The decision to undergo plastic surgery should be made with serious thought and consideration. The best plastic surgery patients are those who research potential plastic surgeons, as well as the potential risks, side effects, and outcomes of surgery. Bay Area Plastic Surgeon John Griffin educates patients about the critical factors that should be considered before any patient chooses to undergo plastic surgery.
When patients begin the search for a plastic surgeon, they may choose to look for:
- Board certification: A surgeon that has been board certified in plastic surgery graduated from an accredited medical school, and completed five years of residency surgical training, including at least two years of training only in plastic surgery. Dr. Griffin is a board certified Plastic Surgeon. Check The American Board of Plastic Surgery website to see if a surgeon is board certified.
- Memberships in professional medical organizations: Maintaining membership in respected medical organizations shows that the surgeon is committed to continued training in the field. Dr. Griffin is a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, and American Society of Reconstructive Microsurgery.
- Experience performing a specific plastic surgery procedure: When patients schedule a consultation with a surgeon, they should ask how comfortable the surgeon is with the procedure.
- Before and after photos: Most reputable surgeons have before and after photos of actual patients. These photos provide insight into the surgeon’s abilities and surgical outcomes. Furthermore, prospective patients may have the opportunity to talk with patients who have undergone similar procedures.
While the only way to find out if a patient is a good candidate for plastic surgery is to schedule a consultation with a surgeon, there are some general requirements that patients must meet. First, patients should be in good overall health; patients with uncontrolled conditions or diseases are not usually considered good candidates for surgery. Second, patients should have realistic expectations about the results of the procedure. Finally, patients should be non-smokers, or at least willing to quit smoking for a period of time both before and after plastic surgery.
There are several factors that can result in a poor outcome from plastic surgery. Choosing an inexperienced surgeon is a cited reason for unsatisfactory results. Failure to follow post-surgical instructions can also cause problems. After plastic surgery, patients should follow the surgeon’s instructions. These instructions may include:
- Compliance with post-operative medications
- How long the patients should wait to shower after surgery
- Not removing bandages or stitches at home
- How and when to clean the incision site and replace bandages
- Use of compression garments as recommended
- Avoiding strenuous activity for a recommended amount of time
- Proper nutrition
Dr. Griffin urges patients to remember that the post-surgical healing period plays an important role in the surgical outcome.
There are certain general side effects that should be expected after a plastic surgery procedure. These include discomfort, swelling, bruising, and numbness or itchiness at the incision site. The severity of these side effects varies depending on the individual patient and the type of surgery that was performed.
While side effects after plastic surgery are common and expected, severe complications of surgery are rare. This is especially true when an experienced surgeon performs the procedure. Still, patients should be advised about the potential risks of surgery, which include:
- A poor reaction to anesthesia
- Unfavorable scarring
- Nerve damage or loss of sensation
- Blood clots
In addition to these, there may be additional risks that can occur with specific plastic surgery procedures. Be sure to discuss all possible risks, and how they can be avoided, with your surgeon during a pre-surgical consultation.
To schedule a plastic surgery consultation, contact Dr. Griffin’s office today.