Enhancing Your Appearance: Information About Aesthetic Surgery

Aesthetic is defined as a pleasing appearance or effect. To those seeking aesthetic surgery, the desired goal is an enhancement or change of facial or body appearance. Aesthetic surgery procedures are designed to rejuvenate skin or change the shape or size of a body feature for the purpose of improving appearance. While aesthetic surgery may not be the ideal option for every person seeking personal improvement, it offers an alternative to the visible consequences of age or to undesirable facial or body features.

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To determine if aesthetic surgery might be of benefit to you, it is important to be well informed. The following pages address some commonly asked questions. Additional information about the specifics of your personal concerns may be gained through a consultation with one of the University of Chicago Medicine plastic and reconstructive surgeons. You can be assured that the surgeons and staff in charge of your care have all undergone rigorous training and are qualified to provide optimum care.

Who Is a Good Candidate for Aesthetic Surgery?

If you are in good health and have realistic expectations about aesthetic surgery, you are a good candidate. Smoking, drinking excessive amounts of alcohol, or taking harmful drugs may increase the risks for complications both during and after aesthetic surgery procedures. And, if you have underlying medical conditions, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, or heart disease, you take on greater risks for any surgery.

As you consider undergoing aesthetic surgery, please understand that these procedures cannot perform miracles or achieve absolute perfection. They can, however, improve how you feel about the way you look. A good candidate has realistic expectations about the outcome, knowing the limitations of aesthetic surgery in achieving the desired goals. These issues will be discussed in detail during your office visit.

How Successful Is Aesthetic Surgery?

The success of any operation relates among other things to an accurate diagnosis and a carefully planned operation with closely supervised follow-up. While most aesthetic surgery procedures performed by competent plastic surgeons result in favorable outcomes, complications can and do occur. For the most part, these complications are due to bleeding, infection, or delayed or abnormal wound healing--such as excessive scarring. Complications may be beyond the control of both you and your surgeon. For this reason, it is impossible to guarantee the outcome of any aesthetic surgery.