Realistic Expectations and Cosmetic Surgery

It is one of the primary tasks of the Surgeon to assess your expectations and make sure these are realistic. A surgeon must explain to you what to expect and what not to expect.

In my experience most patients do not expect miracles. But there are still many misconceptions about Cosmetic Surgery. One common misconception is that you will not have scars. Another misconception is that perfection can be achieved through surgery. There is no such thing as perfection.

Your expectations are crucial to your happiness with your results. It is not only important that you have expectations that are correct but that your expectations are realistic.

In case of breast enlargement for example cup size cannot be guaranteed. Therefore to expect a precise cup size is unrealistic and this will not be achieved. One can simply say that your result can be achieved within a range. Similarly fat removal through liposuction will neither achieve weight loss nor is it likely to achieve smooth silky skin as many patients may desire.

There is another crucial variable which impacts the results and should be taken into account when deciding what to expect. This is the changes that will happen in the postoperative period. During this time there will be swelling that will stretch the skin and the wound. There will also be scar formation under the skin. These changes in the tissue will not only change the result but also make it difficult to predict the precise result.

For example with breast implants, after the implant has been inserted the final cup size depends upon not only the volume that has been inserted but also how the breast will stretch and accommodate the implant. This stretch and adjustment will change the dimensions of the breasts. Since the cup size depends upon both the volume and dimensions, the results will be different in two patients even with the same volume of implant as their bodies and dimensions will be different.

It is therefore fundamental that you keep your expectations realistic. Expecting perfection, or very precise results is likely to result in you being unhappy with the results because your expectations have not been achieved.

A surgeon can only deal with what you already have in terms of the quality of your tissues. No surgeon can perform miracles and no patient needs one.