We never judge anyone by their decision to better their looks. However, we do wish more thought was put into what people want to achieve and how they decide to achieve it. After all, the right kind of plastic surgery can be life-changingly good – just ask your friend who spent her adolescent years being tormented due to a hook nose, but after a corrective nose job, is now happier and more confident than ever.
So, how do you ensure you keep yourself true and never go too far in that bid for the perfect Kendall Jenner body? We caught up with Dr. Lara Devgan, MD, a board-certified plastic surgeon in New York City and Diplomate of the American Board of Plastic Surgery for her thoughts on how to get the most out of going under the knife.
“As a woman and a plastic surgeon, I have a special appreciation for plastic surgery as a powerful and empowering tool,” Dr. Devgan explains.
“It can help you look good, feel great, and improve discreet aspects of your body and face. But at the same time, it’s important to remember plastic surgery is not a panacea. It won’t fix a failing relationship or change who you are inside.”
Here’s her advice for achieving excellent plastic surgical results, every time. And if you come away with just one thought after reading this, make it thus: cosmetic surgery is all about helping to create a better you… not a caricature of your former self. Or, ahem, Kendall Jenner.
1. Develop realistic expectations
“Plastic surgery is intended to help make you the best version of yourself, not a lesser version of someone else. Although many people admire Jennifer Aniston’s nose, Angelina Jolie’s lips and Natalie Portman’s chin, your own plastic surgery result should be based on your own uniqueness.”
2. Have plastic surgery for the right reasons
“Cosmetic surgery is at its best when it aims to correct a discrete anatomic characteristic. If your breasts have bothered you ever since you stopped nursing, for example, there’s a good chance plastic surgery can help with these concerns. On the other hand, if you feel generally dissatisfied with your overall appearance, are depressed, or are going through major life changes such as a divorce or death in the family, plastic surgery may not be the best place to start.”
3. Find a qualified plastic surgeon
“In this era of cut-rate plastic surgery mills, procedures performed by unqualified doctors and disasters in foreign countries, it’s essential to find a plastic surgeon who’s board-certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ASPS). This means he or she has performed thousands of supervised plastic surgery operations, passed rigorous examinations, been evaluated by senior plastic surgeons for safety and quality, and met all ethical standards required.”
Hint: all our experts are board-certified by the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS), which counts ASPS as part of its portfolio. Cue: trumpet blowing at HintMD towers.
4. Do your homework
“Make sure your plastic surgeon’s education and credentials also meet your own personal standards. Read patient reviews on third-party websites, look at ‘before’ and ‘after’ photos and meet your surgeon in person so you can ask questions and ensure you have a good rapport.”
5. Start small
“My most satisfied patients generally start with a little pick-me-up like a medical-grade skincare product to combat wrinkles, some Botox to smooth out crow’s feet, or a bit of filler to plump their lips. Most of the time, starting small is the best way to get a natural-looking result, then if over the years you find your eyes drooping or your breasts sagging, these issues can be addressed later. On the other hand, if you have an issue that requires surgery right off the bat – like a tummy tuck or breast augmentation – there is no ‘small’ way to correct your concerns. This is when that qualified surgeon comes in to ensure you’re still able to get natural-looking results, whatever the procedure.”
6. Know what you want
“While plastic surgeons can’t transform you into your favorite celebrity, he or she can get a better sense of the aesthetic you desire if you provide examples of features that appeal to you. I invite all of my patients to bring in photographs either of themselves at a younger age, or of someone whose features they like, as a starting point for discussion. This isn’t to say you’ll emerge looking like these images, but they’re great for communicating subtleties that are hard to put into words.”
7. Beware of beauty fads
“The most durable results are often best achieved with traditional methods. There is no shortage of fads and gimmicks in the world of beauty and it’s unrealistic to expect the latest miracle cream to deliver fat reduction results that match liposuction, for example. While there’s a tremendous temptation to go straight for non-invasive approaches, be sure to discuss how effective they are and how long the results will last before you commit.”
8. Embrace your decision
“Intelligent, sincere people care about their appearances and there’s no shame in wearing makeup, coloring your hair or buying fashionable clothes, so there should be no shame in getting plastic surgery, either. Once you’ve arrived at your decision to have a procedure, embrace it and don’t let other people’s ideas of what you should do put you off.”
Written by: Georgia Gould