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Frequently Asked Questions

General FAQReconstructive FAQBotox FAQsLiposuction FAQsTummy Tuck FAQsWrinkle Treatment FAQsFacelift FAQsRhinoplasty FAQsBreast Augmentation FAQsBreast Reduction FAQsChemical Peels FAQs

What is Plastic Surgery?

Plastic surgery is a surgical sub-specialty which addresses the healing and restoration of injuries, disfigurement or scarring caused by trauma, disease or congenital defects. The ‘plastic’ in plastic surgery does not refer to the use of plastic materials but rather is derived from the Greek word for molding or giving form. Plastic surgery includes the specialty of aesthetic, or cosmetic, surgery, which corrects or rejuvenates features of the face and body that a patient does not find pleasing.

How does a doctor become a plastic surgeon?

Doctors must undergo extensive training in order to become a plastic surgeon. A specialized post-graduate training course lasting five to seven years must be completed in order to become board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS). A surgeon’s background training often includes an extensive foundation of general surgery, though a background in orthopedics or ENT is sometimes acceptable. Surgeons then spend the final two to three years of their training in an approved plastic surgery training center. Before being officially certified by the ABPS, a demanding set of written and oral exams must be passed. Only surgeons certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery are true plastic surgeons.

Does certification by the American Board of Plastic Surgery guarantee that a patient’s procedure will go perfectly?

Because there are several factors that can affect the healing of operated tissue, some of which are beyond the control of the surgeon, certification by the American Board of Plastic Surgery cannot guarantee perfection or even a good result. However, by carefully researching and selecting a board certified plastic surgeon with the appropriate training, skill, and experience, you can better ensure the safety and optimal result of your procedure. A surgeon who is board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery has completed extensive requirements in order to become a specialist in full time practice in plastic surgery.

Are there any questions that I should ask potential plastic surgeons before choosing one to perform my surgery?

Because choosing a qualified and experienced plastic surgeon can help to ensure the safety and quality of your procedure, there are certain questions that you should ask before selecting surgeon, including the following:

  • Is the surgeon certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery?
    • It’s important that you ask any doctor claiming to be board-certified which board they are certified by. The ABPS is the only board recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties for certifying doctors in plastic surgery.
  • Does the surgeon have hospital privileges to perform this surgery?
    • Though many surgical procedures can be performed in a doctor’s office-based facility or an outpatient facility, it is still important that you determine whether or not a doctor has operating privileges in an accredited hospital for the same procedure that you are undergoing. Having operating privileges indicates that a surgeon’s training and competency for specific procedures has been reviewed by a hospital committee.
  • Where will my procedure be performed?
    • Be sure to ask if the facility where your procedure will take place is accredited. Many states do not require accreditation by ambulatory or office-based facilities. However, these facilities can voluntarily apply to an accrediting body like the American Association for Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgery Facilities, and they must meet strict requirements and provide a high standard of care in order to be accredited.
  • How many procedures of this type has the surgeon performed?
    • Also ask about any training, particularly in new techniques, that the surgeon has completed and ask to see any certificates of training that he or she may have.
  • What are the risks associated with the particular procedure?
    • Because there are risks associated with any surgical procedure, be sure to find out what they are, how frequently they occur, and how the surgeon will handle them if they do occur.
  • How long is the recovery?
    • Ask about the recovery time as well as any postoperative restrictions on activity.
  • What is the surgeon’s policy regarding surgical revisions?
    • Because some cases may require that revisions be performed in order to obtain the desired result, it’s important that you find out beforehand the surgeon’s policy on revisions and any costs which you may be responsible for.
  • What is the cost of the surgery?
    • Insurance typically does not cover the cost of cosmetic surgery, and surgeons usually require payment in advance. The total cost of surgery will include the surgeon’s fee, fees for anesthesia and the surgical facility, and other potential costs like those for preoperative physical and blood work, medications, surgical garments and private-duty nursing.

What types of procedures do plastic surgeons perform?

Plastic surgeons perform a variety of procedures, including the following:

  • Aesthetic, or cosmetic, procedures treating problems of the face, neck and trunk, including the forehead, eyes, nose, ears, lips, chin, neck, breasts, abdomen, hips, buttocks, thighs, calves, arms and skin.
  • Congenital deformities of the hand and face which may include clefts of the lip and palate.
  • Benign and malignant tumors found on the head and neck, skin and soft tissues.
  • Traumatic injuries occurring on the bony facial skeleton and hand, along with soft tissues injuries occurring on any part of the body.
  • Hand surgery.
  • Surgery of the jaw and facial skeleton.
  • Skin cover and replacement problems.
  • Reconstruction procedures following cancer removal resulting in disfigurement of a body part, including the face, trunk, and breasts.

