8 Things I Wish I Knew Before Undergoing Plastic Surgery

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In this day and age, it's fairly common to get a little nip/tuck. Some people go the their plastic surgeon's office at the same frequency they go to their local blowout salon. Because us girls are now, more-than-ever, encouraged to have autonomy over our bodies, it's really no surprise that the rate of women who undergo plastic surgery has steadily been increasing over the past decade. But don't let the hype and the glamour go to your head, getting work done is risky business. That doesn't mean you shouldn't do it, it just means that you need to know what you're getting yourself into. The scary truth is that there are quite a few things that plastic surgeons don't always tell you before you go under the knife, like...

1. Not All Surgeons Are Created Equal
Just because a surgeon is board certified, doesn't mean he/she's necessarily skilled or experienced. Ask your prospective surgeon how many procedures he/she does per week, how long he/she has been practicing and whether or not he/she has before and after photos that demonstrate the quality of his/her handiwork.

2. You Should Lead the Consultation
Walk into the consultation with a clear idea of what your goals and expectations are. If you want your nose to look like Kim Kardashian's, bring numerous photos of her with you that illustrate your desired outcome. Don't let the surgeon tell you what she thinks would look good on you, tell her what you wish to achieve through surgery. She should be able to guide you and tell you what is realistic, but at the end of the day, it's your face and your body.

3. It Won't Turn Out Perfectly
Like Beyonce says, "Perfection is the disease of a nation," and she's 100 percent right. If you're aiming for perfection, you're setting yourself up to be disappointed. No matter how specifically and eloquently you articulate your goals, the reality is that there is always some degree of unpredictability with plastic surgery. The result will not be exactly what you wanted, but hopefully (if you chose a reputable surgeon and communicated your wishes), it will end up pretty close.

4. You Might Like the Way You Looked Before Surgery
Have you ever heard of the saying, "You don't appreciate what you have until it's gone"? This definitely applies to cosmetic surgery. When your appearance is transformed, it can be shocking for your mind to process. Some patients end up preferring the way they looked before having work done. Usually, these feelings pass after several months, but not always. Be very certain that you want to change your look before going through with surgery.

5. Many Surgeons Are Sales People First and Doctors Second
Don't forget that surgeons have bills to pay just like anyone else. They may try to up-sell you procedures you don't necessarily need or want to hike up the bill. Don't be influenced by marketing techniques and showmanship. Tell your surgeon precisely what it is that you want.

6. You Will Be Depressed
It is completely normal to feel a bit blue or even profoundly depressed after undergoing cosmetic surgery. First of all, recovery heavily restricts what you're able to do. You will probably be bed-ridden for a while. Not being able to go outside or socialize will definitely take a toll on your mental state. Add the fact that you're probably in pain and dealing with the funky after-effects of the anesthesia - and who wouldn't be down? Make sure to get up and walk around a few times a day, even if its just around your room, and be sure to schedule some visitors who you know will cheer you up.

7. It Takes Months to See the Result
When I first underwent plastic surgery, I expected the doctor to take the cast off of my nose and a gorgeous result to be revealed underneath. Instead, I cried in horror and screamed hysterically at my doctor for botching my nose. In reality, my nose wasn't botched. It takes months for all of the swelling, bruising and scarring to go away. That's when the final result will reveal itself. Movies and TV shows have heavily glamorized plastic surgery, but it's a process that takes time and patience. I sent my surgeon a gift basket with an apology note several months later.

8. Getting Surgery Won't Fix Your Life
If you're undergoing surgery because you don't like your job, your boyfriend broke up with you, or you failed your final exam, all of these things will still be true after you're all healed up. Getting plastic surgery to cure your general feelings of gloom and unhappiness never works. Sit down and write out a list of all the reasons you want to undergo surgery and then review them. Even consider talking to a counselor or therapist beforehand to sort through your thinking. Plastic surgery has many risks and it is not to be taken lightly.

If you're thinking about getting some work done, please understand that there are no guarantees. Make sure to do extensive research and go on as many consults as you can. At the end of the day, life is about doing what makes you feel happy, beautiful and confident. For some people, that means cosmetic surgery, and there's nothing wrong with that. Just know the risks and be informed. Good luck!

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