How to Avoid Surgery: Tips from a Plastic Surgeon

While plastic surgery produces dramatic and noticeable results, there are a number of ways to avoid surgery altogether. These steps can also provide some pretty amazing changes to your face, without the downtime and financial commitment that surgery requires.

Here are a plastic surgeon’s tips to avoid (or at least postpone) surgery:

  1. Wear sunscreen, especially on your face.
  2. Get a topical skin care solution that actually works. People spend thousands of dollars a year on over-the-counter skin care products that don’t work. There are products that are proven to reverse or prevent sun damage and aging, but they aren’t at your local drug store. Make an appointment with a doctor, and ask to see data proving the product’s capabilities. Find something that you can commit to on a regular basis.
  3. Consider laser skin resurfacing. Laser skin resurfacing can help tighten your facial skin, improve skin quality, and even skin tone. The best part is that it’s an in-office procedure with no recovery time. So you can walk out of the office with a younger-looking face and go right back to work. Keep in mind that your face and neck skin is different than any other skin on your body, so be sure you choose an office that has face-specific lasers.
  4. Try Botox. Botox is becoming more and more popular because it not only reduces signs of aging, it also prevents them. Botox also relaxes muscles. For example, for wrinkles that are caused by repetitive movement in the face, Botox can relax the muscles that cause the movement and therefore, stop wrinkles from forming altogether. A regular Botox routine can prevent surgery for many years.


These are great options to help prevent and postpone a cosmetic procedure, as not every person is an ideal candidate for plastic surgery, be it for financial, physical or emotional reasons. Here are a few other cases in which plastic surgeons might advise a patient to pursue the above alternatives in place of cosmetic surgery.


A plastic surgeon’s tips on when to say “no” to the knife:

  1. If you aren’t doing it for you. You are your own biggest critic. No one looks as closely at your body or your face as you do. If you are thinking about getting plastic surgery because you think that a certain person will notice, think again. That other person may never notice your results and then you’ll just be disappointed that you did the procedure in the first place. You need to do it because it’s something that you want and that you’ll be happy with.
  2. If you are doing it for someone else. You’d be surprised how often a couple comes in and the husband does all of the talking about his wife’s plastic surgery needs. This is about you finding inner peace and confidence, not about anyone else.
  3. If you’re looking to solve a deeper problem. Tragedies and crises can cause us to pursue all sorts of outlets, and plastic surgery is one of them. If you’re thinking, “If I just changed this … then I will feel better” – that is a trap. Plastic surgery isn’t going to fix anything in your life. It can help you feel more confident and more at peace with yourself but it isn’t going to make you feel better about a divorce or a breakup or an issue at the office.
  4. If you aren’t confident in the potential results. If you see the potential results and aren’t that impressed or don’t see the change you desire, chances are surgery isn’t the answer for you. Always ask to see a surgeon’s photo gallery to determine if you like that particular surgeon’s work and request computer imaging, which is very helpful in forecasting what your results will look like.
  5. If you aren’t sure what you want. Sometimes, patients have expectations of their results, but because of money or time or some other factor, they opt for a lesser route. Then they don’t see the results they want and end up unhappy with their procedure. Make sure you know what your expectations are and what will make you happy in the end. And until you know, don’t make any decisions.

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