When considering plastic surgery, it's natural to focus more on the expected result than on the surgical process. However, to be fully informed, it's important to learn about the safety of the procedure as well as the expected outcome. Although thousands of people have plastic surgery every year without complications, no surgical procedure is risk-free. You can rest assured that:
- Your surgeon is adequately trained.
- The facility where your surgery will be performed conforms to strict safety standards.
- Your surgeon will ask you about any drugs you are taking and your full medical history, especially if you have had any circulation disorders, heart of lung ailments or problems with blood clots.
- The surgical facility will use an anesthesiologist to administer and monitor your anesthesia and your recovery immediately following the procedure.
WHY IS IT SO IMPORTANT FOR MY PLASTIC SURGEON TO KNOW DETAILED INFORMATION ABOUT MY PERSONAL AND FAMILY HEALTH HISTORY, EVEN IF I AM ONLY HAVING A SIMPLE COSMETIC PROCEDURE?
There is always risk with any surgical procedure. However, as a patient, you can play an important role in reducing your risk by providing a full and complete health history to your surgeon.
Before any type of anesthesia is used, the surgeon and anesthesiologist must take a full medical history. A physical examination and appropriate lab tests may also be performed. Your surgeon needs to know if you have any serious medical problems or have had previous adverse reaction to any other type of anesthesia. Also, you must let the anesthesiologist know about any medications you are taking (including herbal supplements), any known drug allergies, when you last ate and whether you smoke cigarettes or use alcohol or illegal drugs.
IS IT POSSIBLE TO SPEND THE NIGHT IN YOUR SURGERY CENTER?
Yes, it is possible to stay overnight in our surgery center with our private duty nurse. Typically, face lift and abdominoplasty patients will spend the night.
WHAT IS PLASTIC SURGERY?
Plastic surgery is named from the Greek word "plastikos" which means "to shape," based on the surgeon re-shaping the form of the patient's form through surgery. It has nothing to do with the types of materials used in the surgery itself. In surgery, many different materials may be utilized, depending on the desired results and type of surgery. Frequently, the surgeon will make use of the patient's own tissues, including tissues from another location of the body, or by reshaping the existing tissues to achieve a better appearance. Historically, many materials have been used in cosmetic and reconstructive surgery, including ivory, wood, and others. In modern times, hard silicone rubber is a popular material. This should not be confused with the gel silicone which has sparked so much controversy through its use as a filler for breast implants.
IS THERE ANY VISIBLE SCARRING?
Any time a cut or incision is made in the skin, there is a scar left behind as part of the normal healing process. Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons have received special training and have extensive experience with minimizing the size of these scars, creating the least noticeable appearance of them, and locating them in the least conspicuous areas possible. Often the scars will become undetectable to all but the most careful examinations over the course of time. In addition, scars may be hidden in the hair, along a wrinkle, in the mouth, etc. to minimize the visibility of the scar. Other times scars are more visible. The approximate placement and length of the incisions will be discussed before surgery. You can review patients photos with similar incisions.
WILL I LOOK NATURAL AFTER MY SURGERY?
I choose the techniques that I use to create a natural, non-surgical appearance. Every effort is made to improve your appearance in the most natural view.
HOW DO I KNOW IF PLASTIC SURGERY IS FOR ME?
Plastic Surgery is no longer for the rich and famous. Plastic Surgery (Cosmetic Surgery) is for anyone who wants to look their best and improve upon their natural beauty. Plastic Surgery includes all types of procedures from reconstructive procedures (scar revision, digit reattachment, burn surgery, dog bite repairs, cleft & lip palate repairs) to cosmetic procedures (breast augmentation and reduction, face and eyelid lifts, liposuction and laser facial resurfacing for fine lines and wrinkles). There is something for everyone.
WHY DOESN'T INSURANCE PAY FOR PLASTIC SURGERY PROCEDURES?
By definition Cosmetic Surgery is a procedure performed on a normal structure or part of the body. When cosmetic surgery is done, it is to improve or enhance that structure. These procedures are never covered by insurance policies. Reconstructive Surgery is done to restore or repair a structure or body part. Any time an injury occurs or a structure is removed due to cancer, the reconstruction is covered by insurance. We always send a precertification to your insurance carrier to verify coverage in advance.
WHAT PLASTIC SURGERY PROCEDURE WILL HELP ME LOOK MORE RESTED?
Like no other procedure we offer, eyelid surgery or blepharoplasty will offer you a more rested and rejuvenated look. Either upper or lower blepharoplasty surgery can be done under a general anesthesia or sedation anesthesia. The extra loose skin of the eyelid is removed and the fat pockets (bags) are also removed and the remaining fat pocket is placed back into position. The closure is done with fine sutures and they are removed in only 4 days. What a change. Blepharoplasty is a great way to look more rested and youthful.
