Writing in the Dec. 30 edition of The Huffington Post, New York City plastic surgeon Robert Tornambe, M.D., notes that the New Year is an especially busy season as people resolve to “regain their figures or spruce up their appearance.”
That said, Dr. Tornambe suggests that patients need more to go on than a mere New Year’s resolution as they decide whether to undergo a cosmetic procedure. He advises potential patients to take “a realistic, intelligent approach to elective cosmetic surgery,” then offers a list of do’s and don’ts for making that final decision.
Here are a few of his tips to prospective patients:
Do it for the right reasons — “Cosmetic surgery is elective surgery, meaning it is unnecessary — don’t approach it in a flippant manner,” Dr. Tornambe says. He cites patients who tell him they want a procedure to satisfy a boyfriend’s or spouse’s wish — definitely not the right reason for getting surgery. “That type of patient will never be happy with their surgery. Cosmetic surgery should be done to please nobody but you,” he writes.
Be ready physically — Surgery, even cosmetic surgery, is “an assault on your body,” as Dr. Tornambe puts it, so he tells patients to be fit and healthy. “I urge patients to try diet and exercise before going under the knife, as that may be all they need.”
Don’t ask to look like someone else — The doctor tells patients who ask for Angelina Jolie’s lips that they’re already taken — by Angelina Jolie. “Sometimes just the removal of a bump on a nose can make a world of difference,” he writes, “and yet allow the patient to keep their own nose and still look like themselves.”
Check out the facility as well as the physicians — Patients should know that while cosmetic surgery does not have to be done in a hospital, it should be done at an approved facility that’s inspected regularly. Dr. Tornambe also advises patients to make sure the anesthesiologist is board certified as well as the surgeon. “Don’t be shy about making inquiries about certification,” he says.
Have realistic expectations — Cosmetic surgery isn’t intended to totally transform a patient’s life, but to improve one’s looks and, concurrently, sense of well-being. Patients seeking plastic surgery to find a spouse or save a marriage will wind up disappointed. Dr. Tornambe tells prospective patients that if they have doubts about their motives for getting surgery, they should seek advice from a mental-health provider.
Focus on inner beauty — The doctor tell patients that “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.”
In addition to being a Huffington Post contributor, Dr. Tornambe is author of The Beauty Quotient Formula.