If you want to slow the ticking clock of aging, then eating right, exercising and otherwise taking good care of yourself can make a huge difference. But when it comes to our faces, it’s pretty hard to undo what time, genetics and bad habits — such as smoking and sun-worshipping — hath wrought.
However, cosmetic surgery — aka a face-lift — is an investment that really can make a difference, if you’re willing to pay the price. But cosmetic surgery is not for everyone, and it has risks. If you’re considering this path, here are some tips to help you reach a successful outcome.
1. Consider why you’re doing it
Going under a plastic surgeon’s knife is a pretty big deal, even as the surgeries become more routine and the post-procedure recovery time shrinks. Practitioners typically urge cosmetic-surgery patients to carefully consider their expectations about the surgery and the reasons they are doing it.
2. Become familiar with the options
A face-lift is not a one-size-fits-all affair. There are a number of procedures that are commonly used, alone and in combination, to combat signs of aging, including:
- Eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty): For treating droopy eyelids, bags or puffiness around the eyes.
- Forehead/brow-lift: This procedure lifts the skin on the forehead and upper part of the face to correct deep forehead wrinkles, frown lines and heavy brows.
- Face-lift (rhytidectomy): This is the most extensive surgical approach for minimizing wrinkles and sagging of the face and neck, as well as jowls and double chin that can develop with age.
Regardless of what procedure you choose, it will be surgery, so it comes with some risks. Talk to a doctor to become aware of these dangers.
3. Shop around for a cosmetic surgeon
To start a search for a cosmetic surgeon, ask for recommendations from friends who have experience with cosmetic surgery. Or, ask your general practitioner or dermatologist.
A good surgeon should be able to recommend appropriate procedures that will result in the most natural-looking results for your objectives.
4. Don’t be cheap
The price range for cosmetic surgery can be enormous, depending on the doctor, the extent of your procedures and your location.
If you’re like most people, you need to be conscious of price, but don’t make cost your sole consideration. You don’t need to hire Hollywood’s surgeon to the stars to be in good hands, but be sure to conduct due diligence.
5. Right-size your expectations
Don’t go in expecting miracles. The main thing you can achieve from cosmetic surgery is a fresher, more energetic look. Tired of people saying you look tired? This could make a difference. Hoping people will confuse you with Scarlett Johansson? That is not happening.
According to one survey written up in WebMD, strangers who looked at before-and-after pictures of people who had cosmetic surgery said the surgery did almost nothing to boost their attractiveness but did shave off a few years.
6. Or just say no
There are excellent reasons, in addition to cost, that can lead you to decide against cosmetic surgery.
The risks of cosmetic surgery are especially high if you have a history of cardiovascular disease, lung disease, diabetes or obesity because such patients “have a higher risk of developing complications such as pneumonia, stroke, heart attack or blood clots in the legs or lungs,” according to the Mayo Clinic. “Smoking also increases risks and interferes with healing.”
Even for people in excellent health, there are risks associated with going under the knife, the Mayo Clinic notes.
Cosmetic surgery is not a crazy idea, and you’d be in good company if you made the leap. But surely it’s something worth weighing carefully.
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