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Investing in cosmetic surgery

The economic woes the country is facing have created an unusual dilemma for those considering cosmetic surgery. For people wanting to hold on to their jobs, or searching for new employment, appearance can be an important factor in whether or not they are successful. Studies have shown that younger, more attractive people have advantages in the workplace, and are more sought-after for available employment opportunities. These factors should be weighed against the expense of treatments, but investing in yourself is still probably the best investment you can make.

When a prospective patient is considering cosmetic surgery, it is important to choose a surgeon based on his or her qualifications, experience and reputation. If you select your surgeon solely on the fact that they’re the cheapest, you just might get what you pay for.

These are two basic approaches to looking younger — the non-surgical method and the surgical method. The non-surgical methods, primarily achieved through injections, can fill lines and erase wrinkles. Botox is excellent for eliminating lines in the upper half of the face and, when properly administered, can even lift the eyebrows. Fillers, such as Juvéderm, are quite useful in filling the line between the nose and the mouth, and enhancing the lips. Photorejuvenation can improve the overall appearance of the skin. These techniques are usually less expensive than surgery, but do not last as long, and need to be repeated, sometimes within months.

There are many safe and simple surgical procedures that can significantly improve a patient’s appearance. Most can be done under sedation anesthesia, with minimal postoperative pain and a relatively short recovery period.

Many procedures can be performed without general anesthesia, and in an accredited office setting. Modern pain-control interventions can dramatically reduce the amount of postoperative discomfort.

Cosmetic surgery, when properly performed, is often one of the most cost-effective uses of discretionary income. It can certainly be one of the most satisfying, both from a personal and a professional perspective.

The recovery period refers to the amount of time usually required before the average patient can reasonably expect to return to work, without undue discomfort or obvious signs of surgery.

— Russel S. Palmer, M.D., attended Harvard for General Surgery and UCLA for Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. He practices in Hollywood, Florida, and is a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons and certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. To contact Dr. Palmer, call 954-989-5001.