General Cosmetic Surgery Questions

I have cosmetic surgery questions. Can I expect answers at my consultation?

Your consultation with a cosmetic surgeon can be divided into the following parts:

  1. Discussion
  2. Evaluation
  3. Computer Imaging (other than breast surgery)
  4. Quoting of fees
  5. Discussion of financial options
  6. Finally, a tour of the operating room (if available)

In most cases, consultations usually last for the duration of 60 to 90 minutes. You can best utilize this time to discuss your goal and concerns with the physician. You may have more than one procedure to discuss, if so then feel free to discuss about all of them. The cosmetic surgeon will take all the procedures into account and let you know about the benefits you will be getting and also the possible risk that may be involved with the surgery.

Most people try to visualize how they are going to look like after they have the surgery done. In such scenarios the computer imaging gets a near- exact picture of the post surgical-results which helps you to set a realistic expectation.

How do I prepare myself for a cosmetic surgery?

Preparing for a cosmetic surgery is not an uphill task, however for excellent result you need to follow the instructions provided by the surgeon. Most surgeons will provide you with a timeline guide covering all the required aspects. During this time the surgeon may summon you to have a few consultations, making sure that you are on the right track.

Some common guidelines that you need to make sure of before having any kind of cosmetic surgery:

  1. Say goodbye to smoking. Nicotine messes with the body’s natural healing process; it constricts our blood vessels and decreases the flow of blood. To avoid any adverse effects it is best to quit smoking at least three to four weeks before the date of operation
  2. Say goodbye to drinking. Consumption of alcohol results in increased bleeding, which in turn may elevate the chances of possible infection, and it also restricts our immune system.
  3. If you are under any medication. If you are going through any medications then it is best to let your surgeon know about all the details related to it.
  4. Maintain a healthy diet and make sure that you are getting the right amount of sleep. A well balanced diet providing your body with all the required amount of nutrients will strengthen and empower the healing rate. Also, water is a great detoxifier. Make sure that you start drinking a lot of water well before the date.

What is the risk involved with the surgery?

Here you need to understand that any surgical process involves a certain amount of risk. Factors like infection, bleeding, damage to the nerves, anesthetic reactions etc., all come to play when you about surgery and cosmetic surgeries are not very different. Your best move is to find an experienced surgeon, and making sure that you adhere to all the instructions.

A good cosmetic surgeon will always give priority to your safety, in case of any possible risk, he will let you know all that there is to know about it so that you can make a concrete decision whether to go ahead with your plan or not. The good thing about cosmetic surgeries is that complications are very rare, and just in case there is a complication, it is usually correctable.

What is the recovery process like for cosmetic surgeries?

Well this particular question a very specific. There can be a wide variety of cosmetic surgeries, from injectable filler to breast or tummy reduction; all falls within its domain. Injectable filler usually takes little or no recovery time, while major surgeries like breast or tummy reduction may take even weeks.

What will I be administered with, local of general anesthesia?

Again this depends on the type and nature of the surgery involved. While a normal lips or the ear correction is usually done under a local anesthesia, surgeries like breast enhancement/reduction, tummy tuck etc. requires the administration of general anesthesia. While still other simple surgeries like filler injections requires no anesthesia at all. .

In the very first consultation with your surgeon, the type of anesthesia that you would need to be administered with will be discussed and the possible options (if any) will be laid down before you.

Procedure Specific FAQ
Facelift

What are the signs that indicate the need of a facelift?

Almost every one of us wants to look young, have a glowing skin, nice complexion and a neat facial appearance. The great tragedy of us mortals is that age betrays us all. As we grow older we develop wrinkles, sagging cheeks etc, all these can be termed to be signs of ageing. If you see these signs and want to avoid them they you probably need the help of a cosmetic surgeon. While Facelifts can be done through both surgical and non surgical ways, you need to consult with your surgeon about what option will best fit your requirements.

Will I regain my facial volume after the facelift?

Facial ageing involves sagging of the soft tissues as well as a considerable loss of volume. While a facelift will restore the soft tissues (cheeks, neck etc.) as well as the jaw-line; it can be safely said that facelifts cannot restore the volume of your face to its exact normalcy, although some amount of volume is usually restored. However the good news is that the volume can be enhanced with fillers and injectable.

