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Frequently Asked Questions

Welcome to our FAQ area. Here you will find answers to commonly asked questions about different plastic surgery procedures. While this section is not to be used in place of a consultation, it does provide valuable information. We invite you to read through the sections below and contact us for your consultation.

RHINOPLASTY

How is the surgery performed?

Nasal modification, or rhinoplasty, is performed using incisions inside the nostrils and sometimes a small incision across the base of the nose to do a so-called “open rhinoplasty.” Through these approaches, the surgeon is able to remove the hump on the bridge of the nose, refine the tip cartilages, and lift them if necessary. What is done to a nose depends on the desires of the patient and aesthetic recommendations of the plastic surgeon. Depending on the initial shape and size of the nose and other facial features (such as the chin and cheeks) a realistic approach is developed to avoid later disappointment and misunderstandings. Most surgeons use preoperative photographs or computer images to help patients visualize what they may reasonably expect from their rhinoplasty. Sometimes, adjunct procedures such as chin/cheek implants or reductions may be recommended to better balance facial proportions.

Is a local or general anesthesia used in rhinoplasty?

Rhinoplasty can readily be carried out under either a general or a local anesthetic, but because many patients also require extensive work on their breathing passages at the same time, a general anesthetic is the usual choice.

What is the healing time for rhinoplasty?

Because rhinoplasty involves fractures of the nasal bones, it will be two to three weeks before complete healing takes place. Also, there may be significant bruising around the eyes after the surgery. However, day-to-day activities can usually resume with only minor restrictions within days of the procedure.

FACELIFT

What’s the age-range for a facelift?

There is no real age limit to when a facelift can be performed, bearing the patient is healthy. However, most candidates for facial rejuvenation are in their fifties or sixties. Procedures such as eyelid tucks (blepharoplasty) are often done earlier as are mid-face and brow lifts.

How is it performed?

A facelift is usually performed through incisions around the ear, under the chin, and behind the hairline. Individual needs may modify where and how extensive the incisions have to be. Because a full facelift can require many hours in the operating room, we usually have our patients under a general anesthetic. One night in the Surgery Center for observation is also usually needed after surgery.

Will the scars be visible?

If a patient heals normally, the inevitable scars are faint and barely noticeable. Any incision leaves a scar, and unfortunately, some people develop thick or discolored scars. These are standard risks to surgery and need to be considered when a patient undergoes an elective cosmetic procedure.

How long will I be healing?

Initial swelling and bruising will resolve in about two weeks. Complete healing will need about three months. Day-to-day activity is usually relatively normal in under a week.

How long will a facelift last?

After excess skin has been removed and a patient’s “clock” has been reset, normal aging continues but from the new “baseline.” Some of the looseness of the facial skin will begin to return within a year, but the improvement over what would have been the case without surgery is permanent.

What are realistic results for a facelift?

A patient who has had a well-performed facelift should not look as if they have had a facelift. A young face is not “tight.” Tightly pulled faces such as are seen on many celebrities do not look young; they look tight. After a facelift, a patient should look refreshed and vivacious, not “operated on.” Most patients can reasonably expect to achieve this.

BREAST AUGMENTATION

What are the different methods of enlarging my breasts?

There are any number of choices including style and type of implant, incision sites, and implant placement. All have their advocates and all have advantages and disadvantages. Your surgeon will have his own preferences and will be happy to explain why he feels that his approach is best for him and ultimately for you.

Will there be scarring, and will it be visible?

Wherever a surgical incision is made there will be a scar. Where the scar is placed is, to some extent, optional. Some scars are easily hidden and others, less so. Some people heal with ideal, barely noticeable scars, and other with blemishes, despite excellent surgical techniques. Such considerations need to be addressed with your surgeon in a full consultation.

Will I be able to breastfeed?

Most patients can breastfeed their babies without any problems directly related to an augmentation mammaplasty. However, complications such as loss of nipple sensitivity will interfere with this ability and may affect your decision to have the surgery.

Does Plastic Surgery Associates use silicone implants?

Yes! We offer the finest silicone implants available today including the new Gummy Bear implant by Sientra http://www.sientra.com/.  We also offer all implants produced by Mentor http://www.mentorwwllc.com/ including their memory gel  implant.  The surest way to decide on which implant is best for you is to have a consultation with one of our physicians specially trained and experienced for this procedure.

Are you able to correct inverted nipples?

Yes, we can correct inverted nipples. However, depending on how extensive the correction has to be, it may affect the ability to breastfeed. Reducing the size of overly large nipples is also often requested and can be performed very successfully at the same time as the augmentation.

How long will the recovery be?

The recovery period varies from patient to patient. Usually it is a few days before patients can get back to relatively normal day-to-day activity, but depending on whether the implants are under the chest muscles, it may take several weeks before completely normal exercise and similar vigorous use of their arms is possible.

BREAST REDUCTION & MASTOPLEXY (Breast Lift)

What are the different methods of reducing my breasts?

