While some patients are so happy with their new look that they can’t wait to tell everyone they know, others prefer to keep the details of their cosmetic surgery to themselves. It’s a very personal decision, and there are several factors to consider.
In practical terms, it usually is necessary to confide in least one other person—a close friend or family member who can provide transportation on the day of your procedure and emotional support throughout the recovery period. It’s helpful to talk with this person well before the surgery date, letting them know the pertinent details so they can be fully prepared.
If you live with family members or roommates, it’s best to inform them in advance that you will be undergoing surgery, just as you would if you were planning a non-cosmetic surgical procedure. The same goes for employers and co-workers—they need to know you’ll be away from work for medical reasons, but it isn’t necessary to tell them you’re having cosmetic surgery unless you feel comfortable sharing that information.
When making decisions on whom to tell about your cosmetic surgery, consider the level of the change you’re making. A subtle alteration doesn’t need to be mentioned to anyone outside your immediate circle, but a complete overhaul can leave acquaintances speechless if they’re unprepared. Clara, a petite redhead who opted for multiple procedures (brow lift, nose reduction, and chin augmentation), looked dramatically different after her surgery, as was her intent. She chose to tell her coworkers she was taking time off for cosmetic procedures so they wouldn’t be shocked when their rather plain colleague suddenly metamorphosed into a pretty woman. When she returned to work after her surgery, Clara happily greeted acquaintances with, “How do you like my new look?”
If you prefer not to discuss your cosmetic surgery with acquaintances and coworkers, it’s helpful to make other changes to your appearance shortly before or after the procedure. For women, a new hairstyle or hair color provides a distraction; men can grow or shave their facial hair. With body contouring surgery (liposuction or breast implants), loose clothing can camouflage the change so it isn’t obvious when you first return to work or social engagements.
It’s likely that at least a few friends and acquaintances will remark on your improved appearance. “You look great! Have you lost weight?” is a typical comment, or someone may ask if you’ve just returned from a relaxing vacation. It’s up to you how much—if any—detail to provide. If you find that you enjoy talking about your cosmetic surgery, there’s no reason not to be forthcoming about the reason you’re looking so good. But if you prefer to remain discreet about your cosmetic work, a simple “thank you” will suffice.
If someone directly asks if you’ve had cosmetic surgery, you can choose to answer straightforwardly (providing as much detail as you’re comfortable with), or reply that it’s something you prefer not to discuss. Your response may depend upon what you perceive to be the motivation of the person who is asking.
The bottom line is that it’s entirely up to you how much information to share with others about your cosmetic surgery. You don’t owe anyone an explanation about your new look, but there’s nothing wrong with being straightforward about the changes you’ve made. In recent years cosmetic surgery has become an accepted part of life; it’s no longer taboo to discuss having a face-lift or breast augmentation.