ATLANTA - You're thinking about cosmetic surgery.
You've done your research, found a board-certified plastic surgeon, and even selected the best procedure for you.
So, how do you get yourself ready?
Morehouse Healthcare plastic and reconstructive surgeon Dr. Dzifa Kpodzo says there are a few things to keep in mind.
First, she says, remember that cosmetic surgery is a choice.
"This is something that is elective," Dr. Kpodzo says. "You're trying to enhance yourself and feel better about yourself. And, you want to be sure you're going to have a good result."
You want to go into your procedure as healthy as possible, Kpodzo says.
"So, that doesn't mean if you're a diabetic that I won't operate on you," she says. "But, you have to have been really good with taking your medication and really good with your diet. And your numbers are looking good."
Dr. Kpodzo believes the best results are subtle, not noticeable.
So, don't try to change too much, she says.
"You want plastic surgery to look natural," Kpodzo explains. "You want to look rested. You want to look toned. You don't want people to see you from across the room and think that you look funny."
Surgery, she says, isn't magic; it's just one step.
"It's not an end-all, be-all kind of thing," Kpodzo says. "You can make your results better. I've had patients who've lost 20-30 pounds after their tummy tuck and they look phenomenal. So you can make it better. But you can also definitely make it worse if you don't keep up."
Kpodzo final pre-plastic surgery tip may be the most important of all.
If you're smoking, stop now.
"Smoking is one of the worst things you can do for your healing," she says. "It's so serious that I don't care if you're throwing $30,000 my way. If you are a smoker, the answer is no."