Introduction Plastic surgery is an investment. Literally speaking, patients invest money in their appearance, as well as time, energy and emotions in the process of regaining confidence, improving their self-image, and trusting themselves and their capabilities. This is why it is important for patients to ensure that the results of plastic surgery are sustainable once this investment is made. Although the results of your cosmetic procedure are meant to provide you with a long-lasting enhancement in your physical appearance, the surgery cannot stop the aging process. The outcome of your plastic surgery, however successful it may be, can still be altered by your lifestyle choices, genetic makeup, and the natural aging process. The good news is that there are a few methods that you can use to increase the sustainability of your results after plastic surgery. Here are the top 5 ways to maintain the results of your operation for a longer period of time: A healthy diet and a physical exercise routine are the key to maintaining physical tonus Body contouring procedures will perfect the shape of your body, offering you a more pleasant and proportional aspect. While the results obtained after plastic surgery are magical, the enhancement you achieved can last only if you maintain a constant weight. For instance, the fat removal procedures such as liposuction can permanently get rid of the fat cells from targeted areas, but if you put on weight, you will notice how the remaining fat cells will expand in size. It is very important to maintain weight within the range approved by the plastic surgeon after a tummy tuck or a liposuction procedure. You certainly wouldn’t want to create new stretches of skin that will offset the amazing effect you achieved through these interventions. To maintain the results you acquired after your surgical interventions, it is crucial to have a healthy, balanced diet and regular exercise. Take care of your skin permanently to be able to enjoy the results of the plastic surgery longer Any surgical procedure involves the development of scars. Even if modern technologies make them look less visible and offer an optimal restoration, the complete riddance of the scars is dependent upon how well the patient cares for the surgical wound. First of all, you should make sure to strictly follow the plastic surgeon’s instructions. The plastic surgeon will recommend you to avoid excessive sun exposure for at least six months after the procedure to avoid skin discoloration. After six months, it is recommended to apply copious amounts of sunscreen on the area that was treated with plastic surgery before sunbathing. Bear in mind that you should keep your skin hydrated and make sure that you do not compromise your hygiene. If you believe that these tips are only applicable for women undergoing plastic surgery, think again. Men are confronted with the same issues when they go through plastic surgery and their desire to maintain the results is just as high. Choose healthy habits Most often, the plastic surgeon will ask you to quit smoking a few weeks before and after the plastic surgery intervention. Nicotine has a drastic influence on the body’s ability to heal and if you refuse to quit smoking before and after the surgery, you will notice that your recovery is significantly longer. It is also recommended to reduce your alcohol consumption, at least during the post-operative period. If you find it difficult to give up these habits then you will be glad to know that most patients are so happy with their results and experience such a substantial boost in self-esteem that these become an excellent motivation to maintain their healthy routine after the plastic surgery intervention. You should enjoy your newfound confidence and appreciate how it provides plenty of beneficial changes in your life. Take the tummy tuck surgery or liposuction for example: getting back the firmness and tonus of the abdomen can offer much more than just satisfaction from improving your self-image. The patient will feel more confident to engage in social interactions and this can lead to an enriched personal and professional life. Communicate with your plastic surgeon after the intervention was performed There is an incredible amount of people who tend to believe that once the surgery is finished, they will never have to see their plastic surgeon again. This couldn’t be more wrong. The convalescent period is a crucial part of the success of the surgery and the plastic surgeon has to monitor the patient during recovery and for at least a year when it comes to complex interventions such as breast and buttock augmentation with implants, tummy tuck and even body lifts and liposuction. This is why it is important to choose a plastic surgeon that you feel you can trust, one who understands your needs, desires and lifestyle and can make recommendations according to your specific requirements. A board-certified, talented and communicative plastic surgeon is a safe bet when it comes to getting satisfactory results after the intervention. After most major plastic surgery interventions, you will be required to come to the clinic at least once during the first two weeks after the procedure so that the plastic surgeon can evaluate the wound healing process and check for potential complications. During the first six months after the surgery, you will need to meet with the plastic surgeon at least 3 or four more times, and we strongly advise our patients never to miss a meeting. As you probably already know, all plastic surgery intervention comes with associated risks and complications. During the post-operative checkups the plastic surgeon will examine the surgical area to see if any complications developed. Your surgeon might see signs and symptoms that you might not. Keep in mind that the success of the surgery is highly dependent on a good rapport with your surgeon, as well as your surgeon’s skill and experience. Follow your surgeon’s recommendations to the letter Perhaps this should have been the number one hint for this article as it is of crucial importance. There have been patients who deemed certain preoperative requirements unreasonable. These individuals think that it is nonsense to avoid drinking or eating for a minimum of eight hours before the surgery. They often enter surgery without letting their doctors know what they did and as a result, life-threatening complications occurred and they still wouldn’t believe it was caused by the fact that they refused to adhere to the doctor’s instructions and ate prior to the surgical intervention. There are also people who selectively follow their plastic surgeon’s recommendations. We live in a democracy and everyone has the right to do as he pleases, but keep in mind that when you are choosing to do the exact opposite of what the surgeon suggested, you are putting yourself in a great danger. After years and years of performing the interventions and checking up on patients after the surgery, your plastic surgeon certainly knows a lot about what appropriate patient behavior is. Their recommendations are not meant to make your life more difficult before or after the surgery, but to make sure you are safe at all times and that severe complications are prevented. An example of your doctor’s post-operative instruction would be to wear a girdle for a certain period. In some cases, after specific plastic surgery interventions on the body, the compression garment is mandatory for two weeks and up to a few months. If the patient decides after a few days that he is perfectly fine without the compression garment, complications such as excessive swelling can occur. Moreover, the areas targeted for the intervention will lack the proper support that only the girdle could provide. Don’t forget that when you decided to go for the plastic surgery, you made an investment in yourself and in your aesthetic appearance. It would be completely counterproductive to see the results altered just because you decided not to follow the doctor’s recommendations. Conclusion To achieve the desired results, no matter the type or complexity of the surgical intervention, the most important factor is selecting a board-certified professional who will perform your procedure. When choosing a plastic surgeon, bear in mind that you are entrusting him/her with much more than getting bigger breasts, for example. Aside from that, you are entrusting the surgeon with your health, hopes, and ultimately, your dreams. Thus, make sure to find a professional who understands these things and takes full responsibility for his practice and his patients. This is also why it is crucial to carefully verify the professional history of the plastic surgeon, to have a look at pictures of the results of his other interventions and ask questions about the techniques and technologies he uses in performing the procedures you are interested in. Now that you are aware of the top 5 tips, you can use this to your advantage when choosing your surgeon. An experienced plastic surgeon will talk to you about the tips and tricks that will help you maintain the sustainability of your results after the plastic surgery.