So, you’re looking in the mirror after you’ve had your chosen cosmetic surgery and the results aren’t what you expected. What do you do? Do you pretend to be satisfied with your new look or approach your doctor and express how unhappy you are?

This can be difficult to talk about as it is very personal and can be a highly emotional subject. It’s the big elephant in the room no one wants to feel; patient or doctor.

Unfortunately, no surgery is 100% risk-free, and there is no guarantee that end results will be exactly as you expected. From time to time patients are dissatisfied with the outcome of their cosmetic surgery, but no one should have to live with a body they don’t love, especially after going to the effort of undergoing surgery to improve it.

Speak to Your Doctor Immediately

If you’re unhappy with your results, you should discuss your concerns immediately with your cosmetic practitioner. Although it may be daunting to do so, it’s important you’re honest and open with your doctor so that he/she can suggest the next steps forward to improving your results.

In your consultation with your doctor, make sure you present your pre-and post-operative photos, so everyone is clear about your concerns. Discuss what your expectations were for the procedure and what exactly you feel is wrong with your result.

You might find it easier to write your concerns in an email along with pictures for your doctor before your consultation if you are feeling anxious about discussing things face to face.

At Cosmos Clinic, if you’re unhappy with your results we’ll endeavour to help you achieve the look you’re seeking, says Dr Joseph Ajaka, of Cosmos Clinic Sydney.

Allow Time For the Body to Heal

Depending on your treatment, there’s often swelling, pain and sometimes visible scarring. Your body may feel bruised and tender, and your movement reduced. It’s not uncommon for patients to be worried about their appearance in the early days of recovering from surgery. It’s important to be patient and realise that your body is in the process of healing. Remember that it’s too early to see the final result so don’t stress yourself out unnecessarily.

The amount of time the body takes to heal completely depends on the individual patient and the time of the procedure. Some cosmetic treatments take only a couple of days to recover from, while others are prolonged and up to a couple of months.

During the recovery time, your body will change and adjust as the swelling reduces. You’ll continue to see improvements in your physical appearance over the next few weeks/months. Before you start feeling disappointed or upset about your cosmetic surgery result and start rehearsing your complaint to your doctor, make sure you’ve allowed enough time for your body to recover.

Also, keep in mind that it can take months for the full results of cosmetic surgery to show. In some cases, it can take up to six months just for the swelling to go down. With liposuction Sydney, for example, it can take up to six months to see the full result. It takes time for the body to adjust. Scars will fade over time; see our post on foods to avoid to prevent scarring post-surgery.

Related: check out our guide to liposuction recovery or tummy tuck recovery.

Seek a second opinion

If you’re dissatisfied with your cosmetic surgery result getting, a second opinion can be very helpful. You may feel that you have issues due to a “botched” job and have concerns over your clinic’s ability. If you don’t have faith in your doctor’s skills, you’re unlikely to want to go back under the knife at his/her clinic a second time. Getting a second option can help you with any decision making.

Seek the guidance of a doctor of a highly-regarded clinic. He/she can assess your results and discuss the next steps toward improving your appearance. Depending on the problems you present, the doctor may suggest revision surgery to correct any irregularities. It also may be useful for you to read this article on your rights as a patient.

3 Things to Keep in Mind About Cosmetic Surgery

Cosmetic surgery gives people the ability to enhance their appearance through various techniques. From anti-wrinkle treatments to liposuction, cosmetic surgery can boost your self-esteem and confidence, changing your life in the process.

However, if you’re unhappy with your results, sadly you’re not going to experience an improved body image. In fact, you may even be more self-conscious than you were before the surgery. This is not the desired outcome for you or your doctor.

There are some things to keep in mind before you commit to cosmetic surgery and as your critiquing your results post-surgery.

1. Results can vary from individual to individual

No two cosmetic surgical procedures will gain the same results even when performed by the same doctor. If your expectations are unrealistic from the outset, you have a high chance of being dissatisfied with the results. Keep in mind each patient will respond to cosmetic surgery differently and the procedures are designed to enhance your physique, not mimic someone else’s.

2. No Two People Heal the Same Way

Your doctor will provide you with all the recommendations to ensure you heal well after your treatment. However, no two people heal the same way. While your friend may not have a very visible scar, yours may be more pronounced. Your friend may have recovered in just 4 days, and you’re facing 10 days. Allow your body the time it needs to heal rather than give it a deadline.

3. Your Results Are Not Going To Be The Same As The Before & After photos

Some doctor’s use Before & After images to give you an idea of what the specific treatment can achieve. This may help you visualise your outcome, but the idea is not to use it as a comparison. Your results are likely to be significantly different than the example patient’s results. This is because you have a unique physique and as such, your body’s healing capacities, tendencies to scarring and recovery process will be unique. When communicating your desired result to your doctor it may be more useful to show him/her a picture that you like rather than using another patient’s before and after photos.

As cosmetic practitioners, we aspire to enhance your physical appearance so you can feel confident and happy about your body image. We take pride in our patient care ethics and our advanced surgical skills, and we’re fastidious about getting the best result for our patients. We also strive for a high level of patient satisfaction and positive outcomes.

We want you to be thrilled with your cosmetic surgery results, so if you’re not it’s vital you express your concerns with your doctor.