There are many operations in common use for reducing or reshaping breasts. The main differences from the patient’s point of view are where and how extensive the scars might be, and whether nipple sensitivity will be affected. Such concerns need to be fully discussed with the surgeon beforehand, as there is no way to reverse either afterwards. That having been said, most patients are very accepting of scars in exchange for the comfort of having normal sized breasts, and true disappointment with the results of this surgery is very uncommon.

Will there be scarring, and will it be visible?

The nipple size and position on the breast has to be corrected and then the excess skin and breast tissue is removed to the extent required. Inevitably there will be incisions that leave scars as a result. However, these scars are around the nipple and under the breasts and are easily hidden. Healing is usually such that the scars look like fine lines or stretch marks once they have matured.

Will I be able to breastfeed?

Most popular techniques for breast reduction leave the breast tissue behind the nipple undisturbed, and usually the sensitivity of the nipple is unaffected. For this reason, most patients are able to breastfeed their babies in the same proportions as women who have not had the surgery.

How long will the recovery be?

Full healing takes about three weeks, but most patients find that they can resume fairly normal activity within just a few days if they wear adequate support garments. This is usually not a very painful procedure after the initial post-operative period, although like most things, individuals vary a lot in their recovery rates.

SKIN CARE

What is the purpose of skin care?

To keep your skin healthy. Your skin is the largest organ of your body. As with any other organ, good health is of the utmost importance. The appropriate skin care regimen will keep the texture and color of your skin youthful and uniform, giving you that “healthy glow.”

Does skin care reduce the need for cosmetic (plastic) surgery?

The aesthetician and plastic surgeon will work together to give the patient the improvement in appearance that he or she desires. The improvement from excellent skin care can be dramatic! However, if there are residual problems, too much skin, deep lines, etc., then surgery is necessary: this is when collaboration between aesthetician and plastic surgeon works very well.

How much does skin care cost?

From pennies to dollars per day, depending on the products used. If excellent skin care cuts down your skin’s sun damage and propensity for infection, the savings in time and money are considerable as the years roll on.

How many products will I need to use daily for maintenance for good skin care?

This depends on your lifestyle and also on what goals you want to achieve as far as how your skin looks every day. The very least would be three products; a cleanser, a clarifying serum or vitamin C, and a sun block with moisturizer.

Can I still enjoy sunbathing and outdoor activities?

Yes, providing you use common sense when sunbathing, or use a tanning bed to limit exposure time. Remember to wear a hat, and always, always have a barrier or sun block between your skin and ultraviolet rays.

What are the advantages of receiving my skin care by a certified aesthetician in my plastic surgeon’s office?

The certified aesthetician and the plastic surgeon will outline a skin care program for each patient, the goal being to achieve the facial appearance that the patient desires. When skin care alone is not adequate to achieve the desired result, the plastic surgeon can discuss appropriate surgical options the patient can take to reach the desired outcome.

Are there products or treatments to help men with acne or problem skin?

Yes. Enzyme peels and glycolic acid treatments have become popular with men, too, as they realize their skin needs attention and care. In addition, we educate our patients regarding the best products for continued improvement, anti-aging, and sun blocking.

My hands and neck give my age away. What can you do to help these areas?

There are products today that offer tangible improvements to these key areas. Our on-staff, certified aesthetician can advise you in the methods and systems to smooth skin and fade age spots.

LIPOSUCTION

What are the different techniques used at Plastic Surgery Associates for liposuction?

What if I gain weight after the surgery?

After properly performed liposuction, your new body shape is permanent. If you choose to gain weight, it will be proportionate to the new shape.

Are there restrictions on how much weight I can lose?

Liposuction is almost NEVER to be performed for weight loss, per se. Usually no more than about seven pounds can be safely removed, although this varies depending on blood loss during the procedure. Some clinics in the United States will do so called “large volume” liposuctions, but such procedures often require blood transfusions and are almost always those cited in the press when serious complications or deaths occur. We rarely exceed the recommendations of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. SAFETY is our primary concern.

Will other parts of my body be affected from the surgery?

Liposuction in one area does not directly affect other areas of the body. However, one of the complications of liposuction is inadvertent removal of too much fat from a particular spot. When this is the case, there may be an obvious deficiency there after a patient gains weight. This is the source of the popular misconception that removal of fat from one area causes weight gain in another.

How long will it take to heal?

Initial swelling and bruising after liposuction will be gone in about two weeks. However, there will be gradual improvement over many months and it may be a year before healing is complete.

Will I need more surgeries to get rid of excess skin?

Because liposuction is a blind procedure, sometimes as healing proceeds it may become apparent that there are areas that were incompletely corrected and there may be some irregularities and/or asymmetries. Furthermore, the elasticity of the skin may not be as good as we expected and there may be areas of loose skin that need to be corrected. For this reason, patients need to be realistic and prepared to undergo “touch up” work if necessary, and accept scars should skin need to be trimmed.

Does liposuction hurt?

Obviously any major surgery will be accompanied by pain, but most patients find that the pain is bearable and feels more like a deep bruise after a few days. If they wear support garments, they can usually get back to relatively normal activity within a week. Some tenderness, however, will persist for a few months.