Plastic Surgery

Plastic Surgery

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is plastic surgery? Plastic surgery repairs, reconstructions, enhances or replacements physical defects of the body. Plastic surgery helps to improve overall appearance and to optimize the outcome of reconstructive procedures.

How can I prepare for surgery?

  • Do not take aspirin or anti-inflammatory medications
  • If you smoke, stop smoking for at least 2 weeks pre-op (anticipate no smoking for the recovery)
  • Obtain a copy of your doctor's protocol
  • Arrange to have someone drive you to and from the operation
  • Arrange for someone to care for you the first 24-72 hours after surgery
  • Fill prescriptions before surgery
  • On the day of surgery, wear loose clothing
  • Follow your physician's directions carefully

Is plastic surgery covered by insurance? Reconstructive surgery is generally covered by most health insurance policies, although coverage for specific procedures and levels of coverage may vary. Cosmetic surgery, however, is usually not covered by health insurance because it is elective. Cosmetic surgery is your choice and not considered a medical necessity.  

What is the difference between cosmetic and reconstructive surgery? Reconstructive surgery is performed on abnormal structures of the body, caused by defects, developmental abnormalities, trauma, infection, tumors, or disease. It is generally performed to improve function. Cosmetic surgery is performed to reshape normal structures of the body in order to improve the patient's appearance and self-esteem.

What does the term board-certified plastic surgeon mean? When we refer to a plastic surgeon as "board-certified", we mean certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery or the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. The ABPS is the only board recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) to certify physicians in the full range of plastic and reconstructive procedures. To be certified by the ABPS, a physician must have at least five years of approved surgical training, including a residency in plastic surgery. He or she must also pass a comprehensive written and oral exam in plastic surgery.

How do I know if I am a good candidate to have plastic surgery? Plastic surgery can dramatically enhance your appearance and self-confidence. If you consider yourself to be a physically and emotionally healthy person and have realistic expectations, you are considered a good candidate.

What will happen during the initial consultation? We discuss your health history and any concerns. Pre-op photos will be taken during this visit, and we will discuss your surgical options.

What is the recovery time for most plastic surgery and cosmetic surgery procedures? Recovery times vary depending on the procedure you choose. However, most patients will need to have sutures intact for 5-7 days after their procedure. We recommend that you not work or take part in any strenuous activity prior to your sutures being removed.  

How much pain is involved in plastic surgery? Each plastic surgery procedure carries a different level of discomfort.Very minor, non-invasive surgeries might involve a topical anesthetic, while minor invasive surgeries may call for local anesthetic or local combined with sedation. In more involved surgery, general anesthesia is usually used.

What should I expect in terms of necessary follow up visits? All procedures differ, but most patients have sutures intact for 5-7 days. We may want to see you during that period and we will need to see you to remove your sutures when it is time for them to be removed.

Will there be a scar after plastic surgery? Scarring is inevitable of healing, however a very fine lined scar placed in the correct orientation may be virtually invisible. Plastic surgeons will try to make incisions in areas that will not show, like under undergarments or along natural creases.

Is plastic surgery outpatient or inpatient? Most plastic surgery procedures are performed on an outpatient basis. In some cases, usually when the surgery is very extensive or complications arise, an overnight stay might be required.

Is there a "right" age to pursue plastic surgery? There isn't a specific rule as to the right age for plastic surgery. This should be determined more on a case by case basis, looking at the individual's unique body type and aging process.

Last Updated: 6/17/14