Rhinoplasty, better known as a “nose job”, is performed to alter the size and/or shape of the nose and is one of the most commonly performed types of plastic surgery. An estimated 77,000 people got rhinoplasty in 2010; while some simply didn’t like the noses they were born with, others needed corrections to previous surgeries or accidents that damaged their noses.

Before opting for any kind of cosmetic surgery, there are some key questions you should ask yourself before going under the knife.

Am I healthy enough to get plastic surgery?

Cosmetic surgery has its risks just like any other type of surgical procedure. The risks are even greater in people who have preexisting health conditions. That is why it is wise to take your health into consideration before getting any type of cosmetic procedure. Your plastic surgeon may require that you receive clearance from your physician.

Have I considered the alternatives?

There are a number of ways you can improve their appearance without getting rhinoplasty. Trying a new hairstyle or wearing makeup are two of the many ways to improve your looks without going under the knife. Makeup tricks can also change how your nose appears, and some cosmetic injectable fillers can alter the appearance of your nose temporarily without invasive surgery.

Am I doing this for myself or to please others?

Far too many women get cosmetic surgery to conform to society’s standard of beauty or to impress someone else. While a nose job, or any cosmetic surgery, can improve your appearance and life, it’s important to do it for the right reasons. Do it for yourself, not someone else.

Can I afford this procedure?

Nose jobs can cost thousands of dollars, depending on the surgeon and the complexity of the procedure. Because most nose jobs are elective, they aren’t covered by insurance. While you may be able to setup a payment plan with your surgeon’s office, you may be expected to pay a significant amount up front. Note that many med spas and clinics accept credit cards, so that’s always an option as well.

Can I afford to take time out of work and school?

In the end, it’s worth it, but in the meantime, you will be sore after your nose job. Patients are expected to stay home for at least a week after surgery and are advised to avoid strenuous activity. Make sure you can afford to miss work or school during this time period and that you have help with daily tasks, such as child care and household chores.

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Your face often is the first to tell your story. It shows if your life has been one of happiness or sadness, stress or relaxation. It tells how old you are, if you’ve spent your time outdoors or indoors and a slew of other stories about your life. While we all agree that telling our stories can be enjoyable, not all of us want it written all over our faces.

As you age, you may notice these changes to your face that you’d rather not have:

  • Fat loss in the face

Body fat is the substance that gives your face a youthful appearance. Adults that have lost facial volume will have a hollow appearance under the eyes, on the cheeks and through the lips. This will make you look much older than you are — or want to — look.

  • Facial sun damage

Repeated exposure to sun over the years causes less elasticity in the skin fibers. Fine wrinkles often appear as you age, and your skin is often referred to as leathery. If you’ve spent a lot of time in the sun, went tanning a lot when you were younger, or just forgot to wear your sunscreen, you may begin noticing this unsightly change to your skin’s appearance.

  • Extra hanging skin

The loss of elasticity due to less collagen production in the aging body often affects your eyebrows and neck. It can also cause the phenomenon commonly referred to as jowls along the jawline.

Although you may wish to ease these effects of aging, you may also be reluctant to go through surgery. Fortunately, there are newer technologies available which provide a facelift while eliminating the need for surgery.

Fat Injections and Fillers
Though you may have joked about it, a fat transplant really is possible! Plastic surgeons are able to inject fat from your abodomen below the facial skin and plump up the areas that have become hollowed out.

A liquid facelift product called Sculptra is also used as an injection to fill in sagging areas. It helps the body create its own collagen with no scarring or negative lasting effects.

Although not technically a filler, Botox relaxes facial muscles. It is best if you have fine wrinkle lines such as those caused by sun damage.

Facial Rejuvenation
The popular product available to stimulate your own body’s collagen production is Thermage. This is a helpful procedure if you have lost elasticity in the face. It applies heat therapy, and the procedure typically only takes an hour.

Laser Skin Tightening
The use of lasers has proven successful in everything from correcting vision to removing offending gallbladders. It can also be used for general skin tightening. This is the alternative to the traditional facelift which required cutting and anesthesia and often produced scarring. Laser technology is just as effective with a shorter recovery period.

Improving your appearance as you age has never been easier. Plastic surgery may be just the option for you, except there will be no need for a scalpel, should you choose to avoid that route.

Cosmetic surgery trends lean more toward filling tissue rather than removing it. Filled tissue retains a vivacious, youthful appearance, whereas simply tightening and stretching the skin can make people appear artificial and overdone. This newest trend involves injectables that target everything from deep wrinkles to thin lips. Dermal fillers not only make the face look softer and more natural, but produce immediate results with very few side effects and little to no recovery time.

While there are many fillers out there today, your own fat cells may actually be the best solution. A fat injection occurs when the surgeon removes fat from another place on your body and injects it into the desired area. Fat injections are rarely rejected by the body because they’re composed of your own tissue. Artificial fillers, while still safe, have a slight chance of being rejected by the body and may cause an allergic reaction, though this is rare.

Fat injections and artificial fillers will be absorbed into the body over time. Therefore, a surgeon will need to repeat the procedure down the road. Fat injections do have a tendency to last longer than artificial fillers, however fat is more challenging to use when targeting fine lines or small areas. There is also a slight chance of unfavorable reactivity with the surrounding tissue, creating a bumpy or unnatural appearance.

Overall, both fat injections and artificial fillers are safe. A quick chat with your doctor can determine which injectable is right for you.