THE BLOG
12/30/2014 01:32 pm ET Updated Mar 01, 2015

Post-Holiday Cosmetic Surgery: 10 Do's and Don'ts

The holidays are coming to an end and many of us ate too much, partied a lot, and didn't work out enough. The New Year brings a long winter to many parts of the country, and post-holiday blues everywhere. This time of year gets busy in many plastic surgeons' offices as people try to regain their figures or spruce up their appearance during winter solstice as it is easier to hide postoperative bruising and swelling with scarves and baggy sweaters!

Before going under the knife, refer to the following guide recommending a realistic, intelligent approach to elective cosmetic surgery. Here are 10 things you should and shouldn't do.

1. Don't Do It for All the Wrong Reasons

Cosmetic surgery is elective surgery, meaning it is unnecessary! Do not approach it in a flippant manner. Your mind set should be improving a certain part of you that bothers you and nobody else! I can't tell you how many patients seek cosmetic surgery for all the wrong reasons. Comments from prospective patients like, "I want a boob job because my boyfriend likes big breasts and he's paying for it" Or,"I need a facelift because my husband is having an affair with a younger woman" are too common. That type of patient will never be happy with their surgery. Cosmetic surgery should be done to please nobody but you!

2. Don't Do It Until You Are Ready

Surgery, even cosmetic surgery, is an assault on your body. For that reason you should be in good health and minor disorders like high blood pressure, should be under control prior to any operation. Most plastic surgeons require patients over 50 to be medically cleared by their personal physicians prior to surgery. Also, strive to be as physically fit as possible before surgery. I urge patients to try diet and exercise before going under the knife, as that may be all they need!

3. Don't Do the New Sexy Procedure That Sounds Too Good To Be True, Because It Probably Is

Many doctors tout a hot new sexy procedure that promises the world in an effort to stand out in an increasingly competitive environment. Be careful and do your homework. Research the procedure and seek advice from a board certified plastic surgeon with bona fide experience with the procedure. Ask about complications and long term results. If the procedure is very new and sounds drastic, doesn't it make sense to wait and let these doctors try the new procedure on someone else, and let them be the guinea pigs?

4. Don't Ask To Look Like Somebody Else

I have had patients ask me for Ed Burns' nose and Angelina Jolie's lips. The problem is they are already taken.... by Ed and Angelina! The point is that each individual has specific physical characteristics and traits that define them, and that's a good thing! A competent plastic surgeon will try to refine or enhance certain body parts to improve one's overall look. Sometimes just the removal of a bump on a nose can make a world of difference, and yet allow the patient to keep their own nose and still look like themselves!

5. Don't Do Too Much

A common mistake is to do too much cosmetic surgery all at once. Good plastic surgery improves or enhances body parts in an artistic and natural fashion. A sensible breast augmentation or facelift can provide an impressive and satisfying result. Facial fillers and Botox offer an excellent option for facial wrinkles. However, people with enormous breast implants or facial skin pulled way too tight or pumped with too much fillers and Botox look ridiculous and become the brunt of bad jokes.

6. Do Your Research

Seek out a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon with appropriate training and experience in the area that you desire. Bad economic times and changes in the medical landscape like decreasing payments to doctors from insurance companies have sprung a cottage industry called "cosmetic medicine." Doctors from other specialties are taking weekend crash courses to learn cosmetic surgery to bolster their income. It is my biased opinion that other specialists like gynecologists, should not perform liposuction or podiatrists not administer Botox, just like plastic surgeons should not deliver babies or remove bunions!

7. Do It at A Safe Place

Be certain that your surgeon operates in a facility that is safe and certified by entities approved by your state. Cosmetic surgery does not need to be done in the hospital, but it should be done at an office or surgi-center approved and inspected on a regular basis. Your anesthesiologist should be Board certified also. Don't be shy about making inquiries about certification.

8. Do It Right

Follow your surgeon's orders before and after surgery! Mind advice regarding smoking, alcohol consumption, prescription medications, blood thinners and even diet. Pay attentions to postoperative orders regarding exercise, exertion and even driving or operating heavy equipment. Your preoperative and postoperative behavior has significant and lasting effects on your final cosmetic result, so pay attention and behave.

9. Do Have Realistic Expectations

Approach your cosmetic surgery with realistic and hopefully attainable expectations. The surgery will not transform your life in a monumental way, but rather improve a body part that bothers you. If you are planning plastic surgery with desires like finding a spouse, saving your marriage or conquering the world, don't do it, because it won't work, and you will be unhappy. If there are doubts about your motives, seek advice from a mental health provider.

10. Do Remember Your Inner Beauty

A pretty face or hot body is fine, but try to temper your cosmetic surgery desires with the reality that your inner beauty is as important as your physical traits. Intelligence, warmth, sensitivity, humor and compassion are characteristics that greatly boosts one's beauty quotient without the need of a scalpel!

"Outer beauty attracts, but inner beauty captivates."
― Kate Angell, Squeeze Play