How permanent will your cosmetic procedure be?

How permanent will your cosmetic procedure be?
How permanent will your procedure be?

When patients opt for plastic surgery, some expect the results to last forever, while others plan to have follow-ups every few years. No two operations are the same, but people should research their operations prior to going under the knife, examining whether their results are there to stay, or if they should book additional appointments in the future.

Some individuals recognize that certain injectables, such as Botox, yield the best results when injected areas are touched up a couple times a year. Other operations, like otoplasties (ear surgery), typically create long-lasting results that will likely never require additional surgery. While results will vary by person, doctors have examined how likely patients may be to require additional work following their operations.

Surgeon studies long-lasting effects of common surgeries
One New Jersey-based surgeon recently developed a series, titled "Real Patients, Lasting Results," that examined how patients looked years after their procedures. The surgeon took photographs of volunteer patients immediately after their operation, then supplemental photos from five years later. One image in the series shows a woman who received a breast lift and reduction five years ago, illustrating that her surgery has held up well over the past several years. 

"Most people who consider cosmetic surgery are looking for a permanent change," the surgeon said, as quoted by Health News Digest. "Before investing in a procedure, patients want to be sure their results can look as good in five or 10 years as they do shortly after surgery."

As the series continues to gain steam, he will add pictures in a variety of procedure areas, including eyelid rejuvenation and buttock augmentation.

Studying your selection before going under the knife
It's not uncommon for the results of some surgeries to change over time. As patients continue to age, their bodies respond in kind, and areas that received surgery in the past may change due to lifestyle, age or environmental factors. Prior to the operation, patients should be sure to discuss likely outcomes with their doctors.

According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, the most common procedure in 2013 was liposuction, with more than 360,000 procedures performed. This surgery is ideal for patients looking to blast certain pockets of fat and can sometimes smooth out cellulite, but if patients don't carefully monitor their health patterns, they may require an additional procedure several years later. More than 300,000 individuals had breast augmentation in 2013, but depending on the patients' age, implant choice and lifestyle, they may have to replace implants every decade or so.