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Starting your Journey: Planning for Surgery

You’ve had plastic surgery on your mind for a while. The only thing holding you back is the confusion of choosing the right procedure, finding a trusted plastic surgeon and just simply how to plan for surgery. Well, here are some things you may want to consider while planning your surgery.
The First Steps
It is a good idea to research the procedure you are thinking about to learn more about it. Speaking to someone you know who has had the same or similar procedure done will let you know what to expect. Choose a qualified plastic surgeon who is a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) so you can be sure they have been properly trained and have the knowledge you need. Consult with a plastic surgeon, discuss your full medical history with them and ask them tough questions. Ask about the potential risks and recovery time of the surgery.
Psychological Aspects
Being aware of the psychological aspects of plastic surgery are important. Whether cosmetic or reconstructive, plastic surgery supports your self-image. A small change on the outside can result in an astonishing change on the inside, which makes an individual’s self-confidence and self-perception thrive. Since plastic surgery provides permanent and drastic results, it is important to consider how it might make you feel before you undergo surgery.
Be honest with yourself if you are planning for plastic surgery. Ask yourself why you want the procedure done and what you expect plastic surgery to accomplish for you. Usually, patients with a history of having a strong self-image are good candidates for plastic surgery. For example, patients with a strong self-image who are uncomfortable by a physical characteristic or patients who experience a diminishing self-confidence because of a physical defect are good candidates. 
On the other hand, there may be unsuitable candidates for plastic surgery. Patients in a crisis who are going through a divorce, unemployment or death of a loved one might think a change in their appearance will make them feel better, but it might not be the right solution. Patients with a desire to have a celebrity’s lifestyle or looks have unrealistic expectations and are therefore the wrong candidates. Patients who are impossible to please or who believe that if they fix a defect, they will make their lives perfect are also unsuitable candidates for plastic surgery. Experienced plastic surgeons can usually identify these patients during consultation and sometimes even decline to operate on these individuals.
Good Timing
The timing of the surgery is also an important factor. Some procedures can be stressful to the body and mind. Think about your relationships, life at home, work issues, and other private matters. Try not to plan your surgery during a time in your life when you have a lot going on. 
Costs and Insurance
The cost of the procedure may be a combination of a couple factors such as location, the surgeon’s expertise and the time and effort your procedure entails. Additional cost elements include fees for the anesthesiologist, the operating room, the length of your stay for recovery, lab fees and more. Ask your surgeon about all costs involved before agreeing to the procedure.
The method of payment depends on your financial statements. You may choose to pay cash, check, use credit cards or affordable financing solution such as offers flexible payment options and low monthly installments, making it easy to finance your surgery.
Understanding your insurance policy before agreeing to surgery is crucial. Some policies cover many plastic surgery procedures while others limit them. Reconstructive surgery is typically covered in most insurance policies. Cosmetic surgery, on the other hand, is usually not covered because it is voluntary, meaning it is not a medical urgency.
Where to have the surgery
Procedures are performed in an in-office surgical facility, a hospital, or a freestanding surgery center. Where the surgery should take place usually relies on the complexity of the procedure. To keep it cost-effective and convenient, individuals usually choose freestanding or office-based facilities. 
The last steps
After you have researched the procedure, chosen a qualified plastic surgeon, considered the psychological aspects and planned the timing, payment options and location of the procedure, you are ready to schedule the procedure. Good luck!
1800mySurgeon is a free consumer service dedicated to patients interested in elective surgery. The service helps patients find qualified Board-Certified Surgeons in their area, as well as information on a surgeon’s board records, credentials, experiences and specialty areas. Call our patient coordinators toll free at 1-800-my-Surgeon (1-800-697-8743) or visit our website at to learn more about surgery and access patient resources.

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