How much do you really know about the facelift, rhinoplasty or cheek augmentation?

It’s not an unusual question. Most people just assume they know about the general procedures like the facelift and rhinoplasty because they’ve been popularized and glamorized in the media.

Facial plastic surgery, whether it be cheek augmentation, necklift surgery, facial liposuction, eyelid surgery or a traditional facelift, or any combination of these procedures, is a delicate and complicated set of processes. The more the patient actually knows about their surgery beforehand, the better off he or she will be when it comes time for the actual procedure. The Internet is a virtual cornucopia of information about various cosmetic facelift procedures.

Raise your hand if you think you are a good candidate for cosmetic facial surgery? It depends, really, on your overall state of health and whether you have any underlying medical problems. That’s just one hurdle you need to clear with your doctor.

Knowledge is Power

Plastic surgeons love it when clients have taken the time to educate themselves about the facial procedure they are interested in. It eliminates so much confusion on the part of the patient and makes the surgeon’s role easier. Of course, sometimes facts need to be corrected or cleared up, but surgeons generally take pride in the fact that a client has done his or her homework and has even consulted with more than one surgeon before making the final choice based on solid research, patient testimonials, before-and-after pictures, and relevant professional certifications. It’s an honor for the surgeon when patients can truly say they have chosen whom they believe to be the best in the field. It establishes a trusting relationship with the surgeon and alleviates so much anxiety and doubt in the patient.

The Goal of Education

If you have done your research well then you will have gained a much better picture and understanding of the results you hope to achieve with your facial surgery, as well the personal and time sacrifices to be made. You will have prepared yourself mentally and emotionally for the actual procedure and the downtime required to make a complete recovery. You will also know that a protein-rich diet accelerates the healing process and what to do in the event of a post-operative complication. The private consultation with your surgeon only reinforces this knowledge.

Other Points to Consider

The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery has provided a few tips for patients in their quest for the best plastic surgeon and the right procedure. These include the following:

  • Make sure the physician is board certified as this is your “safety” insurance that the medical practitioner has the skill and training as well as the experience to perform one or more facial surgery procedures.
  • What are the tools, methods, and materials that your surgeon typically uses to perform your surgical procedure? Does he or she have hospital privileges? This speaks volumes about the professional reputation of the surgeon. It also means you will be exposed to some of the most advanced surgical technology currently available.
  • Due diligence is the key word when shopping for a facial plastic surgeon. Do your research and, if possible, speak with a patient who has had the same procedure. It will pay off in the long run in terms of your ultimate satisfaction.

‘I Want’ vs. ‘I Need’

Cosmetic facial plastic surgery is typically comprised of elective procedures. With elective surgery, it’s doubly important that you choose the procedure for the right reasons, meaning that you want the procedure for yourself and not because someone else feels you should have it. Your surgeon not only will be able to help make that determination based on facts discussed during consultation, he or she will know whether your goals are realistic.

Dr. Kyle S. Choe is a board certified facial plastic surgeon and hair restoration specialist with offices located in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Contact The Choe Center for Facial Plastic Surgery at 757.389.5850 for a personal consultation or view Dr. Choe’s before and after photo gallery.