Surgical vs. Nonsurgical: 4 things to consider

February 26, 2013

Surgical vs. Nonsurgical: 4 things to consider
Surgical vs. Nonsurgical: 4 things to consider

When weighing your plastic surgery options, you must decide whether you want to pursue surgical procedures, like a facelift, liposuction or tummy tuck, or non-surgical alternatives, like Botox or dermal filler injections. Here are five questions to ask yourself when making this choice with your board-certified plastic surgeon:

1. How long do I have to recover?
Surgical options are more intensive, which means you'll need a longer period of time to recover. If you aren't able to take time off of work, or you don't want to spend too much time at home recovering, then a non-surgical procedure with minimal recovery time, like Botox, may be a better choice.

2. How long do I want results to last?
One of the biggest benefits of surgical procedures like liposuction or neck lifts is that they typically carry long-term results. Patients who receive a breast augmentation or facelift may never go under the knife again, or may only do so many years down the line when further age-related changes necessitate another procedure.

3. How much do I want to spend?
While plastic surgery has become much more affordable over the years, an intensive procedure like a tummy tuck is going to be more expensive than some of the less invasive options. However, bear in mind that if you opt for Botox over a facelift, you'll need to get multiple injections over time, as results only last three to six months. This could end up costing more in the long run, so ask your aesthetic surgeon for advice.

4. Do I want a dramatic change?
Many surgical procedures, like breast implants, offer dramatic results, which will likely be noticed by friends and family. If this doesn't sound like your cup of tea, then you may want to ask your doctor for a subtler, non-surgical cosmetic procedure. 


The mission of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) includes medical education, public education and patient advocacy. Plastic Surgery News Briefs are summaries of current stories found through various news and magazine outlets that relate to or mention plastic surgery and cosmetic procedures. The views expressed in these news articles do not necessarily reflect the opinions of ASAPS, but are merely published as an educational service to our members and the general public. For additional information on these subjects and other plastic surgery related topics, please go to www.surgery.org

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About ASAPS
The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), is recognized as the world’s leading organization devoted entirely to aesthetic plastic surgery and cosmetic medicine of the face and body.  ASAPS is comprised of over 2,600 Plastic Surgeons; active members are certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (USA) or by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and have extensive training in the complete spectrum of surgical and non-surgical aesthetic procedures. International active members are certified by equivalent boards of their respective countries. All members worldwide adhere to a strict Code of Ethics and must meet stringent membership requirements.

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