FOURTH QUARTER 2004, VOLUME 18, NO 4

To Tell or Not to Tell… That is the Question

IN THIS ISSUE

To Tell or Not to Tell… That is the Question

Achieving a Younger, More Striking Appearance with Implants

Ask the Surgeon / Health Tip / What’s New

A receding hair line getting you down? There are viable options

You are planning to have a cosmetic procedure and debating whom you should tell. The earlier you determine if you are going to tell anyone, the better. If telling, you can educate these people on the procedure, the recovery process, and how you expect them to support you. If not telling, you can prepare yourself to field questions as your face continues to heal and improve. Consider the following factors when deciding who will be in the know and who won’t know.

Society Acceptance

Cosmetic surgery is more widely accepted than it ever wasthanks in part to the deluge of reality television shows and also to a more educated public. The majority of patients do tell others because they are proud of their enhancements and are willing to share with everyone that they are making steps to better themselves. I couldn’t keep my experience to myself, says Matt. It was life-changing; I wanted to share it and encourage others to seek it as well. It is no longer necessary to keep your surgery a secret, society perceives you as being proactive, smart, and chic.

Extent of Procedure

If you are considering a minimally invasive procedure, such as Botox or a light chemical peel, most people will not be able to pinpoint what exactly has changed. Your closest companions may notice something is different, but may not credit your refined facial features. After Botox, co-workers started asking what I was doing to look younger and happierwas it my diet or a new exercise regime? says Kathy. Although they would have never guessed it, I was happy to tell them about Botox.

For more extensive procedures or a combination of procedures, you will need time to recover and heal. If you would prefer not to inform your co-workers and friends, then you should plan to take some vacation time.

Support System

A support system can make the process less stressful and more comfortable for the patient. Before, during, and after the procedure, Elena had the support of her family and her friends. Months ago, I talked with my family about getting a facelift, she says. After the surgery, my mom spent a week at my house and friends stopped by with movies to keep me company as well.

If your family is not supportive of your decision for facial plastic surgery, you may want to consider telling and enlisting the support of friends or neighbors. My family was offended that I wanted to change the family nose, says Aaron. Most of my family was insensitive to my feelings and perhaps even resented that I was going to look and feel better after my procedure. Aaron had the support of his girlfriend, her family, and his friends. I was so excitedI told everyone. Even people at work were supportive and encouraging, he comments.

Your Personality

Some people are introverts and naturally more private about their lives. If you do not feel comfortable explaining it to people, then don’t. There are ways to camouflage your post-operative appearance to avoid inquiries.

Remember, it is your choice. You will get the full support for your decision and the best care possible during the process.