HOW MANY CASES HAVE YOUR SURGEONS DONE AND HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN DOING THIS KIND OF SURGERY?
Your surgeon specializes in all aspects of Plastic Surgery. I have experience of over 18 years. I have mastered the procedures I offer. My results are consistent and predictable. Just ask my patients.
MY BIGGEST CONCERN WITH PLASTIC SURGERY IS THE ANESTHESIA. IS IT SAFE?
There are risks involved with every activity. We provide all of our patient's with the safest surgical environment. Our operating room is fully equipped with the latest anesthesia equipment and monitoring devices. Our anesthesia staff is highly trained and ready to assist you.
CAN AN ABDOMINOPLASTY ELIMINATE "STRETCH MARKS" FROM MY PREGNANCY?
If the stretch marks are located on the lower abdomen (below the belly button) then they can usually be removed in the course of abdominoplasty. Typically all of the skin from just above the navel to the pubic area is removed. This skin usually contains the stretch marks as well as the less elastic skin. The upper skin more elastic, better quality, less or no stretch marks, is stretched across the entire abdomen.
MY TUMMY SKIN IS LOOSE AND MY MUSCLES ARE WEAK AFTER HAVING CHILDREN. WHAT CAN BE DONE FOR THIS?
After having children your abdominal wall skin will be stretched and the muscles are loose and out of tone. If this sounds like your problem...I have the solution. A tummy tuck or abdominoplasty will tighten the rectus muscles of the abdominal wall and eliminate the extra loose skin of the abdominal wall. You will soon be able to fit into your favorite pair of jeans!
HOW MUCH CAN MY BREASTS BE ENLARGED? WHY IS IT LIMITED? HOW BIG SHOULD I GO?
The degree of enlargement is based on the anatomy of the patient's body more than any other factor. Saline-filled implants require placement underneath the muscle layer of the chest to achieve a natural result in most patients. The implant must be covered by the muscle layer, and this coverage determines the maximum volume of the implant. The width of the patient's chest, as well as the locations of nerves in the chest and abdomen limit the maximum volume of an implant that can be used, because the total width of the implant must fit underneath the muscle without intruding into the nerve bundles, otherwise numbness of the breast and/or nipples would result. Your surgeon can help you determine the best size of implant for you at the time of consultation.
Most of my patients desire a full proportional look. They want something nice but not too obvious. I prefer to create nice looking breasts that fit a patient's body well rather than very large breasts that are too large for the frame. In fact, I do not have any patient that has told me that I have made them too large.
AFTER BREAST AUGMENTATION: WILL I BE ABLE TO BREASTFEED?
Breast augmentation (under the muscle layer) should not affect your ability to breastfeed. For sub-glandular augmentation (under the breast tissue, but over the muscle layer), like any other surgery which disturbs the breast tissue itself, there is a risk of losing the ability to breastfeed.
WHY DID MY BREASTS GET SMALL AND DROOP AFTER PREGNANCY?
A loss of volume, often associated with drooping, is very common after pregnancy and is called post-partum breast involution. Volume loss with a small amount of sagging can be corrected with the breast augmentation surgery. For an excessive degree of sagging, a mastopexy or "breast lift" may be the solution. I typically perform a minimal incision breast lift with augmentations. This means that the lift incisions is only a circle around the areola. Severe drooping may need more life incision.
CAN PLASTIC SURGERY CORRECT INVERTED NIPPLES? CAN I ENLARGE OR REDUCE THE SIZE OF MY AREOLA?
With inverted nipples, the problem is that the ducts are too short and tether the nipple. This can be corrected in the office under local anesthesia. The procedure is fairly simple. The incision is small and located on the underside of the nipple so that is difficult to see.
The areola can be reduced in size or enlarged. This may be done as a standalone type of procedure under local anesthesia. Or, it may be done in conjunction with an augmentation, reduction or lift.
DO IMPLANTS RUPTURE?
Mechanical failure of the mammary implants is possible. The rate of failure is low and should be discussed with your surgeon, including the implant of manufacturer's limited warranty.
WHAT CAN YOU DO TO CORRECT ASYMMETRIES OR DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THE BREASTS?
Nearly everyone I have examined has some asymmetry in their breasts. Sometimes these differences are subtle and other times they are more pronounced. It can be a difference in size, height of the nipple, amount of drooping, height of the breast fold, contour of the ribs, height of the shoulder tips, etc. Many times we can attempt to correct or improve upon the asymmetries. This can be done by lower a fold, place a slightly more saline on one side, etc. Most of the time there are subtle asymmetries before and after surgery.