What is aesthetic surgery?

Aesthetic surgery is another term for cosmetic surgery. The goal of aesthetic surgery is to improve an individual’s appearance. The most commonly performed aesthetic procedures involve the nose, ears, face, forehead, eyelids, breasts abdomen, hips, and thighs.

Are plastic surgeons skin specialists?

Though dermatologists specialize in skin, plastic surgeons have an equally important role in treating benign and malignant tumors of the skin. This is particularly true when large areas of skin must be removed and replaced, which may risk disfigurement, and when conspicuous areas like the face are involved. There are also skin resurfacing techniques that plastic surgeons perform for cosmetic purposes which can achieve a healthier look by reducing facial wrinkling and pigment problems.

Will my plastic surgery procedure leave a scar?

Scarring is inevitable with plastic surgery. However, a well-placed, very fine line scar can be virtually invisible after healing. Plastic surgeons spend years mastering techniques designed to place scars in desirable locations, and they do everything they can to place incisions in less visible areas, such as within natural creases or areas covered by undergarments. Though scars usually fade with time, there are some areas of the body that produce more extensive scarring regardless of the technique used, including the back and chest. In addition, each person will heal different and the severity of scarring will vary accordingly.

Is skin grafting always used for plastic surgery?

Skin grafting is only necessary during a plastic surgery procedure when there is no better way to close a wound or defect. A qualified plastic surgeon will use his/her judgment in determining the best way to reconstruct a defect. Some skin grafts may appear to be a poor match in color and texture to the native skin, but this problem can be minimized by carefully selecting the skin graft donor site.

What is a pedicle flap or graft?

A pedicle graft, also known as a pedicle flap, is a section of skin and its underlying subcutaneous tissue and/or muscle that is shifted from one area to cover an open wound or defect. The word ‘pedicle’ refers to the fact that the flap’s blood supply is never divided. A free flap, on the other hand, is a graft in which the blood supply is completely divided and reattached. Free flaps require specialized skill in microvascular surgery.

What is rhinoplasty?

Rhinoplasty, also referred to as nose reshaping, is a plastic surgery procedure designed to improve the appearance of the nose and sometimes alleviate breathing problems.

There is surprisingly little pain associated with nose reshaping procedures. A splint is usually applied over the nose and sometimes inside of the nose, and this is often removed after five to seven days. Bruising may occur around the eyes and typically fades within one to two weeks.

Is it possible to undergo a second rhinoplasty if you’re unhappy with the result of the first surgery?

Though touch-ups are sometimes necessary after a nose reshaping procedure, it’s often best to wait a year before undergoing a second surgery. It can take this long for the final results of the surgery to become apparent.

What are some aesthetic surgery procedures that can improve an aging face?

Facial aging occurs in varying degrees and stages and can result from the natural aging process, heredity, and lifestyle choices. In order to address all areas of facial rejuvenation, plastic surgeons undergo training specific to this. A face lift may be performed to lift and tighten excess skin of the face and neck. Other procedures may be performed to improve the appearance of the eyes, forehead, chin, mouth, and neck. Some procedures may be performed with the use of an endoscope making them generally less invasive. Skin resurfacing procedures like chemical peels, laser resurfacing or other skin care treatments can be used to treat fine wrinkles of the face.

How is a face lift performed?

There are several face lift techniques and different locations for the incision. However, the incision is commonly located within the hairline at the temple region, extending downward in front of the ear, and then continuing behind the ear and back into the hairline. Once the incision is made, the skin of the face and neck is dissected into the cheeks and neck and then pulled upward to tighten and smooth the skin. The muscular layers beneath the skin can be tightened as well. Depending on the condition of the face before surgery, the results can be subtle or very dramatic.

Are there scars after a face lift?

While there are scars after a face lift, plastic surgeons are trained to place them as inconspicuously as possible. During the consultation, the surgeon should show you exactly where the scars will be located. In most cases, the hair conceals the resulting scars. Furthermore, makeup can be used to cover up any remaining marks.

How do plastic surgeons correct excessive wrinkling and bagginess of the eyelids?