How long shall my facelift last?

On an average a facelift can be safely said to last for about six to ten years, although the time varies from individual to individual. Factors like lifestyle, diet, medical health also play their role in determining the longevity of a facelift. Surgeons are unanimous on the fact that smoking decreases the longevity of a facelift, while physical and mental wellbeing enhances it.

 

Is there a minimum age to have a facelift?

As soon as your skin stars showing the signs of ageing and you want to get it toned and restored to its original form, you may fix an appointment with a cosmetic surgeon. There is no age bar associated with it whatsoever. Here it must be kept in mind that eyelid surgery, eyebrow lift, or a forehead lift does not fall into the domain of a facelift.

However, all these being said it is important to mention that most cosmetic surgeons around the world are opposed to go ahead with a facelift for people under the age of 40. The key point here is to understand the fact that a facelift involves restoration of sagging cheeks, neck skin and the jawline, symptoms such as these normally comes to play only by the age of the fifties or mid-forties. In case of younger people the signs are volume-loss, a sign which can be restored to normalcy by the use of injectables and fillers and which does not necessarily requires a facelift.

How much will a facelift cost?

The average cost of a facelift may vary from $10,000 to $15000.
Browlift

Will I get rid of the horizontal lines in my forehead by having a brow lift done?

If you are asking whether complete elimination of the horizontal lines (wrinkles) is possible with a Brow Lift, then the answer is, “maybe yes”. However if you are asking if the wrinkles can be reduces to such an extent that it would make a significant change in the way you look, then the answer is, “Yes definitely”.

How long will a brow lift last?

Depending on the variables of skin, a browlift may last from 5 to 10 years. It can be further prolonged by use of fillers and injectables.

How is a brow lift different form an endoscopic brow lift?

The standard operating procedure for a brow lift is making an incision across the top of the head from ear to ear. In this process the brow is detached from the underlying bone and then the muscles between the eyes are weakened; finally the brow is pulled back, while a strip of scalp is removed. The brow is considered to be successfully lifted once the two edges are brought back together.

The endoscopic brow lift involves a different operation process. Here three to five incisions are made, each measuring about three-quarters of an inch long. These incisions are made in the hair bearing scalp; once this is done, an endoscope is placed, and detachment of the scalp from the bone is then accomplished while the endoscope provides pictures which is viewed on a video monitor. An endoscopic Brow Lift is considered to be more advantageous than the age old brow lift technique.

Can I get rid of the wrinkles between my eyes by having a brow lift?

A proper brow lift can disrupt the muscles which cause wrinkles between the eyes. This can greatly improve the deep wrinkles and make you look significantly better, but complete elimination may not be possible.

What will be the pain factor that I have to deal with after a brow lift?

While the operation itself will be painless because of the administration of anesthesia, there has been a few reported cases where some patients described having headaches after having the operation, which are short lived. Other than that, any significant sign of discomfort has not been reported. Your surgeon will prescribe you a postoperative pain management which is sure to handle and cases of discomfort.
Blepharoplasty

What is Blepharoplasty?

Blepharoplasty is the medical term for an eyelid lift; it is a cosmetic surgery procedure which is designed to restore an aging upper and/or lower eyelid

An upper eyelid lift is called upper Blepharoplasty and a lower eyelid lift is called a lower Blepharoplasty.

What kind of risks is generally involved with a Blepharoplasty?

Here you need to understand that any surgical process involves a certain amount of risk. Factors like infection, bleeding, anesthetic reactions etc., all comes to play when you about surgery and Blepharoplasty is not very different.

The major cause of concern in case of Blepharoplasty is post operative bleeding. This can be so serious that it may result in visual impairment. Due to this reason a surgeon always considers the conditions that may predispose a patient to such a scenario. It is ensured that the patient is not suffering from high blood pressure and under any medication which may lead to thinning of blood. Another condition called ectropion may develop in the lower eyelids. This condition is rare and it involves the pulling down of the lower eyelids. Fortunately, techniques are available with a surgeon which will ensure the prevention of such a condition.

Am I a good candidate for Blepharoplasty, when should I consider upper and lower Blepharoplasty?

