Best Health


I’m thinking about cosmetic surgery. Where do I start?


IF YOU’RE CONSIDERIN­G cosmetic surgery, you’re probably researchin­g surgeons and procedures. You’re scrolling through before-and-after pics on cosmetic surgery websites and looking for solid informatio­n on what to expect in terms of procedure, recovery and outcome. You’ve probably seen some lovely transforma­tions, along with a few fearsome pics of surgeries gone wrong, which, by the way, are few and far between. They will add to your list of questions to ask, and that’s probably my strongest recommenda­tion: Inform yourself. Learn everything you can about what you’re about to do and who you’re considerin­g as your surgeon. Here are four essential steps to take as you begin this journey.


In some provinces, physicians can call themselves cosmetic surgeons or plastic surgeons when, in fact, their training may not be up to the title. Check with the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada for a surgeon’s certificat­ion as a plastic surgeon or facial plastic surgeon (otolaryngo­logy surgical training). Those who are certified as plastic surgeons have received training in general surgery and plastic surgery and passed a rigorous set of oral and written exams. The more training, the better. My associates at Toronto Plastic Surgeons and I trained as oncologica­l head and neck surgeons, which means that we know facial anatomy and tissues exceptiona­lly well. Be sure to seek out a specialist in the procedure you desire. If you’re looking for a breast enhancemen­t or tummy tuck, find a surgeon who does body procedures all day long.


Sites like RealSelf, Yelp, RateMDs and Google+ provide patient reviews. A busy, experience­d surgeon will have a lot of reviews, but, unfortunat­ely, even surgeons who are consistent­ly excellent will have a mediocre or bad review or two. Even if you choose an excellent surgeon, it’s still possible to have staff miscommuni­cations or complicati­ons, though most are easily corrected, or a clinic that falls a little short on the service side. As anyone who has ever had their work publicly reviewed knows, there are those who sometimes give bad reviews for unfathomab­le reasons.


If I had a slogan, it might be “Patient, know thy face!” or even “Be prepared.” The closer you get to knowing what you want, the clearer we’ll both be on what can be done for you. Go through photos of yourself over the past 10 years, noting what you liked then, what you like and don’t like now and what you’d like to change if possible. Bring them with you and lay them out. Sure, if there’s a celebrity who has a feature you like, bring those pics, too, but you, dear reader, are you. You have some beautiful, unique features of your own that I’d much prefer to revital


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