Considering getting a little work done?

You’ve had that aaagh! moment when you stopped and checked yourself out in the mirror and while you wouldn't want to exchange your life experience for anything - you may not like the frown lines and forehead furrows that become more visible with age, so what's next?

Nowadays plastic and cosmetic surgery is becoming almost as common as getting a facial or a pedicure. Certain procedures even date back 4000 years. But is it the right answer for everyone?

For some, signing up to exercise classes or going to the beautician may be just the remedy, while for others more drastic measures, such as plastic or cosmetic surgery, are called for to restore confidence in one’s appearance.

But before you reach for the directory of plastic and cosmetic surgeons, it’s vital to ask yourself a couple of key questions. Do I absolutely need this surgery? What are the alternatives to the procedure being considered? 

In some cases a targeted fitness plan carried out with regularity, or some non-invasive laser beauty therapy or even natural therapy might improve the perceived problem. 
Start by investigating these non-surgical avenues as you may be surprised to find a less dramatic solution.

If you are still unsatisfied and see surgery as the only option, here is a handy checklist to use:

  • Inform yourself! Find out as much as you can about plastic surgery in general and your specific procedure via credible websites, books, magazines & newspapers and by just speaking to doctors and peers who have had procedures
  • You should shortlist at least 2 to 3 surgeons for the initial consultation
  • Check if the surgeon is a member of the Australasian College of Cosmetic Surgery
  • How many times has the surgeon performed this procedure before and in the last year? 
  • What are the risks with this procedure and what is the surgeon’s complication rate? 
  • Ask to see results of his/her patients who looked similar to you before their surgery 

You will be better armed once all of your questions have been satisfactorily answered and you feel confident and comfortable with the doctor you have chosen.

Top five surgical procedures according to the Australian College of Cosmetic Surgery (ACCS):

  1. Anti-wrinkle and filler injections 
  2. Microdermabrasion and Laser resurfacing (of skin) 
  3. Breast augmentation, lifts and reductions 
  4. Liposuction (fat removal) 
  5. Blepharoplasty (eye surgery) 

What to beware of according to the ACCS:

  • Time-sensitive discounting on any procedures are against the law. Ask yourself, why am I being pressured? Don’t be
  • Commercially driven ‘referral sites’ presented as an accredited source of information. Ask yourself, what am I being sold? Can I trust this information? 
  • Cosmetic surgery gifts - are you getting the procedure for yourself of is someone trying to influence you?
  • Cosmetic tourism. Surgery is serious at every level, and not to be confused with taking a holiday

Did you know:

  • Australians now spend as much as $1bn annually on appearance medicine
  • While there are no Australian figures, Psychology Today reports Americans aged over 55 were the second largest represented group for plastic surgery 
  • The word ‘plastic’ in Plastic Surgery is derived from the Greek word ‘plastikos’ which means to mould or give form
  • The first evidence of cosmetic and reconstructive surgical procedures date back more than four thousand years
  • Fully qualified surgeons who perform Plastic Surgery are known as Specialist Plastic Surgeons

For more information visit the Plastic Surgeon Association and The Australian College of Cosmetic Surgery