Woman with marks for plastic surgery on stomach

Are you considering an elective cosmetic surgery procedure? You're definitely not alone! In fact, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, 14.6 million cosmetic plastic surgery procedures were performed in the U.S. last year alone.

Should you go
under the knife?

Here are things to think about before taking drastic measures.

1

Appearance

Elective cosmetic surgery may help your outward appearance, but remember that beauty is only skin deep. It's your character and personality that make people love you for who you are. Be sure you have a loving support system before making such a big decision.

2

Confidence

Having low self-esteem as a result of a physical attribute you're not happy with can affect all areas of your life. There's nothing wrong with thinking you could be happier, as a result of being more confident, if you could put your best face forward. Remember though, surgery is not a cure for deeper issues such as depression or jealousy. Be sure you are working through the root of the problem before going under the knife.

3

Relationships

This new-found confidence may strengthen your social skills, which will in turn help you to make new friends and relationships. For example, you may no longer be as shy, which can help you to break the ice more easily in professional settings. Or you may not be as insecure, so you can flirt back without anxiety.

4

Cost

Plastic surgery is not cheap. And it is definitely not an area where you want to cut costs — we're talking about your life here! It's important to go on a few different consultations. Gather quotes, talk to board certified doctors and ultimately choose one you trust. It could also help to talk to a handful of their clients who have had the same procedure you're considering. Here are tips for safely choosing a credible, yet affordable surgeon according to USA Today.

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5

Others' reactions

Strangers will never know you underwent plastic surgery (unless you end up looking like Joan Rivers). But friends and family most likely will — if it's obvious. Some will be supportive, but others will totally judge you. They'll assume you have horrible self-esteem, are materialistic or shallow. Or, they'll be jealous and treat you differently. Either way, make sure you're comfortable with people never truly understanding your motives, because even if you talk about it with family and friends, it can be hard for them to accept.

6

Physical risks

There are several different risks associated with each procedure, depending on what you want to get done. These include a risk of infection at the incision site, scarring, nerve damage, blood clots and the dangers of being put under anesthesia. Do research on the dangers associated with the surgery you want, and decide if it's something you're willing to risk.

7

Realistic expectations

If you have unrealistic visions of what you'll look like after surgery, you may need a reality check. Understanding what can be done given your personal situation is something you need to talk to your surgeon about. Also prepare yourself for the surgery not going as planned. If you walked in with Sarah Jessica Parker's nose expecting to walk out with Natalie Portman's and instead ended up with Anne Hathaway's, you have to be alright with that. They are surgeons, not miracle workers. And remember, all of the problems in your life pre-surgery will still be there afterwards.

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8

Maintenance

A lot of times, it's not just as simple as going in just once. You may have to go in for several "maintenance" surgeries every few months or years. You'll have to be aware of this going in so you know if you have the time, patience and money for the upkeep.

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Comments

Comments on "The pros and cons of plastic surgery"

Jenniferdeans January 22, 2014 | 9:22 PM

Yes, We need to consider many issues before committing to a cosmetic procedure, Should learn well about the doctor as well as the procedure we want to undergo!!!

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