Excess wrinkling and bagginess of the eyelids can be corrected with eyelid surgery. Both the upper and lower eyelids can be treated by removing excess skin and fat, and tightening the lower lid if necessary. Eyelid surgery may be performed on its own or in combination with other procedures like a facelift or brow lift. Bruising and swelling is common after surgery and typically fades within one to two weeks.

What sort of procedures are there to improve the appearance of breasts?

There are three procedures commonly performed to improve the appearance of the breast and these include breast augmentation, breast reduction, and breast lift.

Breast augmentation, also known as augmentation mammaplasty, is a procedure designed to enlarge or increase a small or undesirable breast size. Though there are different techniques for breast augmentation, saline breast implants are commonly used today. Depending on the patient’s physical make-up and her breasts, there are different positions which the implants may be placed in, as well as different incisions which can be made. The three main incision locations used include around the nipple areolar complex, below the breast, and in the arm pit (axilla).

For patients who are happy with the size of the breasts but have experienced sagging due to aging or pregnancy, a breast lift can help. There are a variety of breast lift techniques which may be used and the results are generally excellent.

Patients who have overly large breasts can undergo breast reduction to make them smaller. A variety of physical symptoms can result from large breasts including neck, shoulder and back pain, paresthesia of the arms, and shoulder grooves caused by bra straps. Extensive incisions are typically required for breast reduction surgery, though they are generally located in inconspicuous locations like the fold beneath the breast. Breast reduction can improve and often completely eliminate the physical symptoms associated with large breasts, and the surgery is often covered by insurance.

Who is a good candidate for liposuction?

Good candidates for liposuction should generally be close to their ideal weight as liposuction is not intended for weight loss. Liposuction should be used to correct problem areas or fat bulges. As such, it is generally performed on patients with an area of fat that has proven hard to lose despite exercise and diet. Patients should not expect a weight change as the fat removed does not weigh a lot. However, liposuction does change a patient’s shape.

How long do the results of liposuction last?

The results of liposuction are long lasting provided the patient maintains a healthy life-style which includes exercise and a sensible diet. After fat cells are removed from an area, there is no longer a preferential fat storage area. This allows any future fat gain to be more evenly distributed over the rest of the body.

Where on the body can liposuction be performed?

While liposuction can be performed on most areas of the body, the most commonly treated areas include the abdomen, thighs and hips for women and the abdomen, breasts and hips for men. Other areas, such as the upper arms, buttocks and beneath the chin can be treated as well.

Are there scars after liposuction?

Though liposuction will leave scars, they are typically very small and placed in inconspicuous areas. In most cases, the scars heal well and are virtually undetectable.

How is cosmetic surgery different from reconstructive surgery?

The main difference between cosmetic surgery and reconstructive surgery is the purpose of the surgery. The primary goal of cosmetic surgery is typically to improve one’s appearance. The goal of reconstructive surgery, on the other hand, is to improve personal health or body function or to alleviate disease. Cosmetic surgery is often considered elective whereas reconstructive surgery is often medically necessary.

What are some types of reconstructive surgery?

Though the distinction between cosmetic and reconstructive surgery can sometimes be blurry, reconstructive surgery is generally performed to improve both appearance and health. The following are some examples of reconstructive surgery:

  • Breast Reconstruction
    (following the surgical treatment of breast cancer)
  • Breast Reduction
  • Burn Care
  • Eyelid Surgery
    (to improve field of vision)
  • Hand Surgery
  • Laceration Repair
  • Reconstructive Rhinoplasty
    (to improve nasal air flow)
  • Scar Revision
  • Tumor Removal

What are some of the benefits of reconstructive surgery?

There are obvious health benefits from reconstructive surgery that is considered medically necessary. However, there are also benefits to reconstructive surgery that is considered optional as it can help to eliminate physical abnormalities. As with many cosmetic procedures, reconstructive surgery can also enhance self-esteem and confidence.

Who are good candidates for reconstructive surgery?

Patients of reconstructive surgery typically fall into one of two groups: those who were born with an undesired condition such as a cleft-lip, webbed or extra fingers, or abnormally developed breasts; and those who developed abnormalities as a result of disease, accident or even age. As with other types of surgery, patients should be realistic in their expectations and have a full understanding of the procedure.

What are the risks associated with reconstructive surgery?

All surgery carries some degree of risk, though the specific risks will vary according to the particular reconstructive surgery. Potential complications may include bruising, excessive bleeding, infection, reactions to anesthesia, and slow wound healing.

