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Who Are Candidates for Cosmetic Surgery? Physicians should consult with potential patients about their needs and expectations regarding surgery

For the most part, anyone who feels they can be a candidate for cosmetic surgery is probably right.

“Some of it is treating a feature that someone may not like,” said Dr. Marty Luftman with Plastic Surgery Associates. “It can be a genetic trait like a large nose, turkey gobbler or saggy eyelids. Other times, and more often, it is changes of aging, like hooded eyelids that make you look tired, brows that make you look stern or downturned corners of the mouth that make you look unhappy.”

Some women have loose skin and fat around their abdomens after having children; they might be a good candidate for a tummy tuck. Others who work out and eat healthily might have stubborn areas of fat, so they are good candidates for liposuction. There are non-surgical options as well.

“We have neurotoxins such as Botox and Dysport. These are two brands that weaken muscles that are overactive, like frown muscles and crow’s feet,” said Luftman. Fillers can fill in lines in the cheek folds or jowls.

Plastic surgeons find that if they see patients with definite cosmetic needs, they can make a tremendous difference in these people’s appearance as well as their self-esteem when they operate on them. By encouraging people to come in for a consult, the physician can ensure that he or she and the patient are on the same page. “Information is beneficial whether someone is thinking about things or is certain they want to have something done,” Luftman said.

The key to performing a successful cosmetic procedure is giving people what they want. But patients also need to set achievable, realistic goals. “There are people that have unrealistic expectations,” Luftman said. Patients may see their features as worse than they actually are and then expect to have an area of the body improved when it isn’t really damaged or altered.

However, most people can be helped, and they find the surgery a pleasurable experience, Luftman said. “One of the surprises that patients describe is that they hardly have any pain even though the surgery is lengthy, and that is a great thing, especially on facial procedures,” he said.

Whether you are discussing with the patient a procedure to help with aging issues, such as facelift, eyelids, brow lifts, scar revision, excision of keloids or breast surgery through enlargement or reduction, it is about finding what someone really wants. “Nationwide liposuction is the most popular procedure, but in my practice, facial and breast surgeries are more common,” Luftman said. When patients inquire about possible cosmetic procedures, their primary care physician should refer them for consultation with a plastic surgeon to determine if the need exists and to make sure the goals of surgery are realistic.

By Jamie Lober, Staff Writer

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