Type of Surgery

Aesthetic Plastic Surgery – Unlimited Choices, Realistic Expectations

Doctor Certified

Last updated: 06/29/2009

In the world of modern aesthetic surgery, there is really no part of the body that cannot be revised. Aesthetic surgery, a discipline within plastic surgery that seeks to improve the appearance of the face and body, actually covers a wide array of surgical and nonsurgical procedures. Common areas that people seek to improve with aesthetic surgery are the face, body, breasts, and the skin itself; however, there are procedures to correct, enhance, or improve virtually any spot on the body, even less common sites like the elbows, calves, and feet.
While cosmetic plastic surgeons may attempt to perform aesthetic surgery on any place on the body, it is important to have realistic expectations regarding the procedure’s outcome. For certain regions of the body, it is reasonable to have rather high expectations. For example, liposuction of the abdomen or neck is technically feasible for virtually all aesthetic surgeons. If you would like a certain amount of fat removed from an area, a cosmetic surgeon should be able to closely estimate the amount of fat removal to expect from the body region and give you an accurate prediction of the outcome.
For some aesthetic surgeries, even the best plastic surgeons face certain limitations. Consider what is involved in aesthetic surgery of the face, for example. First a patient must have a clear, unwavering goal in mind for her what she wishes to be changed on her face. Second, this information has to be accurately conveyed to the surgeon. While the patient can usually visualize what they desire in their mind’s eye, explaining that mental picture to the aesthetic surgeon can be difficult. Third, assuming the surgeon understands the patient’s desire for aesthetic surgery, the plastic surgeon must then attempt to create that ideal with the structures available to her on the face. For instance, taking away tissue is much easier than adding it, and, each structure must have an adequate blood supply. Therefore there are intrinsic limitations to what can be performed in a given aesthetic surgery.
Despite these challenges, plastic surgeons can accomplish some amazing feats of aesthetic surgery. When you look at the “Before and After” photos in the surgeon’s office, you will see an example of what she can accomplish. Also, plastic surgeons know their own limitations and comfort level with a given aesthetic surgery. The personal experience of a surgeon also comes into play—a surgeon is likely to be very comfortable with breast augmentation versus calve muscle augmentation, for example, since many more procedures of the former are performed than the latter. Your plastic surgeon will be happy to discuss realistic outcomes with you. They want you to be perfectly satisfied with the results of the aesthetic surgery.
Feel free to ask about complication rates and long term outcomes in the doctor’s previous patients. As with anything in life, practice makes perfect and aesthetic surgery is no different. The more procedures that one has performed, the better at the procedure the surgeon will be. Fortunately, in order to perform aesthetic surgery, a doctor must have completed countless procedures during training. Thus for the most common procedures like breast augmentation and liposuction, virtually any aesthetic plastic surgeon that you choose will be able to provide excellent results.

Last Updated: 06/29/2009

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