The number of plastic surgery patients has soared in recent years because of technological advances and the increase in options open to patients. Plastic surgery can improve a part of an individual’s body, but it rarely improves his or her whole life. Therefore, it is important that patients make realistic goals.

According to an article posted on WebMD in April 2006, individuals are good candidates for aesthetic plastic surgery if they are:

• close to their ideal body weight;
• are a nonsmoker;
• and are emotionally and socially in good shape.

Prospective patients should also exercise and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

WebMd notes that women should have fewer than one alcoholic drink per day and men should have fewer than two (alcohol is a mild blood thinner). Caffeine-containing beverages should also be limited (caffeine can slightly raise blood pressure). In addition, smoking or drinking can increase the risk of complications and the results from an aesthetic procedure may not last as long as expected.

A poor candidate for aesthetic surgery has: diabetes, high blood pressure, a bleeding disorder, heart or lung disease, obesity, severe allergies, high cholesterol, arthritis, or depression. Some surgeons insist that smokers quit for 2 to 4 weeks prior to and after surgery. This helps proper healing and recovery.

[WebMd, April 2006]