What is the recovery like after reconstructive surgery?

Recovery will vary for each patient and the particular reconstructive surgery performed. For most reconstructive surgery procedures, patients will require one to two weeks to heal. Some patients will find that they can immediately return to a normal routine while others will not be able to do so for several weeks. The final results can take months in some cases to be fully evident.

Are there visible scars after reconstructive surgery?

Any surgery that requires incisions will result in scarring. However, plastic surgeons are trained in special techniques to minimize scars and make them as inconspicuous as possible.

Does insurance cover the cost of reconstructive surgery?

Reconstructive surgery is usually covered in part or full by insurance. However, coverage can vary by insurer and health plan in cases where a procedure is both cosmetic and reconstructive, such as breast reconstruction after cancer treatment.

What is BOTOX?

BOTOX is a non-surgical cosmetic procedure able to reduce the appearance of forehead creases and frown lines, crow’s feet and eyelid wrinkles, and creases in the neck. This natural, purified protein is administered through injection, providing very dramatic results with very little side effects. With over one million BOTOX procedures performed annually in the U.S., it is the most popular non-surgical procedure.

Who is a good candidate for BOTOX?

Good candidates for BOTOX include men and women between the ages of eighteen and sixty-five who are looking for a more youthful, smoother complexion and improvement in the appearance of frown lines and deep wrinkles on the face and neck.

How does BOTOX work?

By injecting small doses of BOTOX into different areas of the face, the muscles responsible for wrinkle formation become temporarily paralyzed. Overactive muscles relax as the protein blocks the transmission of nerve impulses. The procedure is quick, just ten minutes or so, and there is minimal pain or discomfort. Prior to injection, the treatment area may be numbed with an ice pack or anesthetic ointment.

What is the recovery like after BOTOX?

BOTOX injections are fast and effective with little to no recovery time. Patients can generally resume their normal activities and work immediately after treatment, and results will begin to appear within several days.

How long do the effects of BOTOX last?

BOTOX results can last for up to four months. To maintain the smooth, youthful appearance, repeat injections every three to four months are recommended.

Are there any risks or complications associated with BOTOX?

RSide effects that may occur with BOTOX treatment can include headaches, flu-like symptoms, respiratory infection, nausea, and temporary eyelid droop. Patients with active infections in the treatment area should not receive BOTOX. Though rare, BOTOX may cause antibodies to form which can decrease the procedure’s effectiveness.

What is the cost of BOTOX?

Because BOTOX is considered cosmetic, meaning that it is primarily performed for aesthetic purposes, insurance generally does not cover the cost of treatment. There are some exceptions and insurance coverage may be available when used for medical purposes, such as in the treatment of cerebral palsy. Prices can vary dramatically based on several factors, including the patient’s goals and their geographic location as well as the particular practitioner. The average surgeon/physician fee for 2005, according to the American Academy of Facial Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery (AAFPRS), was listed as $464. Patients can expects BOTOX costs to run anywhere from $200 to $1,000 per session.

What is liposuction?

Liposuction, also known as lipoplasty and suction-assisted lipectomy, is a plastic surgery procedure able to recontour the body through the removal of excess fat from specific areas. Commonly treated areas include the chin, neck, upper arms, abdomen, hips, thighs, and buttocks.

Who is a good candidate for liposuction?

The ideal candidates for liposuction include men and women who are of normal weight but have isolated pockets of fat which have proven resistant to diet and exercise. Though liposuction may be performed at any age, the best results tend to be achieved on patients who have firm, elastic skin which can provide a smoother contour after surgery.

What are the risks or complications that can occur with liposuction?

As with any surgical procedure, there are potential risks associated with liposuction and these may include asymmetry, bleeding, infection, poor healing, reaction to anesthesia, and skin pigmentation changes.

How is liposuction performed?

Though there are variations in how liposuction may be performed, there is one basic technique used for all liposuction procedure. For this technique, a cannula, or thin hollow tube, is inserted into the layers of fat deep beneath the skin through tiny incisions. The surgeon manipulates the cannula with a push/pull motion that breaks up the fat cells which are then removed through a suction device connected to the cannula.

What is the recovery like after liposuction?

Depending on the patient and the extent of the procedure, recovery after liposuction can take anywhere from one to six months. Swelling and bruising are common with the majority swelling fading after a week and bruising taking three weeks or longer to subside. Most patients are able to return to work within one to two weeks, though it will be two to four weeks before more strenuous activities may be resumed.

