Smoking Habit or Exposure to Secondhand Smoke
Smoking decreases the blood supply to your skin and tissues. That's one reason why smokers tend to look older than their actual age. Decreased blood flow also means you may take longer to heal after surgery. Many plastic surgeons require patients to stop smoking for six weeks before their surgery. Some won't perform surgery at all: a 2002 survey found that about 45% of board-certified plastic surgeons limit the types of procedures they perform on smokers.
What lifestyle factors might cause your surgeon to say "No?"
In 2004, the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) launched a patient education initiative to promote careful screening of patients before surgery. ASAPS warned that "some individuals seeking cosmetic surgery are considered poor candidates because of specific lifestyle factors that can seriously impact their safety in the operating room and during recovery."
Although plastic surgery is surging in popularity, it simply isn't a good option for everyone. Patient safety is why board-certified plastic surgeons are trained to look for aspects of a prospective patient's lifestyle that might complicate surgery.
“The first duty of a plastic surgeon is to ensure the safety of the patient," says noted Dallas plastic surgeon, Dr. Fred Hackney.
So you've made the decision to get plastic surgery. Congratulations! Cosmetic surgery is a big step. Just be aware that your surgeon may not be ready to take that step with you.
If you're a light to moderate drinker, your surgeon will require you to stop drinking for at least 1-2 weeks before surgery. Even light drinking affects liver function, but heavy drinking can be particularly dangerous. It can cause serious surgical complications, such as excessive bleeding. Because of the danger, excessive alcohol consumption may cause your doctor to decline surgery.
Too Much Sun Exposure
Face it: this may be why you're considering plastic surgery in the first place! Heavy sun exposure ages your skin, decreases overall skin health, and affects your ability to heal after surgery.
While many people have plastic surgery after weight loss, it isn't a good idea to have cosmetic procedures done while you're still overweight. "To be a good candidate for plastic surgery, a patient should be within 30% of their ideal weight," says Dr. Hackney.
Patients over that percentage risk complications, according to a study in the journal Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery. It found that obese patients are 35% more likely to require hospital care within 30 days of their surgery.
Your surgeon may want you to explain why you've chosen to have plastic surgery. Patients seeking surgery for the wrong reasons may be turned down, even if they're in good physical condition.
What's a "wrong" reason for surgery? It's when someone else thinks you need to change and you agree to please them.
"You shouldn't have plastic surgery to please someone else," says Dr. Hackney. "Having plastic surgery won't save your marriage or your relationship."
The best reason to have plastic surgery is to enhance your self-esteem, not to make someone else like you more.
If your plastic surgeon turns you down as a patient, don't take it personally. Every doctor takes an oath to "do no harm," and these 5 factors may cause more harm than good. A plastic surgeon who says "No" isn't judging you as a person and finding you wanting. Quite the opposite: the doctor values you and is looking out for your physical and emotional well-being.