As long as you are a healthy individual and are suffering from conditions relating to upper and lower eyelids, you are definitely a good candidate for Blepharoplasty.

If you are suffering from the heaviness of the upper eyelids or are experiencing a loss of definition of the upper eyelid, (which is a result of excess skin in that specific area) also if your peripheral vision is restricted by hanging of the excess skin over the lid, then you should consider having an upper eye lift Blepharoplasty.

On the other hand, if you are suffering from unwanted bags or puffiness along the lower eyelids then you should consider having a lower Blepharoplasty.

Will there be any scars after a Blepharoplasty and how will be the recovery process?

Any type of operation is bound to leave behind scars, with time the scar of a Blepharoplasty will become less and less visible.

Swelling and bruising may occur after Blepharoplasty, surgeons generally advices patients to sleep with their head elevated at a 30o angle for the first few days in order to minimize swelling. Other measures include application of ice compresses or bags of frozen peas on and off a 20 minute schedule. Pain management procedures are explained to the patients and suture is removed within four to seven days post operation. Patients usually are able to make public appearances within ten days post operation. The upper eyelid recovers quicker than the lower eyelids.

Rhinoplasty

Can I go ahead with Rhinoplasty, I’m having trouble with my breathing, can Rhinoplasty help me?

If you are not pleased with the appearance of your nose then you can go ahead with Rhinoplasty, it can safely change the looks of your nose to a predicted shape.

Rhinoplasty is a surgical process which involves changing the outward appearance of your nose. This process is not intended to improve your breathing. A Septoplasty or turbinate reduction may be required in such a case.

How is Rhinoplasty performed?

Rhinoplasty in the true sense of the word includes incisions on the interiors of the nose. Many a times the nose can be reshaped by these incisions alone. However these incisions are often connected at the base of the nose, allowing the surgeon to lift off the skin from the underlying structures and visualize both sides at the same time. Hence, the required changes to the bones and cartilages can be done under direct vision. This process is also known as open Rhinoplasty. The procedure that best suits your requirement will be recommended by your surgeon.
Breast Augmentation

Is it safe to have a breast implantation? If I have a baby later on, would I be able to breast feed?

Yes, it is safe to have a breast implant. There have been reported cases of any serious conditions which can be deemed consequential of breast implants.

Factors like ageing and pregnancy can affect the appearance of your breast, whether you have implants or not. Most patients didn’t find any difficulty in breastfeeding after having Breast Augmentation Surgery; however a small percentage did find some problems and a few of them couldn’t breast feed at all.

Are there any health concern related to silicone gel implants?

The silicone gel breast implants ‘phobia’ stems from the 1980s and 1990s when many women had their ruptured silicone implants removed. The FDA got silicone gel implants “out off the market” in 1992 and it then became the most studied medical devices of all time. Lawsuits claiming illness and sickness from silicone gel implants were rampant during those two decades. People claimed that arthritis and a number of other health conditions were caused by the silicone gel implants which were subsequently shown to have no scientific bearing. However, repeated studies have shown them to be very safe. Countries around the globe use silicone gel implants. Outside the US, saline implants are rare. For more details you can log on to the website www.breastimplantsafety.org

How long would my implant last, would they need to be replaced?

Cosmetic surgeons around the world are of the opinion that implants usually last for about 10 years. However this varies from patient to patient, another factor is the nature of implant i.e. saline or silicone implant. A saline implant has a typical deflation rate of 1% per year. The deflations of saline implants are spontaneous and not trauma related. Silicone implants have been a vogue since 1960s, those were the first generation silicone implants and patients reported that they lasted for about 20 to even 30 years. Silicone implants have evolved a long way, the current version of the implants are 4th or 5th generation implants. Now they are less susceptible to rupture as a much more cohesive gel and better shell designs are used.

Yes, it can be safely said that breast implants won’t last for life; they need to be replaced at some point and the process of replacement is much easier than the original surgery.

If my breast implants need to be replaced, do I need to pay for the augmentation all over again?

The cost of reworking a breast augmentation surgery depends on two important factors: the magnitude or the original surgery, and the span of time that has passed since the original surgery.