Are the results of liposuction permanent?

The results of liposuction can be permanent provided patients follow a sensible diet and exercise after surgery. Patients who gain weight after surgery usually see the new fat distributed to other areas on the body.

What is the cost of liposuction?

There are a number of factors which can influence the cost of liposuction including the size and number of areas treated, the surgeon, and the patient’s geographic location.

What is a tummy tuck?

A tummy tuck, also known as abdominoplasty , is a surgical procedure designed to remove excess fat and skin from the lower and middle abdomen and tighten the muscles of the abdominal wall. The tummy tuck is a body contouring procedure that is ideal for treating stubborn fat of the mid section that is unresponsive to diet and exercise.

What benefits can a tummy tuck provide?

By removing fat tissue and sagging skin, the tummy tuck can create a dramatically firmer and flatter stomach and slimmer waistline. The procedure can also help strengthen a patient’s self-image and is currently one of the most popular plastic surgery procedures performed.

Who is a good candidate for a tummy tuck?

Good candidates for a tummy tuck include men and women who are healthy, realistic in their expectations and looking to improve excess fat and skin in the lower and middle abdomen. Ideal candidates are within their desired weight but are bothered by stubborn pockets of fat in the mid section.

How is the tummy tuck procedure performed?

The incisions made for a tummy tuck are located above the pubic bones along the abdomen. Once the incisions are made, the skin is lifted and the abdominal muscles are pulled, tightened and stitched into a new, firmer position. Excess fat may be removed through liposuction or excision and the skin is then stretched into place and sutured.

How long is the surgical time for a tummy tuck?

Though the surgical time will vary according to the particular patient and the technique, tummy tuck surgery generally takes between two and four hours to complete. Partial abdominoplasty, also known as a mini tummy tuck, is a shorter procedure.

Is anesthesia used for a tummy tuck?

Anesthesia is used during the tummy tuck procedure. There are several choices for anesthesia which may be administered via IV or gas. A qualified plastic surgeon will discuss your anesthesia options in detail prior to your tummy tuck procedure.

What are the risks or complications that can occur with a tummy tuck?

As with all types of surgery there are potential risks associated with the tummy tuck procedure and these may include blood clots, infection and loose areas of skin. Poor healing following a tummy tuck may require a second operation. Patients planning future weight loss or pregnancy should discuss these issues prior to the tummy tuck procedure in order to avoid further complications. Risks can be minimized by selecting a qualified and competent plastic surgeon for your tummy tuck surgery.

What is the recovery like after a tummy tuck?

Healing after a tummy tuck generally lasts for two to four weeks. Patients may be unable to stand upright for the first week after surgery and during this time they will need a dependable friend or family member to help them.

Does the tummy tuck result in a scar?

Surgical procedures result in scars. The scar after a tummy tuck is permanent and the size of the scar will depend on the exact procedure. Mini tummy tucks tend to involve less scarring than full tummy tucks.

Are the results of a tummy tuck permanent?

With proper diet and exercise, the result of tummy tuck surgery are permanent. Results may be adversely affected after surgery by significant weight loss or gain, pregnancy and age. If necessary, a second tummy tuck an be performed after several years to restore the original results.

What is wrinkle treatment?

Wrinkle treatment refers to a variety of procedures which are performed by cosmetic plastic surgeons in order to minimize the signs of aging, including wrinkles and fine lines.

What are some types of wrinkle treatments?

There are several different types of wrinkle treatments. Facelift surgery, which is the most common as well as the most invasive wrinkle treatment procedure, mainly focuses on deep wrinkles of the face and neck. There are many other less invasive wrinkle treatment procedures, including dermabrasion, laser resurfacing, chemical peels, and injectable fillers.

Who is a good candidate for wrinkle treatment?

Good candidates for wrinkle treatment generally include men and women who are physically and emotionally healthy and are looking to improve the signs of aging. It’s essential that patients have realistic expectations and understand that improvement of the appearance is possible but not perfection. Because there are many different types of wrinkle treatments, individual patients may be better candidates for some over others.

When is the best time to consider wrinkle treatment?

The right time for wrinkle treatment will vary among individuals. There are some people who will seek out wrinkle treatment at the first sign of fine lines or creases while others will wait for treatment until deeper folds and wrinkles have set in.

What are the risks associated with wrinkle treatment?