DO BREASTS IMPLANTS CAUSE YOU TO GET BREAST CANCER?
No. Breast implants do not cause breast, or any other cancer. Studies have shown that women who get breast cancer and have implants have the same outcome as women that get breast cancer and do not have implants. You still should get mammograms as recommended by your physician. Notify your mammographer that you have implants as they will do a few special views to maximize the mammogram.
I WANT BREAST ENLARGEMENT, BUT I WANT IT TO LOOK NATURAL. CAN THIS BE DONE?
Sure it can. We will provide you with every option. The most natural look can be achieved by choosing the proper size and shape implant that is right for your chest wall and existing breast anatomy. We offer all the shapes and sizes available. Let us evaluate your needs in a complimentary consultation.
I AM 58 YEARS OLD. CAN I STILL HAVE BREAST AUGMENTATION?
There is no upper age limit to having breast surgery. If you are healthy and want to enhance your appearance then augmentation mammaplasty may be for you. You may be a candidate for a breast lift or a combined procedure lift and augmentation. We have operated on many women in the 50's and 60's. Make sure you are current on your screening mammogram or we can assist you in obtaining one.
I AM MALE AND MY BREASTS ARE TOO LARGE. CAN YOU REDUCE THEM?
Yes. This condition may be Gynecomastia (male breast enlargement). Certain medications and drugs have been show to cause this condition. Steroids have been implicated. A combined procedure of excision and liposuction generally works the best. A real significant improvement can be expected.
HOW LONG WILL MY FACE-LIFT LAST?
The good news is that your face-lift will not fall down at the stroke of midnight on the tenth year! Actually, a face-lift (and other procedures) will turn back the clock. You will start aging again from that point forward.
WHAT CAN BE DONE FOR A "DOUBLE CHIN?"
In younger individuals with good skin tone, the fat in this area can be removed with gentle liposuction, and this improves the contour of the neckline. When skin tone is poor, it may take a face-lift procedure with liposuction to correct the condition.
WHAT CAN BE DONE FOR "FROWN LINES" AND "CROW'S FEET?"
We use our facial muscles for smiling, frowning and other expressions and, over time, prominent lines may be formed in the outer layers of skin. A substance called Botox can be injected into these overactive muscles to cause temporary paralysis (3-4 months) and smooth these problem areas. Botox works best for dynamic wrinkles or those wrinkles that are caused by expression or muscle contraction.
AM I READY FOR A FACE-LIFT?
Skin and facial tissue that sag along with aging can give you an appearance of tiredness or anger even when you are feeling happy and energetic. A face lift procedure primarily addresses jowling and neck laxity. With facial rejuvenation, you appear rested, healthy and more youthful. The idea is to look better and/or younger, not different.
If your concern is less about jowling and neck and more about the cheekbone area, then you may be appropriate for a mid-face lift. This is a newer procedure that involves incisions in the hairline and in the mouth which are not typically visible.
WHEN IS THE BEST TIME FOR A FACE LIFT?
The best candidates for a face lift is a man or woman whose face and neck have begun to sag, but whose skin still has some elasticity and whose bone structure is strong and well defined. Most patients are in their forties to sixties, but face lifts can be done successfully on people in their seventies or eighties as well.
WHO IS A CANDIDATE FOR BOTOX?
Botox is a new treatment for facial wrinkles and deep creases and frown lines. It's safe and effective treatments for wrinkles of the face. Our surgeons inject Botox into the facial wrinkle and the underlying muscle is paralyzed. It lasts for three to six months. This procedure can be done over your lunch break. Anyone with deep wrinkles of the mid-forehead and crow's feet area may benefit from this procedure.
WHAT METHODS ARE USED? WHAT ABOUT "LASER BLEPHAROPLASTY?" WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE?
The conventional upper blepharoplasty utilizes a crescent shaped incision located along the upper eyelid fold. Excessive skin and central fatty tissue is removed. The incision is then closed.
There are multiple options for the lower lid. Most lower blepharoplasties are of the conjunctival type. This means that an incision is made on the back side of the eyelid and fatty tissue or the bag is excised. The scar is not seen. If the patient has a minor skin excess or wrinkles, the laser can also be used to tighten the skin or improve/remove wrinkles. Patients with more significant skin excess will need the subciliary approach. An incision is made just below the eyelashes. Fatty tissue or the bags are removed. Skin excess is trimmed and the incision closed.
WILL HAVING BLEPHAROPLASTY AFFECT HOW MY CONTACT LENSES FIT?
