Thinking about cosmetic surgery?
Consider these safety tips
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SOCIAL media, cellphone cameras, and videoconferencing apps like Zoom and Teams have driven a significant uptick in facial plastic surgeries over the past couple of years. Now the trend is pivoting back to the body, says top New York City plastic surgeon Dr Richard Westreich.

"Body contouring is surging and in demand," said Dr Westreich, who specialises in rhinoplasty, septoplasty, secondary and reconstructive rhinoplasty, facelifts, eyelid surgery, and non-surgical procedures. "Now that we're getting a level of normalcy, the boom from Zoom is switching back to focusing on the body."

Also on trend, bundling more than one procedure in one surgical appointment — liposuction and rhinoplasty, for example. This approach can save money and time for cosmetic surgery patients.

Whatever procedure a person is considering, due diligence is the best defence against potential post-op problems, Dr Westreich cautioned.

"My best advice to people is to go back to the mindset before the Zoom boom," he said, explaining that virtual consults have streamlined the process and tightened the timeline between concept and completion. "Don't rush into something just because it's easy or convenient."

Popular procedures include breast augmentation, liposuction, rhinoplasty, eyelid surgery, and facelifts. Less invasive procedures like Botox injections are skyrocketing.

If you're considering any cosmetic procedure, these safety tips from Dr Westreich, who has been selected multiple times by Castle Connolly and New York magazine as one of the top doctors in facial plastic surgery, can improve your chances of a better outcome:

Tip 1: Make sure any doctor you schedule through a virtual visit allows you to cancel after an in-person meeting for surgery. There is no substitute for face to face.

Tip 2: Your health doesn't belong in the bargain bin.

Tip 3: Medical tourism can be dangerous. Laws may differ; regulations may differ; problems with after care may arise.

Tip 4: Understand informed consent. Ask for examples of not only the good outcomes but also the potential bad ones. Ask for data specific to the procedure and the doctor performing it (complication rates, death rates).

Tip 5: Surgery belongs in accredited operating rooms. Ask to see accreditation certificate.

Tip 6: Make sure the board certification of a doctor makes sense for the procedure they are performing.

Tip 7: If significant issues arise after a procedure (surgery or office injection), seek a second opinion on management.

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