FAQ Plastic Surgery

What is Plastic Surgery?

Plastic Surgery is a sub-specialty which is further divided into Reconstructive Surgery and Cosmetic Surgery. Plastic Surgery involves the restoration of an individual's facial and/or body parts injured or disfigured by trauma, burns, disease, developmental abnormalities or congenital defects. It also covers Cosmetic Surgery (also known as Aesthetic Surgery) which deals with improving specific features of patients as desired by them by means of such operations as facelift, rhinoplasty, breast augmentation etc.

Does Plastic Surgery use "plastic"?

No. The term "plastic" as used in Plastic Surgery is derived from the Greek word "plastikos" and the Latin word "plasticere" both of which means "to mould". It does not refer to the actual materials used in the course of the surgery itself. Normally, the Plastic Surgeon will make use of the patient's own tissues from another location of the body to achieve the required results.

What is the difference between cosmetic and reconstructive surgery?

Cosmetic surgery is performed on a normal body part in order to enhance or change its appearance. Many people find that plastic surgery can improve their self-esteem and give them a more positive body image. Reconstructive surgery is performed on abnormal structures of the body caused by congenital defects, developmental abnormalities, trauma, infection, tumors or disease. In general, reconstructive surgery is performed to restore and improve function to the affected body part, but may also be completed to approximate a normal appearance.

How do I know if I'm choosing a good surgeon?

Look for the following criteria:

- The surgeon should be board certified. If he is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, it means they have graduated from an accredited medical school, have the required training in the specialty or sub-specialty from an accredited residency program, and have passed a rigorous set of comprehensive exams.

- The surgeon should have experience performing the type of procedure that you are seeking and meet continuing medical education requirements.

- The surgeon should operate in a medical facility that is in good standing with all accrediting agencies.

- The surgeon should willingly share examples of his previous work.

Is surgery performed under general or local anesthesia?

Depending upon what is most appropriate for your particular situation, the surgeon will decide what type of anesthesia to use. He or she will answer any questions.

Types of anesthesia commonly used safely are general anesthesia, spinal anesthesia, local anesthesia and local anesthesia with sedation.

Is plastic surgery is right for me?

There are several important factors come into play when deciding whether plastic surgery is the right option for you.

- One of the most important factors is your health, emotional and physical. Being in good health greatly reduces the risk of complications occurring during surgery and leads to a speedy recovery.

- Next, you need to ask yourself what are your motivations. People who have plastic surgery generally find that it enhances their overall appearance and self-esteem. It should be for you. Many people get it done for the wrong reasons, such as getting into a relationship, pressure from their partner, get a new job, find happiness in a relationship, etc.

- Third, you should have realistic expectations. Plastic surgery is both a science and an art, neither of which are perfect. Set reasonable goals as to the result you wish to achieve and be prepared to thoroughly discuss these goals during your initial consultation.

What is the right age for plastic surgery?

There are a number of guidelines in place to help surgeons determine appropriate age limitations for plastic surgery procedures. However, many factors may influence the surgeon's ultimate decision regarding your treatment, so it is best to speak personally with a qualified doctor about your goals.

Is plastic surgery safe?

All surgical procedures involve risk. Selecting a qualified surgeon is the best way to reduce your chance of experiencing a complication. It is also important to follow all of your doctor's pre- and post- operative instructions carefully to be sure that you are prepared for surgery and that your body is appropriately cared for after your procedure.

Is there swelling?

Yes, usually there is swelling after most surgical procedures. The degree of swelling is related to the type of procedure.

How long is the surgery?

Depending on the surgery or surgeries performed, surgical times vary between 30 minutes to 4 hours, depending on the procedure(s).

How long will I need to be off work?

Each procedure has specific requirements for postoperative time to heal and return to normal activities. These will be discussed, in detail, at the time of your consultation.

What can I do to prepare for surgery?

There are a number of steps you can take to maximize your surgical results, including:

- Discontinue using aspirin, brufen(Ibuprofen) or products with anticoagulation properties (NSAIDS) at least 7 to 10 days prior to surgery to minimize the risk of unnecessary bleeding.

- Discontinue smoking at least six weeks prior to surgery to avoid skin healing problems and serious medical complications following surgery.

- You want to be in the best health at the time of surgery. For this reason, if you develop a cold or fever, pimples, rashes, or open wounds, contact the office immediately to reschedule your procedure.

Are there any activity restrictions after surgery?

You should not drive or make major decisions within 24 hours of receiving general anesthesia or anesthesia with any sedation.

When can I get back to work?

Time required for recovery before you can get back to work vary depending on the procedure type, patient's health, and patient's occupation. After short surgical procedures, recovery time can be 2 days to one week. Lengthy procedures such as an abdominoplasty, or lower body lift will require a longer recovery period.

When can I start exercising again?

Walking is encouraged as soon after the surgery as possible. Other activities depend on the procedure, activity and the individual. The doctor will be able to answer this question more specifically during your consultation.

What are the most popular procedures for men?

The top Surgical procedures for men in 2013, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgery, were nose surgery, eyelid surgery, liposuction, male breast reduction and facelift. The top non-surgical procedures which men had performed in 2013 were Botox®, laser hair removal, microdermabrasion, chemical peel and soft tissue fillers.

What are the most popular procedures for women?

The top Surgical procedures for women in 2013, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgery, were breast augmentation, nose surgery, eyelid surgery, liposuction and facelift. The top non-surgical procedures which women had performed in 2013 were Botox®, laser hair removal, microdermabrasion, chemical peel and soft tissue fillers.