There is some degree of risk with all procedures, though the specific risks will vary for each type of wrinkle treatment. Choosing a qualified and experienced board certified plastic surgeon will help to minimize any potential risks. During a consultation, the surgeon will be able to explain all risks associated with any wrinkle treatment procedure that you may be considering and he or she will help you to determine the treatment that is best for you.

Are the results of wrinkle treatment procedure permanent?

There are no permanent treatments that can stop the signs of aging from occurring. Nevertheless, some wrinkle treatments offer more longer-lasting results than others. For example, Botox injections tend to last three to six months whereas a facelift can last up to ten years.

What is the recovery like after wrinkle treatment?

The recovery after wrinkle treatment will depend upon the particular treatment and can last anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. Surgical procedures like the facelift tend to have more involved recoveries. However, many less invasive procedures like Botox and other injectables can be performed in a surgeon’s office and have a very minimal recovery period.

What is a facelift?

A facelift, also known as rhytidectomy, is a plastic surgery procedure which treats loose skin of the face and neck, restoring a smoother, more youthful appearance. During the procedure, the underlying tissues and muscles are tightened and excess fat is removed.

What are some of the benefits of a facelift?

The facelift can make a person appear younger and fresher by minimizing the visible signs of aging. As with many other cosmetic procedures, patients often benefit from increased self confidence as well.

What are the risks associated with facelift surgery?

As with all types of surgery, there is some degree of risk. While significant complications from facelift surgery are rare, some of the potential risks include adverse anesthesia reactions, bleeding, infection and nerve damage. Poor healing is also a potential risk for smokers.

Who is a good candidate for a facelift?

Ideal candidates for facelift surgery include men and women who have a strong, well-defined bone structure and good elasticity of the skin, though the facial skin has begun to sag. As with any surgical procedure, patients should also be realistic in their expectations and fully aware of the risks and benefits of the surgery.

Are the results of a facelift permanent?

Though the results of a facelift will vary for each individual, patients can generally expect the results to last anywhere from five to ten years.

How is the facelift performed?

Though there are several techniques that may be used for the facelift, the procedure generally begins with the surgeon separating the facial skin from the underlying muscle and fat. Excess fat will be removed and the facial muscles and membranes tightened. The skin is then pulled back and any excess is removed.

Is general anesthesia always used for facelifts?

General anesthesia is sometimes used for the facelift procedure, though local anesthesia combined with sedation is more commonly used.

How long is the recovery after a facelift?

Recovery times after a facelift will vary from patient to patient. However, most patients find that they can return to work and other normal activities within about ten to fourteen days. Swelling and bruising can take up to three weeks to subside, and patients should postpone strenuous activities for a minimum of two weeks. Your surgeon will also advise you to limit sun exposure for a period of time.

What is rhinoplasty?

Rhinoplasty, also known as nose surgery, is a cosmetic surgery procedure designed to reshape the nose. Rhinoplasty can reduce or increase the overall size of the nose, remove a hump, change the shape of the tip or the bridge of the nose, or narrow the span of the nostrils.

What are the benefits of rhinoplasty?

Rhinoplasty offers benefits ranging from an enhanced appearance and self confidence to improved breathing.

Are there any risks associated with rhinoplasty?

All surgical procedures carry some degree of risk. Though the complications associated with rhinoplasty tend to be rare and are usually minor, some potential risks include adverse anesthesia reactions, bleeding and infection.

Who is a good candidate for rhinoplasty?

Good candidates for rhinoplasty include men and women who are physically healthy, psychologically stable, and looking to improve rather than perfect the facial appearance. Age is also a factor in determining candidacy as it’s generally advised that young patients postpone surgery until they have completed their growth spurt.

Is rhinoplasty performed with general anesthesia?

Either general anesthesia or local anesthesia may be used during the rhinoplasty procedure.

How is rhinoplasty performed?

There are several different techniques that may be used for rhinoplasty. In general, however, the procedure begins by separating the skin of the nose from the underlying cartilage and bone. This is achieved through an incision made either on the inside of the nose or externally on the tissue separating the nostrils. The nose is the reshaped, the skin is replaced over the new framework, and the incision is closed. To help maintain the new shape, a splint will be applied to the nose after surgery.

How long is the recovery after rhinoplasty?

Healing after rhinoplasty is a gradual process as some minor swelling can take months to subside. Nevertheless, most patients are able to return to work and other normal activities within one to two weeks. Strenuous activities will need to be postponed for two to three weeks.

How long do the results of rhinoplasty last?

Aside from changes which may occur to the nasal appearance as a result of aging, the results of rhinoplasty are permanent.

