Considering facial plastic surgery? There are plenty of things to think about, from what you want to get out of the procedure to how you’ll handle the recovery process. There’s also the cost to consider, and perhaps most importantly of all, how safe you will be during it. Whether you hope to take years off of your appearance with a facelift or are considering a rhinoplasty to change the shape of your nose, safety should always come first. While you can’t predict the future or what will happen after your procedure, you can be proactive about being safe.
Check Out Your Health
Your health plays a big part when it comes to whether or not your surgery will be a safe one. Some habits, medications and medical conditions can increase your risks for complications or other issues during or after surgery.
Smoking is a big roadblock to patient safety, for example. Nicotine restricts blood flow, which can negatively impact your results. If the area being operated on doesn’t get enough blood during the procedure, tissue can die. Or, if blood flow is restricted during healing, scarring is more likely to develop. For the sake of your safety and to improve your chances of a good result, most surgeons advise giving up smoking at least two weeks before your procedure. They also advise avoiding smoking for another two weeks after the surgery.
Just as nicotine constricts your blood vessels and reduces blood flow, some medications thin the blood and make it more likely for you to have excess bleeding during your surgery. Readily available pain relievers, such as ibuprofen and aspirin, are just two examples of medication that you should avoid before surgery.
During your consultation with the surgeon, let him or her know about any medicines you take, no matter how common or how infrequently. He or she will let you know which ones you need to avoid in the weeks leading up to surgery and what might be an appropriate alternative.
Finally, your overall health comes into play. Even if you don’t have a chronic condition, if your diet isn’t very healthy or if you have certain lifestyle habits that can interfere with the healing process or increase your risk for complications, your surgeon might advise waiting until you’ve given up those habits or improved your diet. Getting your health in the best condition possible will help you enjoy a safer surgery and an improved outcome.
Check Out Your Surgeon
After you’ve taken a close look at your health, it’s a good idea to take a close look at the surgeon with whom you’re considering working. The skill your surgeon has and his or her training and experience level play a big role in determining the outcome and safety of your procedure. One of the most important things to look for when evaluating your surgeon is whether or not he or she is board certified in facial plastic surgery.
Legally, any doctor can perform plastic surgery, and you might have seen doctors who specialize in other areas offering surgical procedures. But, only a doctor who is board certified in facial plastic surgery has undergone years of additional training specifically in surgery after graduating from medical school. Board certified plastic surgeons also must have passed difficult examinations to prove their skill level.
You can get a sense of the surgeon’s skill level and bedside manner, too, by taking a look at reviews and testimonials from past patients. Patients who are happy with their results will most likely have a lot of good things to say about their doctor while those who have had an unpleasant experience will likely give you the full story about what went wrong.
Check Out the Facility
The location of your surgery is also important when it comes to safety. If the procedure won’t be taking place in a hospital setting, the facility at which it will take place needs to be accredited by an outside agency. Accreditation means that the center has met certain requirements for safety and that the surgeon and staff have met specific requirements when it comes to experience and training.
It doesn’t matter what type of surgery you are thinking about, safety should be one of your major concerns. Asking questions and doing research will help you get a sense of how safe and dependable your surgeon is.
In Ohio, board certified facial plastic surgeon Dr. Stephen Smith can answer any questions you have about surgery and about the safety of specific procedures. The more you know about a surgery and about the surgeon, the better able you’ll be to determine whether it’s the right call for you. To schedule a consultation with Dr. Smith at one of his two Ohio practices, call (614) 702-7342 today.