The decision to undergo a plastic surgery procedure has a range of factors that must be taken into consideration.

Is plastic surgery safe? This question has most likely popped into your head time and time again if you’re considering a plastic surgery procedure. There are a range of surgeries available for any change you desire, but there are some factors to consider before making a final decision.

All plastic surgery procedures are accompanied by a certain degree of risk, whether the surgery is for reconstructive, medical or cosmetic purposes.

According to a recent study conducted by surgeons at Vanderbilt University of Nashville, complications occur more frequently for those who undergo abdominoplasty procedures than other surgeries. The study found that four percent of patients suffer from complications after the procedure, as compared to an average rate of 1.4 percent for other types of surgery.

The research did find though, that patients who suffered from complications, “were more likely to be overweight, have diabetes or undergo combined procedures,” which could create a predisposition for higher rates of complication,” said study author Dr. Julian Winocour, plastic surgery resident.

An abdominoplasty, also known as a tummy tuck, removes excess skin and fat deposits from the abdomen, creating a smoother, firmer appearance. A tummy tuck is the sixth most common surgical procedure in the U.S., with more than 117,000 performed during 2014. As one of the most popular procedures in the country, its technique has been enhanced over the years, ensuring the best steps are taken, the risk of plastic surgery is minimized, and outcomes can be achieved.

Due to this new data, should you reconsider having the procedure done if you desired it beforehand? The answer is ultimately up to you, but keeping the following information in mind can also aid in your decision:

  • There are several important factors that can affect the safety and overall outcome of a procedure. One of these factors is overall health. Before surgery is performed, a complete medical history of a patient is completed, taking health risks and conditions into consideration. By disclosing all pertinent medical information, the chances of a safe, seamless recovery are increased.
  • What is the ultimate desired outcome of the surgery? By identifying motivational factors, both patients and surgeons can determine why the surgery is being held and if it will make a real difference in daily life.
  • When it comes to plastic surgery, maintaining realistic expectations is essential. Setting reasonable goals ensures that both the patient and the surgeon are on the same page in terms of outcome and safety.

Plastic surgery is different for each patient. During a consultation, health risks and other issues will be discussed to determine the safety of the procedure for your body.