What is breast augmentation?

Breast augmentation, also referred to as augmentation mammaplasty, is a cosmetic surgery procedure designed to increase the size of the breast by inserting a saline or silicone implant under the breast tissue or under the chest muscle. Incisions may be located in the crease beneath the breast (inframammary), around the areola (periareolar), or in the armpit (axillary). The implant may also be inserted through an incision made at the naval, or belly button.

Who is a good candidate for breast augmentation?

Ideal candidates for breast augmentation include women who are looking to increase the size of the breasts and are healthy, realistic in their expectations, and aware of all risks and benefits of the procedure. There are a number of reasons why a women may seek breast augmentation including the following: small breasts or breasts that are disproportionate to the rest of the body; uneven breasts; decreased breast volume resulting from weight loss; and changes in breast size and shape resulting from pregnancy.

Is there anything that needs to be done to prepare for breast augmentation surgery?

To reduce the risk of blood clots and infection, patients should stop smoking and drinking alcohol about two weeks before surgery. Patients will also need to avoid certain medication which can increase bleeding, including aspirin and anti-inflammatory drugs. Procedures performed on an outpatient basis will require that you arrange for a ride home after surgery and for someone to stay with you during the first night.

How is breast augmentation performed?

Breast augmentation is usually performed with general anesthesia on an outpatient basis. Techniques will vary according to the particular surgeon and the patient. In general, however, the procedure begins by making an incision which may be located in the crease beneath the breast, around the nipple, in the underarm, or on the navel. Once the incision is made, the implant is then inserted and placed either behind the breast tissue or beneath the chest muscle. The incisions are then closed and the patient is moved into a recovery room and closely monitored for a short period of time.

How long is the recovery after breast augmentation?

Recovery after breast augmentation usually takes two to three weeks. Dressings applied to the breasts after surgery are typically removed within several days. Within a week, patients are able to shower and return to most normal activities. Heavy lifting and physical contact with the breasts should be avoided for up to three weeks, and arm movement may be limited for two to three weeks. Swelling may take a month to fade, though bruising and discoloration usually disappear quickly.

Are there any risks associated with breast augmentation?

All surgery carries some degree of risk and the potential complications associated with breast augmentation may include anesthesia reactions, blood clots, changes in breast or nipple sensation, and infection. Capsular contracture, which is one of the most common risks linked to breast augmentation, occurs when the naturally occurring scar tissue around the implant begins to harden or become tight, ultimately squeezing the implant and causing the breast to feel hard. Other complications can include tearing or rupture of the implant which may lead to a leakage in the breast. Side effects such as bruising, swelling, scarring and hardness tend to disappear with time. Patients should be sure to thoroughly discuss all risks and benefits with a qualified plastic surgeon prior to their procedure.

What is the cost of breast augmentation?

The cost of breast augmentation can vary dramatically based on several factors including the particular surgeon and the patient’s geographic location.

What is breast reduction?

Breast reduction, also known as reduction mammaplasty, is a plastic surgery procedure designed to reduce the size of large breasts while also making them more symmetrical and proportionate to the rest of the body.

Who is a good candidate for breast reduction surgery?

Good candidates for breast reduction surgery include women who are looking to reduce the size of large breasts. Women may experience physical discomfort due to the large size of the breasts, which can be alleviated through breast reduction. The breasts should be fully developed before undergoing breast reduction.

What are the benefits of breast reduction surgery?

There are many benefits associated with breast reduction. The surgery can make the breasts more proportionate to the rest of the body while also relieving a number of problems associated with large breasts, including back and neck pain, shoulder strain, skin irritation and infection, poor posture, shortness of breath, inability to participate in certain sports or recreational activities, difficulty finding clothing that fits, and social or sexual embarrassment.

Are there any risks associated with breast reduction surgery?

There is some degree of risk associated with all types of surgery. Potential complications of breast reduction surgery may include adverse reaction to anesthesia, asymmetry, blood clots, infection, loss of sensation, nerve damage, and scarring. Women may lose the ability to breast feed in some cases.

How is breast reduction surgery performed?

There are various techniques that may be used for breast reduction surgery, though the procedure is nearly always performed with general anesthesia. The incision is commonly made in the shape of an anchor or inverted keyhole running from the top of the nipple to the crease below the breast. One the incision is made, excess fat, skin and tissue are removed the remaining skin and areola are repositioned. The surgery typically takes between one and three hours per breast to complete.

