Cosmetic surgery aims to improve the aesthetic appearance of a person. Generally, your eligibility to have private cosmetic surgery is based on two things: your procedure of choice and your personal health conditions.
For all cosmetic surgeries you may be eligible if you're healthy, you have reasonable expectations, you know the risks of the procedure you're considering, and there’s a fair reason for the surgery.
Your consultant cosmetic surgeon will talk to you in detail about your health and any conditions you may have, your lifestyle, and any medications and supplements you take to determine if you are eligible for cosmetic surgery.
As a general rule if you have serious health problems such as obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, a bleeding disorder, heart disease or depression, then cosmetic surgery may not be appropriate for you. Some of these conditions can be overcome and, if you succeed in doing so, then you may become eligible for cosmetic surgery.
If you smoke your cosmetic surgeon may ask you to quit for two to four weeks before surgery and at least two to four weeks following surgery to give your body a better chance of healing from it.
You must advise your surgeon of all the health products you take including vitamins and herbal products as some can affect your risk of bleeding or interfere with other medications used during surgery.
Cosmetic surgery is a permanent decision and you will need to take time to think about your reasons for wanting it in the first place to gain eligibility.
Procedure specific eligibility
Eligibility may vary depending upon your chosen cosmetic surgery.
Tummy tuck (abdominoplasty)
You should not be pregnant or breastfeeding and it’s preferable to have a tummy tuck after pregnancy rather than before. You should be a healthy weight and if you smoke you’ll need to stop for least four weeks prior to having a tummy tuck procedure.
Your breasts will need to be fully developed before surgery as breasts that are still growing will affect the augmentation over time. If you’re planning on getting pregnant then you’ll need to understand that the appearance of your breasts after having a baby may still change. Your ability to breastfeed should not be impacted by your breast implant.
You should be at your ideal weight and also in good physical health. You’ll also need a store of excess fat that can be moved to your buttocks.
Face and neck lift
If your skin on your face and neck is flexible but sags producing wrinkles, jowls or a double chin then you’re a suitable applicant for a face and neck lift. If you’re significantly overweight, you may not be eligible. You must also be aware that you will continue to age.
If you want fuller lips through a lip augmentation procedure you may not be eligible if: you’ve recently taken some medications such as the acne drug Accutane, you have a condition such as herpes, diabetes, lupus or rheumatoid arthritis or, you suffer from a serious allergic reaction of any type.
If you’re dissatisfied with your nose’s appearance such as it’s too large, too small, crooked or bumpy and want a rhinoplasty procedure, it’s preferable that you’re over the age of 16 and fully physically developed, unless you have a health related issue that may require rhinoplasty.
You’ll be eligible if you have flat cheek bones or your cheeks are sagging early. If you have excess saggy skin, then a facelift might be more appropriate for you than cheek implants.
If you have a weak chin or a chin that isn’t balanced with your nose, then you’d be eligible for a chin implant. If you have an abnormal dental bite then a jaw realignment will probably be a better option for you.
You’re eligible for a forehead or brow lift if you have heavy eyebrows, deep forehead wrinkles or frown lines. You’re not eligible if you’re balding or scar easily. Also, you must accept the risk that you may lose your hair around the surgical area and, the possibility of having some numbness in your forehead and scalp.
If you have droopy eyelids or bags and puffiness around your eyes, then eyelid surgery may be a good option for you.
You’ll discuss your eligibility in detail at your consultation with a cosmetic surgeon. They will assess your reasons for surgery and advise if there are any steps you can take to become eligible such as losing weight or stopping smoking. Eligibility criteria are developed to care for all patients and hold their health as paramount importance.