Bad plastic surgery is not as common as it once was, but it does happen. Protect yourself by taking the following steps:

Bad Plastic Surgery

1. Choose an accredited plastic surgeon.

Accreditation in Canada is by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. You can search for certified fellows on the Royal College Directory.  

2. Know the difference between a plastic and cosmetic surgeon.

The two are not synonyms. Plastic surgery residencies are much more in-depth than cosmetic surgery specializations. Someone who works specifically in plastic surgery will usually have a different skillset than someone who works generally in cosmetic enhancements.

3. Make sure your surgeon has access to an operating room.

Even for outpatient procedures, the surgeon should be able to use an operating room in case anything goes wrong.

4. Know which specific procedures you need.

This will help you find a surgeon with experience in exactly the kind of surgery you want. Surgeries with an experienced doctor are much safer. Also, knowing what surgeries you want can help you spot the shadier surgeons: they’re the ones pushing you to get more surgeries than the ones you’re requesting.

5. Read reviews.

Not all online reviews are reliable, but most are. Reading a large section of reviews should give you a good idea of general patient satisfaction.

6. Take care of your health.

It’s not always the surgeon’s fault if there are complications with plastic surgery. As with most surgeries, smoking increases the risk of something going wrong. If you are considering plastic surgery, you should stop smoking immediately. Although even harder to quit, heavy drinking can also weaken the body’s immune system and make you more vulnerable to post-surgical infection.

7. Be cautious about highly-marketed procedures.

New procedures are exciting, and often work out great. Sometimes, though, the marketing machine gets ahead of the science and may oversell the benefits. At best, most new methods are slight improvements over old methods. Trust the more realistic claims.

8. Be Comfortable with Your Surgeon.

Make sure you make a connection with your surgeon, that you feel he or she understands what changes you are trying to achieve and that he has the skill, and experience to help you reach your goals. Most surgeons can show you photographs of their previous patients who have had similar procedures.

9. Make the choice yourself.

It’s hard to overestimate the psychological importance of making your appearance match who you feel you are. Look at yourself in your mind’s eye. What does the real you look like? If you make this decision on your own, without pressure from anyone else, you will be much happier with the results of your surgery!