Advertisements of cosmetic surgery have been seen in newspapers, featured on television programs, displayed on the faces of celebrities.

Cosmetic surgery offers to improve many areas of the body. But as with any surgery, cosmetic procedures involve certain risks and limitations.

To increase the likelihood of a satisfying outcome, first examine your reasons for wanting cosmetic surgery.

Then educate yourself about what you can realistically expect, the benefits and risks involved, and how to find a qualified surgeon. Understand these issues to make the best decision for you.

Why consider cosmetic surgery?

Cosmetic surgery aims to change your appearance by altering parts of your body that function normally but make you unhappy. This differs from reconstructive surgery, which doctors use to restore the appearance and function of body parts affected by congenital defects.

If you’re dissatisfied with your appearance, you may be interested in cosmetic surgery. Despite possible risks, and though each person’s experience is unique, some research suggests that both may be likely following a cosmetic procedure.

Those who seek out cosmetic surgery generally have a positive self-image, despite also being unusually focused on one or more aspects of their appearance. In fact, some may even feel better about their overall appearance.

Postoperative surveys find that those satisfied with the results perceive benefits including:

Greater self-confidence

Improved social lives, sex lives, and interpersonal relationships

Increased enjoyment of leisure activities

Is cosmetic surgery for you?

Cosmetic surgery outcomes are most likely to be successful if you’re in good overall health. It’s also best if you:

Have realistic expectations. Anticipate improvement, not perfection. If you expect cosmetic surgery to turn you into a movie star, you’re bound to be disappointed.

The spectacular results you see in the rich and famous can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. Also don’t count on surgery to save a rocky relationship, gain a promotion, or make you the life of the party.