Are you considering plastic surgery but not sure where to start? Want a new look but can’t decide which procedure is best for you? Look no further! This guide can answer your questions about plastic surgery and help start you down the best path toward getting the appearance you desire.

Almost 14 million cosmetic procedures were performed in the United States in 2011, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, and plastic surgery continues to rise in popularity across the country. With advances constantly being made in surgical and minimally invasive techniques and technology, many procedures are becoming much more accessible — not to mention safer and with significantly shorter recovery times.

While people of all ages are turning to plastic surgery for both cosmetic and reconstructive reasons, people between the ages of 40 and 54 make up the majority of cosmetic surgery patients. Ninety-one percent of all cosmetic procedures are performed on women, but men are increasingly choosing plastic surgery, as well.

The top five most common surgical procedures are breast augmentation — which has been the top procedure since 2006 — nose reshaping, liposuction, eyelid surgery and facelifts. The top five most common minimally invasive procedures are Botox injections, dermal fillers, chemical peels, laser hair removal and microdermabrasion. Other surgeries that have recently risen in popularity are chin and lip augmentation and butt implants and lifts.

Plastic surgery is widespread and common, but that still doesn’t mean choosing to undergo a procedure is as simple as showing up in your surgeon’s office on the day of the surgery. There are many dos and don’ts to consider throughout the entire process, and it’s important to do your homework beforehand. For instance, picking a board-certified plastic surgeon who understands what you are trying to accomplish with your plastic surgery is key, which is why we provide tips for finding the best surgeon to meet your needs.

No matter what procedure you are considering, it is important to understand that each one comes with risks and expenses that should be researched and discussed thoroughly before making any final decisions. Understanding the timelines of procedures is also important so that you can weigh your options between quicker procedures that may require touch-ups in the future versus more significant, permanent surgeries that have longer recovery times. Depending on the procedure you may need to take time away from work or you could have a new look after one office visit during your lunch hour. Whatever you are looking for, the About Plastic Surgery Guide can help get you started with information like questions you should ask during your plastic surgery consultation, how to minimize your risks during surgery, what age is best for which procedure and much more.

Whether you want to fix your deviated septum in order to breathe properly or are looking for a more sculpted silhouette, there are many options for improving your look and your life with plastic surgery. What’s important is to go about it the right way. Follow the tips and tricks of this guide, and you’ll quickly learn all you need for a successful, fulfilling plastic surgery experience.