If your implant is under warranty and there is a rupture then you probably can cash in some financial assistance. Moreover, the surgical requirement in case of any subsequent implant is usually much less than the original implant.

Will smoking affect the recovery process?

Smoking constricts our blood vessels, thereby restricting our blood flow, which in turn prevents the supply of essential nutrients that are required for the natural healing process. Also, the incidence of complications like wound infection and skin death is much higher in the case of smokers. Surgeons around the word advise patients to stop smoking at least two weeks prior to the date of operation in order to avoid such complications.

Will I lose nipple sensation, if so then when will it return?

Yes, you may experience a decline in nipple sensation around the time of breast augmentation, but the good news is that it usually regained in about 12 to 18 months.

Will a breast augmentation improve the stretch marks on breasts?

Yes, the visible stretch marks on the breast can be greatly improved with a breast implant.

Which implant is good for me, saline or silicone implant?

Both saline and silicone devices are approved by the FDA. The choice of a particular device will depend upon the patient’s individual preference. Having said that, it must be maintained that the silicone implant will give you a more breast-like feeling and they last longer that saline implants. Silicone gel breast implant is specially recommended for patients with very thin tissues as they have low visible rippling. Both saline and silicone gel is implanted below the muscle.

How long will the pain last and when can I expect to recover fully?

About 80 to 90% of the patients reported that they went pain free in about three days. The surgery itself takes about one to two hours and patients usually go home on the same day. They are fit enough to even make a public appearance during the same evening and can have a shower in about 24 hrs from the surgery. Surgeons usually advices a pain management system comprising of some muscle relaxers; most patients never even elect to take any pain medicine simply because they never needed it. In about two weeks you shall be able to visit the gym and start lifting weights, you can resume your office even the next day after surgery. However if you plan on a vacation wherein you intend to get naughty enough to plunge into a lake or then ocean then you better wait for at least four weeks after the date of surgery. This is because experiments have proved that a complete submersion of the breast in water may cause implant infection.
Breast Lift

Is it possible for me to have a breast lift w/o implants if I am an A or small B cup?

Yes, you can have a breast lift if you are an A or a small B cup. In fact if the size is not a matter of concern than anybody can go ahead with a breast lift.

I lost a lot of weight and now my breast looks weird. I want to go ahead with a breast lift but I’m scared of implants. Can I have a breast lift without an implant?

Definitely yes, you can always elect to have a breast lift without having an implant. The sole reason that patients want to have an implant is give volume to their breast, however it is not necessary and depends on individual choice.

How extensive will the scarring be in case of a breast lift? How do I know if I need a breast lift?

A breast lift is aimed at providing you with the best achievable size while keeping scars to the minimum. The scarring that is required for a breast lift depends upon the degree of sagging. Surgeons generally employ a short scar around the areola and down to the fold of the breast which is all that’s required to give you the best possible breast size. The general thumb rule is that if your nipple is below the breast fold then you need a breast lift.
Breast Reduction

I’m a Mother who is currently breast feeding her baby, can I go ahead with a breast reduction or should I wait?

You should wait till you stop breast feeding. Even after this you should wait a couple of months as your breast size will change during this time and you need to let it settle down. Once you are out of this duration you can go ahead with the reduction.

What is meant by the term liposuction-only breast reduction?

LOBR of liposuction only breast reduction is a process to reduce the size of the breast by removing fat and breast tissue. Here the skin is not removed; rather it is retracted to modify the breast size. This process is useful for patients who care more about the breast size that the shape.
Abdominoplasty (Tummy-Tuck)

I’m planning on having kids. Should I be done with the kids before I have a tummy reduction?

Although many patients are seen to have no requirement for additional surgery after a post-abdominoplasty pregnancy, some did require a mini-abdominoplasty, and there are others who required a reoperation. The problem is that there is no way for a surgeon to predict the category a patient is going to fall into. Therefore, we recommend deferring your surgery until after your final pregnancy.

Will a tummy tuck remove the stretch marks present all over my tummy? How long do I need to wait after giving birth in order to have a tummy tuck?

Yes, a tummy tuck will give you a tucked-flat tummy and eliminate the stretch marks present in your abdomen i.e. from your naval point to above your pubic area.

