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Matt Hlavacek, MD, DDS
Jason Baker, DDS



How permanent are cosmetic surgery results?

July 1, 2014, 2:55 am

permanent-cosmetic-surgery-resultsWhen making an investment in cosmetic surgery, a common concern is, “How long will my results last?” After all, cosmetic surgery requires a significant commitment on your part in terms of your time, finances, and physical and emotional well-being. Patient expectations range from life-long, permanent results to planning follow-up and touch-up appointments periodically. When planning your procedure, what should you expect in terms of permanence of results?

Base your expectations on factual information

Although results from most cosmetic procedures are fairly predictable, no two procedures are the same and your results may differ from other patients. While there is a lot of information on the internet, make sure you learn about your procedure from reliable sources. Of course, the best source of information is your surgeon.

When considering cosmetic procedures, one of the most important first steps is your consultation. Not only will you learn the ins and outs of your procedure, but the consultation is a great place to discuss how long your results may last. For surgical procedures, you may wish to ask what you can expect five, ten, even twenty years in the future. For non-surgical procedures, it may be more realistic to ask about results several months, a year, or two years afterwards.

During your consultation, in addition to learning about the possible outcomes of your procedure and how long the results may last, you will also learn about the recovery period and factors that will have an impact on your results. Such factors will include how carefully you follow your recovery instructions, lifestyle choices such as smoking or alcohol consumption, and your diet, exercise habits, and environmental factors. Your age when undergoing your procedure and hereditary factors may also play a role.

Long lasting and short term results

In general, surgical procedures offer long-lasting results while non-surgical, surface procedures offer plenty of positive benefits but with shorter term results. However, your results will be individual to you.

It is well known that the results of breast augmentation, a tummy tuck, upper arm lift, and other surgeries are considered long-lasting, if not permanent. However, even the word “permanent” should be taken with a grain of salt. The permanence of surgical results is often directly tied to how well you treat your body after surgery. For example, having a tummy tuck and then gaining a large amount of weight will undo the results, while pregnancy may undo the results of a tummy tuck but may have little to no discernible impact on breast augmentation. During your consultation, be sure to openly address any concerns you have regarding your weight stability and your procedure, plans for future pregnancies, and any other factors you feel may be important in determining the long term results of your procedure.

In contrast, non-surgical procedures often have excellent results, but they are less likely to have long-term, permanent outcomes and may need to be repeated on a regular basis. Such procedures include Botox® and dermal fillers, chemical peels, dermaplaning, or other skin treatments. Exactly how long results will last depends quite a bit on your own habits after treatment. Even if your habits are perfect and you follow your post-treatment instructions to the letter, these types of treatments will still require regular maintenance and follow-up appointments. Botox® and dermal fillers, as well as many types of skin treatments, often require additional treatments or touch-ups every few months.

Maximizing your results

Although some procedures offer more permanent results than others, there are steps you can take to help maintain your results for the longest amount of time possible. Although you can’t stop the clock on aging, you will be able to improve your odds of maintaining your results by developing healthy habits and monitoring your individual needs. Some of the most important factors in determining your long-term outcomes include giving up smoking (or not starting in the first place), limiting alcohol consumption, eating a healthy diet, getting plenty of exercise, and using sun protection on a regular basis.

Call Kansas City Surgical Arts today at (816) 286-4126 to learn more about cosmetic surgery procedures and likely long-term outcomes. Whether your consultation is with Dr. Hlavacek for a surgical procedure or with our aesthetic nurse Kristin for skin rejuvenation treatments, we strive to address your individual needs and concerns.