have already decided to undergo cosmetic surgery or are considering doing so, there are numerous ways in which you can aid your own recovery.
Recovery and the success of any cosmetic procedure is not simply determined by your surgeon; recovery is also your responsibility.
One of best decisions a person can make and which can dramatically improve a person’s chance of a speedy and low-risk recovery is to kick that nicotine habit once and for all. We all know smoking is bad for us, but not everybody is aware that smokers place themselves at a higher risk of experiencing post-procedure complications.
The ways in which smoking can negatively impact upon recovery are varied and most prominent in those undergoing cosmetic dental work, such as dental implants. This is because smoking reduces blood flow, notably to the gums and extremities. Smoking also increases the risk of introducing bacteria and infection to the mouth and other areas of the body.
The most important point to make is that smoking impacts upon a person’s overall health which can place an individual at risk of post-operative complications, whatever procedure they undergo. Hence, to ensure you do not cause complications, kick the habit at least three weeks before undergoing the knife to maximise your chances of a smooth recovery. For free, expert advice and support about quitting smoking, visit the NHS website’s Stop Smoking online resource.
Of course, smoking is not the only way in which a person can jeopardise their health and increase their risk of complications. Being either overweight or underweight can both place strain upon a person’s body and negatively impact upon their health and immune system.
If you are undergoing surgery such as a gastric bypass many NHS hospitals may refuse to operate on you unless you have lost a significant amount of weight pre-surgery. Equally, weight loss surgeries offered by many accredited and professional private providers, such as the Landauer Cosmetic Surgery Group may take a similar stance. Hence, discuss in detail with your potential surgeon what you can do to maximise your recovery chances. Do not simply look for a less professional cosmetic surgeon in order to avoid having to lose weight, pre-surgery.
If you are considering undergoing non-weight related surgery, either dieting sensibly or gaining weight via a healthy diet and regular exercise can both improve your overall health and better prepare your body for any procedure you may decide to undergo.
The Impact of Ageing
People are living longer than ever before, but our bodies do not always reflect how young we might still feel. Our obsession with looking young might not just be a matter of vanity though. As reported on the Psychology Today website, research has shown that there is a correlation between looking younger and living longer. Hence, ageing can be a contributing factor in a person’s decision to have cosmetic surgery, but as well can elevate the risk of complications.
As we age our natural defences and ability to fight infection or heal quickly diminish. If you are considering cosmetic surgery later in life, it is sensible to do your research. Discuss with your doctor as well as cosmetic surgeons what the risks, if any, may be of having cosmetic surgery, taking your age into consideration.
Consult your own GP
Speaking of doctors, the vast majority of people who undergo cosmetic surgery do so without first speaking with their own GP. This, quite plainly, is absurd. Your own GP has access to your personal medical notes and has probably known you for a consider amount of time.
Their knowledge of your general health and their expert medical knowledge combined mean that they are one of the best resources available to anyone thinking of undergoing cosmetic surgery. As well, if you are currently taking medication or, for example, are diabetic, the advice of your own doctor is even more important.
Hence, confide in your doctor; anything you tell them is confidential and their advice may well prove invaluable in determining whether you choose to have a procedure carried out.
For more information about preparing for cosmetic surgery, the PAS (The Patient Advisory Service) website is an invaluable resource. PAS have published a number of informative articles on their website, including how to shop to ensure you have everything you need once you return home. The PAS website also features a useful Q & A section which provides a list of questions you might want to present potential cosmetic surgery groups with, before making a final decision.