Summary: If you have seen a commercial from a plastic surgeon or did an initial consultation, chances are that the surgeon has made it appear that cosmetic surgery was no different than a day at the spa. Those of us who have had plastic surgery procedures or interviewed dozens of patients to find out what it is really like to go under the knife, the reality is a little different. I must remind you that even death can occur during plastic surgery because it is no different than having heart surgery, but like any other surgery, most of the time things will go fairly smoothly. There is no reason not to go under the knife because of the sugarcoating by your surgeon, but you will be better off knowing what will really happen and why your surgeon is reluctant to tell you the truth (hint: he wants your money):
It will be a lot more painful than you think: My wife recently had a procedure in which the surgeon made an incision the size of vitamin pill, got fat out, and then injected the fat cells in the face. The surgeon made it appear that this was going to be no more painful than getting a flu shot. Oh, he did not mention that the pain would last 2 months (you feel it more during bending or when we were making love) and the black and blue marks will remain there for months. The dead tissue will be there for a year (so if you need to show that area for whatever reason, be prepared).
Recovery will be longer than you are being told: Remember all those plastic surgery clinics inviting you to combine a surgical procedure with vacation? You shouldn’t. There will be plenty of opportunities in life to have a beach vacation. The reality is that the pain from surgery will last for months and it is better to delay that vacation. Within days of going under the knife, you will be barely able to use the bathroom on your own.
Plastic surgery turns back the clock, it does not stop it: Agreed that if the surgery is done well, you will look younger than you did before. Unfortunately, your surgeon forgot to mention that aging is a universal truth and as soon as you leave the clinic you start to age. In other words, you should already starts to save money for turning the clock back by another few years. What is worse is that, let us say you had a facelift and you look 10 years younger, by the time you recover, you will notice that your face looks younger but the rest of the body does not, and that makes you come across as fake, or as someone who has had work done. In other words, unless you are willing to live with just a cute face, you will need to fix the rest of the body as well.
Oh, by the way, I am not really a cosmetic surgeon: It is no secret that plastic surgery is lucrative for the clinics. Rather than having to deal with sick people and making them healthy again and then doing all the paperwork to get paid by insurance company, it is much better to make you finance your elective surgery. That is why so many surgeons have never studied any plastic surgery, and the business is full of folks who in their other life are dentists or gynecologists or cardiac surgeons. You will also notice that a lot of the folks in a clinic are not surgeons at all but are merely technicians.
There really are no bargains: Have you noticed that cosmetic surgeons are advertising the same way the restaurants do. In fact, they even use discount coupon services like Groupon. If you have ever tried to find out how coupons work, you may be aware that companies target low-income individuals with coupons in the hope that they will become repeat customers (high income customers are targeted a lot differently by a company because they don’t care much about the price). So while it might seem that you got a great deal on a liposuction/tummy tuck package, be prepared that the clinic will do the job in a way that you will need to return to the clinic soon enough to get more work done.