Is there a piece of your anatomy that really grinds your gears, or you want to be free of an ugly old scar? Whatever your reasons, before you decide to follow through and make that appointment, you will have to figure out something else besides your budget. Sit down with yourself and give the following questions some honest consideration.

Are you healthy enough to have it?

When you have your consultation with your chosen plastic surgeon, make sure to share your entire medical history: injuries, illnesses, treatments, all of it. If the surgeon does not have all possible information about relevant health facts, they will not be able to give you accurate assessments regarding procedure, cost, and recovery. Moreover, if you lie, withhold any details, or downplay things, your doctor is excused form all responsibility if there are any complications or anything goes wrong.

Is the surgeon you are considering legitimate?

This is a critical question. There are a lot of scammers out there who will botch your body just to score a buck. Make sure you avoid them at all cost. How?

You need to check their credentials first of all. A legitimate surgeon’s practice will be registered with, and approved by, the American Board of Plastic Surgery (or your country’s equivalent relevant board entity, if you are reading this from somewhere abroad). Also confirm if they have membership in other relevant medical groups, like a college of surgeons or a society of reconstructive surgery.

You can see all of these on the page of this Bay Area plastic surgeon as a good example. They also offer free consultations, which is a good sign: legitimate doctors will answer your questions and concerns gratis. If someone is trying to get you to pay them before they will even talk to you, they are most likely a fraud.

What does the procedure actually entail?

Obviously, you are not going to bother with the nitty-gritty details that only a medical professional can understand, like “why this scalpel and not that one”, but you do need to know more than just the name of your potential procedure.

You need to make sure that it is the optimal procedure for that particular body part that you want to alter. You need to understand the process, the required preparation, as well as the kind of aftercare that you will need. Check out this helpful information about patient safety about patient safety from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.

Where will the scars be and will it be possible to hide them?

Contrary to popular belief, plastic surgery does leave scars, and they may not always end up being a nice, thin, discrete line. Sometimes they can be raised, bumpy, of irregular width, silvery, pinkish, or brownish. Almost always, they will be significantly lighter than your prevalent skin tone.

You can visit this link as a good starting point for learning about different types of surgical scars: https://www.verywellhealth.com/plastic-surgery-bad-scars-2710210

They will be in particular places, which can be problematic if your work is one that requires some skin exposure (such as modelling, swimming instruction, dancing and so on). It can also be bothersome if you tend to wear loose or low cut clothing, bikini swimsuits and such. Also keep in mind that scars on the abdomen, thighs, bottom, or breasts are very likely to stretch and become more noticeable if you gain weight or go through a pregnancy in the future.

Are you prepared for more than one procedure?

Sometimes you may need revision surgery – undergoing a new procedure to improve or correct the results of a previous one. It may be a simple one requiring only local anesthesia or a complete revision where you have to go under all over again. Naturally, these means multiplying both the costs and the recovery time.

Do you have the appropriate time to recover?

Your surgeon will likely impose restrictions upon your activities. Can you afford to stay off work for that long? Will it affect your family? Can you pay for medication? Depending on surgery scope, you will need a few days or several weeks to recover.