What is the recovery like after breast reduction surgery?

The breasts are wrapped in gauze and an elastic bandage or surgical bra after surgery. The gauze is usually removed within several days, though the bra or elastic bandage will need to be worn for longer. Some soreness and swelling of the breasts is common for several weeks to several months as the breasts heal. Recovery times will vary for each individual, though patients are generally able to resume work and other activities within one to six weeks after surgery.

What is the cost of breast reduction surgery?

Costs for breast reduction surgery can vary greatly based on several factors, though patients can expect the total cost to range anywhere from $5,000 to $10,000. Fortunately, most insurance companies will cover the cost of breast reduction surgery as it is typically performed out of medical necessity.

What is a chemical peel?

A chemical peel is a cosmetic procedure which uses an exfoliating chemical solution to remove aged or damaged layers of skin, resulting in a softer, more youthful appearance. There are different chemicals which may be used including trichloroacetic acid (TCA), phenol, and alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs). Chemical peels come in three different strengths. Superficial peels are the mildest peels which often use solutions like glycolic acid or dry ice and they are safe for use on all skin types. Medium peels commonly use trichloroacetic acid and, being harsher than a superficial peel, they create a second-degree burn of the skin. Deep peels, which typically involve phenol, are the harshest and are capable of penetrating through several layers of skin. Deep peels are usually not appropriate for use on dark-skinned patients as they can bleach the skin.

Is there anything that needs to be done to prepare for a chemical peel?

Several weeks before undergoing the chemical peel, you will be required to prepare your skin with a regimen including a twice daily cleansing, the application of moisturizer once or twice daily, and daily application of sunscreen. This regimen will help the skin to peel more evenly, aid in the healing process, and minimize the risk of infection, uneven skin color and other complications. It’s important to select a qualified cosmetic surgeon for your chemical peel procedure and he or she will provide you with a precise skin care regimen that will need to be followed before your procedure.

How are chemical peels performed?

Though procedures and techniques will vary, the chemical peel procedure typically begins by prepping the skin with skin care treatments or microdermabrasion. The skin will also be scrubbed and a mild toner applied in order to remove any oils on the skin. The acidic solution is then gently applied to the skin in layers, peeling away the aged or damaged surface. The amount of time that the solution is left on the skin will depend on the procedure and the particular solution used. The solution is then removed, the skin is wiped clean, and an antibacterial cream is applied to promote comfort and healing.

How long is the recovery after a chemical peel?

Recovery times will vary based on the type and strength of the peel. The skin may feel sunburned or tight after the procedure, and patients should not attempt excessive facial expressions for a few days as this can result in bleeding and tearing of the skin. A proper skin care regimen of cleansing, moisturizing and sunscreen application is important as it will enhance the healing process and results, as well as prevent infections and skin color changes. Sun exposure should be avoided during the early stages of healing. Loose skin should not be peeled off as this may lead to scarring.

Are there risks associated with chemical peels?

As with many cosmetic procedures, there are some risks associated with chemical peels though these tend to be rare. The risk of side effects and complications is generally greater with deeper peels. Potential complications associated with chemical peels may include the following:

  • Allergic reaction.
  • Crusting or scaling of the skin
  • Heart, liver, or kidney failure. Though rare, deep phenol chemical peels may cause severe organ complications.
  • Hypo or hyperpigmentation. Skin discoloration can occur and may appear as darker or lighter patches around the treatment areas.
  • Increased sensitivity to sunlight.
  • Infection. Infection is more likely to occur in patients with oral herpes.
  • Redness. Some amount of redness can be expected after any peel, though severe redness can occur and may take several months to fade.
  • Scarring.
  • Swelling.

What results can I expect from a chemical peel?

The results that you can expect from a chemical peel will vary according to the type and depth of the peel you receive. Superficial peels produce a slight reduction in the signs of aging and skin damage, while medium peels can effectively minimize fine wrinkles and sun damage. Patients undergoing deep peels can expect more dramatic results including tightening of the skin and the elimination of many wrinkles.

How much do chemical peels cost?

Chemical peels will vary in cost according to the type of peel used, the patient’s geographic location and other factors. According to the American Academy of Facial Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery (AAFPRS), the average surgeon/physician fee for chemical peels in 2005 was $385. The total cost of the chemical peel procedure generally costs between $150 and $300 for milder peels, $1,000 and $2,000 for medium peels, and anywhere from $2,500 to $6,500 for deep peels.

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