Blepharoplasty surgery only works on the skin and muscle of the eyelids area -- how your contact lenses fit is based on the shape of your eye itself. Although you won't be able to wear contacts for the first few days after surgery (to allow time for the healing process to begin without disturbance) blepharoplasty surgery will not change how your contact lenses fit or function.
WHY MUST BROWS BE EVALUATED WHEN CONSIDERING UPPER BLEPHAROPLASTY?
The upper eyelid and the brow must always be evaluated together. This is very important.
Let's consider someone with a low brow. The low brow causes skin to pile up on the upper lid. This weight causes the person to unconsciously lift the brow until this weight is removed. If skin is removed during an upper blepharoplasty, this weight is reduced. This allows the brow elevators to relax and lower the brow until the skin piles up on the lid again and obscures the result of the upper blepharoplasty. This situation can be avoided by recognition of the brow ptosis and treatment through a brow lift or browpexy.
When someone doesn't have brow drooping, this situation does not occur.
MY DAUGHTER WANTS TO HAVE RHINOPLASTY. CAN THIS BE DONE ON A TEENAGER?
Yes. If her face and nose are fully developed and there is a reason to want to change her facial appearance then we would consider the case.
FOR HOW LONG WILL MY NOSE BE SWOLLEN AFTER SURGERY?
The nose will be swollen 10-14 days after which 80-85% of the swelling will be gone and the remaining 10-15% will disappear by six months.
HOW WILL MY NOSE LOOK AFTER SURGERY?
If you go to a reputable cosmetic surgeon with experience, be frank with him and tell him exactly what you want and this will be your best bet for an excellent result. Unfortunately, computer images of your pre operative view manipulated on the screen does not guarantee the results of the above conditions but prove that your doctor is a computer wiz.
WHY CAN I NOT BREATHE NORMALLY AFTER RHINOPLASTY?
Your doctor will relieve any nasal obstruction that you complain of, however, it is only normal to have an obstructed nose in the first week because of the blood that gets stuck inside your nose from the surgery.
WHAT IS "TUMESCENT" LIPOSUCTION?
The tumescent technique is a liposuction method that can reduce post operative bruising, swelling and pain. Also, blood loss is minimized during tumescent liposuction due to the effects of the local anesthetic which is used. In the tumescent technique, areas of excess fat are injected with a large amount of anesthetic liquid before liposuction is performed. The liquid causes the compartments of fat to become swollen and firm or "tumesced". The expanded fat compartments allow the liposuction cannula to travel smoothly beneath the skin as the fat is removed. This can give multiple benefits -- extra precision for the surgeon, reduced loss of blood for the patient, and extended pain relief after surgery, which can reduce the need for pain medication immediately after surgery.
WHY DO PATIENTS WEAR A COMPRESSION GARMENT AFTER SURGERY?
After liposuction, swelling is expected. A compression garment helps reduce swelling and helps to reshape the tissue. Many patients see little difference or are even larger during the first week after surgery. The following week, patients usually begin to see results. After 2 months, the patient will be at about 80% of the result. Improvement continues until about 6 months after surgery when all of the swelling should be gone. I usually have patients wear their compression garment for 3 weeks 24/7 and then 3 weeks during sleep.
CAN I STILL GAIN WEIGHT AFTER LIPOSUCTION?
We are born with a certain number of fat cells. During liposuction, fat cells are removed with the surgery. The remaining fat cells get bigger when you get bigger and get smaller when you get smaller. If you maintain your weight, the fat should not come back to the liposuctioned areas. If you put on weight, it will more likely be distributed more evenly over the body and less likely to go to your "trouble zones."
WILL I STILL HAVE CELLULITE OR RIPPLING AFTER LIPOSUCTION?
The aim and goal of surgery is to improve one's appearance as it relates to shape and volume. Depending upon the degree and the magnitude one's cellulite and rippling prior to surgery, will affect the post-operative outcome. In mild to moderate cases, the cellulite and rippling is usually improved with the surgery. But, no promises can be made regarding cellulite. Liposuction improves the overall shape of the body in addition to making it smaller.
I AM NEAR MY IDEAL BODY WEIGHT YET I STILL HAVE A FATTY AREA THAT WILL NOT GO AWAY. IS LIPOSUCTION A PROCEDURE FOR ME?
Even if you exercise and eat right women tend to have fatty hips and thighs. Men tend to have the fat located on the lower abdomen and flanks. Liposuction is a procedure where fat is suctioned out of the body. This skin then redrapes to provide an improved contour and body shape. Inches can be removed from the waist and hips. We now offer the technique of Power Assisted Liposuction.