Surgeons recommend patients to wait for a minimum of six months post delivery in order to have a tummy tuck.

I have a tattoo on my tummy, will it stop me from having a tummy tuck?

Yes, you can have a tummy tuck done in spite of having a tattoo on your tummy, however it may displace the tattoo’s position.

Can a cosmetic surgeon transfer fat from tummy to buttocks? Can I have a tummy tuck and a thigh lift at the same time?

Yes, the fat from your tummy can be transferred to your buttocks.

Yes, both tummy-tuck and thigh lift can be done at the same time. In fact this combination is often selected by many patients and is quite popular.

How is a mini tummy tuck different from a full scale tummy tuck? Is a mini tummy tuck done under the influence of local anesthesia? I have heard that drains are involved in a tummy tuck, is it the same in case of a mini tummy tuck?

A mini tummy tuck is the lesser version of a full scale tummy tuck; basically it is the less aggressive approach. In case of a full scale tummy tuck most of the skin from the naval point to just above the pubic area is removed, the muscles are tightened up to the ribs, and the open area is covered by the remaining skin which is stretched all the way down. While in case of a mini tuck a much smaller area is involved. It generally covers only the lower abdomen region.

Yes, a mini tummy tuck is done under the influence of either general or deep (level IV) sedation.

The use of drain is getting rarer and rarer with most surgeons opting out of its use until absolutely necessary. Use of drain is even rarer in case of a mini tuck.

What are the most common problems that patients face after having tummy tucks?

Most of the reported complications after a tummy tuck include:

  • Infection of skin, fat.
  • Seroma – a complication which results in collection of fluid underneath the mobilized fat and skin.
  • Obesity and smoking proves to be a hindrance in the healing process.
  • A small opening at the point of incision might occur.

The good news is that these complications are easily managed by a surgeon.

Liposuction

I’m planning to have a liposuction during the vacation; all I need to make sure is that I have enough time to recover before returning to my normal life.

There is no cause for you to worry as a person normally takes about six to seven days to recover from a liposuction. There is an amount of swelling involved in case of liposuctions and this swelling may be present for as a long as a full year, but it won’t stop you from living a normal life, you can resume work and lead a healthy lifestyle. The swelling itself is greatly reduced within the first few months.

How is UAL (ultrasound assisted liposuction) and PAL (power assisted liposuction) different?

Both UAL and PAL are methods to remove fat; the difference is just in the machinery involved. Both are proven techniques and it is not easy to give any of them an upper hand. However, reports indicate that U.A.L is associated with a higher seroma rate; also the thermal heat of UAL may cause skin injury. In comparison the PAL gently removes fat and reduces the operation length.

Is there a minimum age limit associated with liposuction?

Yes, you should be at least an adult (18 or more) in order to have a liposuction. The key point here is to understand the risk that may be involved and to form a clear picture of the goals. Here I would like to add that liposuction should not be considered as the first weight loss option. When everything else fails, only then liposuction should come to play.

I am planning to have a liposuction; can my abdomen fat be used to augment my breast?

This question has been put forward by a number of patients, even though this seems to be a really nice idea yet it never works. The reason is that when the fat is injected it eventually forms cavities of dead tissues instead of remaining alive as a part of you. Also a good chunk of the fat will be absorbed by your body mechanism thus further negating the prospect of reaping any potential benefit. The best way to augment your breast size is with implants.
Arm Lift

I have a lot of stretch marks on my upper and mid arm area; there is also a lot of excess skin present on my arms, can I get the skin pulled in such a way that it eliminates or at least reduces the stretch marks?

A surgery will be able to remove/reduce the stretch marks only if the skin affected by those marks is removed. An Arm lift will ensure that you have a firmer arm, reducing the laxity to a minimum, but it may or even may not reduce/eliminate the stretch marks.
Buttock / Thigh Lift

I need to augment my buttocks; also I need to tighten my inner and outer thigh. Would it be possible to do all of them at the same time? I would also like to know where the scars would be.

A circumferential body lift would be the perfect solution for you. Through this process you can lift your buttocks, tighten your thighs and even your tummy. This process is quite popular and normally is devoid of any serious complications. Moreover what’s good to know is that the scars would all be hidden under your underwear.