4 Ways to Reduce Your Risk of Serious Complications
Although you may find the above information to be concerning, there are some simple ways you can help reduce your risk of complications.
1. Choose a reputable provider
A sign of a good provider is one who thoroughly answers your questions, tells you what you can expect before, during, and after the procedure, and goes over any risks you may face based on your medical history or other unique factors.
No matter what kind of elective cosmetic procedure you’re getting, it is important to research different providers to ensure they are experienced and have a good track record.
If you have friends who have had cosmetic procedures done, ask them about their provider and whether they would recommend them. Online reviews can also help you learn about providers in your area and gauge what kind of reputation they have locally.
Once you’ve narrowed it down to one or two providers, ask them to see some before and after photos of their past work. Any reputable provider will be happy to fulfill your request.
If you are getting a surgical procedure, you can also check to see if your surgeon is board certified. Board-certified surgeons have met the highest standards of education, knowledge, and training. According to the American Board of Surgery (ABS), Board-certified surgeons have met the following criteria:
- Completed at least 5 years of residency training following medical school
- Completed a rigorous ABS examination process
- Met all ABS training requirements
2. Take time to understand the procedure and its results
Choosing to get a cosmetic procedure is a big decision, and one that you should never rush into. Before you get any cosmetic procedure, it’s important to understand what the specific procedure will entail and what you can expect from its results.
For example, the maximum results of certain procedures may not be reached with a single appointment, and may require you to have one or more additional sessions to achieve the look you want.
If you’re interested in a specific cosmetic procedure, do some research and speak with your provider to determine whether the full scope of the procedure is feasible and within your budget.
3. Talk to your provider about your health and any medications you are taking
It is important for you to be honest with your provider about your current and past health, because certain medical conditions could put you at a greater risk for infection or other complications during or after surgery.
If you have any of the following health conditions, your provider could determine that you aren’t a good candidate for an elective cosmetic procedure:
- High blood pressure
- Heart disease
- A bleeding disorder
It is also important for you to disclose any medications or supplements you are taking, as they can thin the blood or interfere with other medications used during the surgery.
4. Carefully follow your provider’s after-care instructions
Most providers will give you instructions detailing how to care for yourself after the procedure. Some examples of the types of instructions you may receive from your provider include:
- Do not smoke. Smoking can prolong the healing process, which could lead to scarring in some cases.
- Eat right. Fruits and vegetables are high in nutrients, which can help your body heal faster. Your doctor may recommend that you avoid processed foods or foods high in sodium, because eating them may prolong the healing process.
- Properly care for the treatment area. It is important to keep the treatment area clean after your procedure, but avoid scrubbing the area or using harsh chemicals (unless directed by your provider). Typically, simple soap and water will do.
- Avoid strenuous exercise. Depending on the type of procedure you get, your provider may recommend that you take it easy for a few days or weeks following the surgery. Excessive movement or straining can create swelling, which could lead to complications.