We all want to be the best version of ourselves, and for many, plastic surgery is seen as a way to achieve exactly that. However, before you undergo what is often considered major surgery, it’s important to understand what you are committing to.

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Whether it’s a boob job, liposuction, nose augmentation or double chin surgery, before you commit to a surgical cosmetic procedure, it’s worthwhile asking yourself these five questions...

1. Why do I want it?
Your motivations for undergoing plastic surgery are an important factor in determining if it’s a good option for you. 

For those in good health with strong self-esteem who have invested a significant amount of time considering their options, plastic surgery can be an effective way to address various physical concerns. However, if you’re motivated to have plastic surgery to please a spouse or partner or you’ve made your decision in a hasty or ill-considered way, it may be worth reconsidering if it’s really the right option for you.

2. What are the risks?
Every type of surgery carries some form of risk. 
While you may want to ignore the associated risks when you really want something, this can have very serious consequences. Imagine you can’t work for an extended period or you had to fork out for costly medical bills if something were to go wrong and it wasn’t covered by your health insurance.

The risks associated with certain types of surgery may be more significant than others, so before proceeding with a procedure, it’s important to understand the risks you are assuming and consider carefully what the potential ramifications may be.

3. Can I really afford it?
While this may seem like a straightforward yes or no answer determined by whether or not you have the dollars to cover the cost of the procedure, it’s also important to consider the opportunity cost (or the cost of the other things you’re potentially sacrificing by spending your hard-earned money this way).

Do you have any debt you need to pay off? Do you need to save up for a down payment on a property? Or maybe you could benefit from investing for the future?

While you shouldn’t necessarily be discouraged from having plastic surgery if it’s important to you, it is still important to consider the trade-offs you’re making in the process.

4. Are my expectations realistic?
One of the most common issues for people considering plastic surgery is having unrealistic expectations about what can be achieved.

Before getting your heart set on the idea of having a procedure, do your research. Find out how the procedure works, what the recovery will be like and if there are any permanent scars or side-effects you need to know about. Look at plenty of before and after examples of what your doctor has done for other patients and ensure your expectations are aligned with what is realistically possible.

5. What if I’m unhappy with the results?
It’s also important to prepare yourself with a plan for what you’ll do if you’re unhappy with the results.
In some cases where a patient is unhappy with the results of a procedure, they may require a revision or correction surgery procedure. Make sure you find out what avenues of recourse would be available to you should you find yourself in that situation, including if you could afford an additional procedure if required.