If you’re unhappy with some aspects of your appearance, you may be considering plastic surgery, injectables, or dental procedures that can improve your appearance. You may be wanting to look younger, more voluptuous, healthier, or just more normal.
But how do you know which treatments are the best ones to try? It can be hard to compare treatments across many different areas to decide which one might be worth trying.
A Cosmetic Value Ratings System
The independent ratings site RealSelf.com has thousands of users who have rated the procedures they have tried using a simple system: “worth it” or “not worth it.” They also put in the amount they paid for the procedure.
To create a neutral ratings system, we took the price of the procedure and divided it by the percentage of people who considered the procedure “worth it.” This gives a number with the units dollars per percentage satisfied, which can help you assess the cost/risk of disappointment value for many different types of procedures. The lower the number, the less money you’ll likely be spending on a treatment that you’ll be disappointed.
Plastic Surgery Procedures
Plastic surgery can be very expensive, but it can also yield amazing results. Many plastic surgery procedures have very, very high satisfaction ratings.
Mommy Makeover Value Rating: 129.7
A mommy makeover is a personalized combination of procedures to help women restore a more youthful body after childbirth. It commonly includes procedures like tummy tuck, liposuction, and a breast procedure. The procedure has a very high satisfaction rating,but it’s also the most expensive procedure we looked at.
Breast lift value rating: 90.6
A breast lift is a surgical procedure that reshapes sagging breasts togive them a more youthful position and shape.
Brazilian Butt Lift Value Rating:75.5
A Brazilian butt lift is a procedure that transplants your own fat to your buttocks to improve their size and shape. It has a high satisfaction rate, but also a high cost. Butt implants are another option here, but it costs about the same with a much lower satisfaction rate, value rating: 95.4.
Tummy Tuck Value Rating: 84.9
A tummy tuck removes fat, skin, muscle, and other tissue from your midsection to give you a more trim appearance. It is expensive, but also has a high satisfaction rate.
Liposuction Value Rating: 76.3
Liposuction is what it says: using suction to remove excess fat from virtually any part of the body, including the neck, back, stomach, buttocks, legs, and more.
Breast Implants Value Rating: 71.1 or 69.7
For some reason, there are separate ratings for breast implants and breast augmentation. Both listings have similar cost and satisfaction rates.
Comparing Surgical and Nonsurgical Facial Treatments
If you are considering facial rejuvenation procedures, it’s important to know whether you should consider surgical or nonsurgical rejuvenation treatments.
Facelift Value Rating:124.7
A facelift is a surgical procedure that corrects sagging facial tissue by removing and repositioning the skin and muscles. The procedure is expensive and the results are uncertain.
BOTOX ® Cosmetic Value Rating:7.5
There’s a reason why BOTOX ® Cosmetic is the most popular cosmetic treatment in the world. A relatively low cost, high safety, and reasonable satisfaction rate combine to make this a good place to start for facial rejuvenation.
Juvederm Value Rating: 10.1
Juvederm is a facial filler that can restore lost volume to the face to restore a youthful contour. Cost it similar to BOTOX ® Cosmetic, but the results are less certain.
Laser Hair Removal Value Rating: 15.3
In thisprocedure, a laser is used to selectively burn away unwanted hairs. This is a relatively inexpensive procedure, but it also has a much lower satisfaction rating.
A More Attractive Smile
Teeth Whitening Value Rating: 4.7
Using chemicals to remove stains can make you look much younger. This usually works, and isn’t very expensive, giving this procedure our best value rating.
Zoom Teeth Whitening Value Rating:6.6
This variation gets your teeth whiter in about an hour. It has a lower satisfaction rating.
Braces Value Rating: 49.7
Braces are expensive and a pain to get, but they work very well, giving them a decent value rating.
Invisalign Value Rating: 60.9
Instead of metal wires, Invisalign uses clear plastic aligners to move your teeth. It can be more comfortable and easier to use, but it’s got a lower satisfaction rating than traditional braces due to unpredictability of cases.
Porcelain Veneers Value Rating: 108.1
Porcelain veneers are expensive and by no means sure way to improve the appearance of your smile, making them among the worst investments.
Making the Right Decision for You
This ratings system confirms what you hopefully already know: try nonsurgical procedures first and then seek more drastic options if you’re not getting the results you want. Of course, sometimes only the most invasive procedure will do. If you’re trying to redesign your smile, for example, it’s often only porcelain veneers that can help. But even if you think you may need an invasive treatment, it’s better and safer to try something nonsurgical first.
Dr. Matthew B. Candelaria (PhD, U of Kansas 2006) is a freelance writer with more than 6 years’ experience writing about plastic surgery, dentistry, and other aesthetic topics. He has written for some of the top doctors and dentists in the country.