Frequently Asked Questions Atlanta
With the advent of the internet currently there is an array of information available for Plastic Surgery candidates to research We would like to provide you with some of the most common questions on Plastic Surgery in the Atlanta area. Therefore we compiled below some of the most frequently asked questions patients have about plastic surgery issues. If you have any other questions, and would like to contact us about it or would like to schedule an appointment, we would love to hear from you.
Is plastic surgery safe?
All surgical procedures are accompanied by a certain degree of risk, whether the procedures are for medical or cosmetic reasons. Our expert team is dedicated to making your operation go smoothly. We careful review your medical history and current health condition before deciding if it is safe for you to proceed with surgery. It is important that you fully disclose all pertinent information so that we are able to make an accurate assessment of the risks involved. We will take every precaution necessary to reduce the possibility of any complications.
Is cosmetic surgery for me?
There several important factors that come into play when deciding whether plastic surgery is the right option for you. One of the most important factors is your health. 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 your motivations are. People who have plastic surgery generally find that the surgery enhances their overall appearance and self-esteem. Thirdly, 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.
Who is a good candidate for cosmetic surgery?
People who have features that make them look older than they feel or who have features that they don’t feel are attractive are candidates for elective cosmetic surgery. If you can specifically identify traits that you would like to improve and have an idea of how you want to look it is helpful. An example is someone who wants a different shaped nose, smaller or larger breasts, a face and neck with less “sagging” or who has fat deposits that are diet and exercise resistant. A good candidate for surgery also understands the risks and limitations of surgery as explained by their surgeon and works in partnership with their doctor to attain their goals. Likewise, a poor candidate has unrealistic expectations, ignores the advice of their surgeon, does not follow pre and post operative directions and expects the surgery to change their luck, performance or love life.
Can I have several procedures performed simultaneously?
It is a relatively common practice for a plastic surgeon to perform multiple procedures during one operation. This allows the surgeon to better “sculpt” your final appearance. In addition, having several procedures done simultaneously saves you the expense of paying the operating room and anesthesia costs more than once. However, having too much done at one time can lead to complications. The decision to have multiple procedures done depends on which procedures are being done, the extent of surgery, the operating time, and your age/health. Ultimately, the surgeon decides whether or not it is appropriate to include more than one procedure in your operation.
Is it expensive?
Quality cosmetic surgery, like any skilled endeavor, requires years of training and experience on the part of the surgeon. You should not be gouged, but do expect to pay a fair price for your procedure. You should also expect attention to detail, an attentive staff and excellence in the performance of your surgery. The pleasure of a bargain is forgotten sooner than the memory of a job poorly done. As in anything else, you pay for what you get. Be sure to check your surgeon’s credentials and ask questions before you have surgery.
Does it matter how old I am?
Due to the variety of procedures available in plastic surgery, there can be no blanket rule on age although age will be taken into consideration when planning your operation. People of all ages have taken advantage of the image-enhancement offered by plastic surgery. There are even procedures appropriate for young children! It is important to realize the limitations of plastic surgery. Plastic surgery cannot “fix” every situation or reverse the aging process. What is a good procedure for one person may not be an appropriate procedure for another. We are committed to making your plastic surgery experience a safe and successful one.
Where is the surgery performed?
We believe your safety is the most important aspect of what we do. All of our surgery is performed in an accredited outpatient surgery facility or in a hospital. Minor procedures may be performed in the office using local anesthesia.
Who gives anesthesia?
Anesthesia is provided by Board Certified anesthesiologists, the same ones who work in local hospitals. It is not in your best interest to have your surgeon trying to give anesthesia, monitor your vital signs and do surgery at the same time.
Will it hurt?
Pain is a subjective feeling. It is perceived differently by different people. Procedures where muscle manipulation is involved (abdominoplasty, breast augmentation) will be more painful than procedures where only the skin and subcutaneous tissue is operated on (facelift, liposuction, breast reduction, eyelid surgery). In all cases care is taken to limit the amount of trauma to your tissue and anesthetics are used liberally during the operation to limit pain afterward. In addition, post-operative pain medication is prescribed.
Are there scars?
Skin cannot be cut without scarring. The trick is to hide the scar and limit the length of any necessary incisions and close them in such a way that the body has the best chance of healing with a thin line in the skin. In addition, the incision is placed in a previous wrinkle if possible. After the operation, topical medication is used to decrease the appearance of the scar.
How do I know my doctor is qualified?
At the minimum, your surgeon should be board certified by a board recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties (http://www.abms.org/). For cosmetic surgery procedures, it is The American Board of Plastic Surgery (http://www.abplsurg.org/). In addition, look to make sure they were trained in a reputable institution and are members of societies such as The American Society of Plastic Surgery (http://www.plasticsurgery.org/). Check the National Practitioner Data Bank (http://www.npdb-hipdb.com/) and the local medical societies (http://www.mcmedsoc.org/home6.html) for complaints.
Ask friends for references and then make certain you are comfortable talking to and being around your surgeon. You should be able to find a well qualified doctor without having to put up with poor bedside manner.
What is involved at the first Consultation?
At the initial consultation, a history will be taken and a brief examination performed. We will try to understand what is most important to you. After a brief examination we will discuss the various options for you to achieve your goals. We may take pictures to help you understand the procedure proposed and plan for your surgery.
How long will it take to recover from my surgery?
Generally, post-operative instructions call for rest and limited movement in order to speed up the healing process and recovery time. The length of recovery varies with each procedure and is different for each individual. Bruises usually disappear within a few days, and most swelling is gone in a matter of weeks. If you follow our post-operative instructions carefully, you will be able to enjoy your normal activities within no time. Your scars will fade over time but are permanent. We take care to conceal any scars so that they are barely visible, if at all. The image-enhancing effects of plastic surgery become more evident over time with certain procedures taking up to a year for your body to fully adjust and settle into its new look. When you come in for your consultation we can discuss your expected recovery period and any post-operative instructions in detail.
Will my insurance cover the surgery?
Insurance providers generally cover costs for reconstructive surgery but not for cosmetic surgery. For example, insurance providers will often pay for breast augmentation to reconstruct a breast following a mastectomy; breast reduction to remedy back pain caused by heavy breasts; eyelid surgery to remove sagging skin that blocks vision; nose surgery to allow for a patient to breathe better; or tummy tucks to remedy the vertical separation of abdomen muscles known as diastasis. Insurance providers are required by law to cover breast reconstruction surgery and any cosmetic operations necessary to create symmetry in either breast. If your surgery is covered by insurance, pre-certification is required. We will be happy to assist you with the process.
What is BMI (Body Mass Index).
BMI is a measurement of body fat based on your height and weight. It applies to adult men and women. You can calculate your BMI by using this BMI Calculator
The desire for a more youthful appearance is common among men and women. The decision to seek a change in your appearance is highly personal and should be made only after you have considered all of the options along with the risks and benefits.
As we age our skin and connective tissue loses elasticity and the shape of our facial features changes. We begin to notice a “droop” to our tissues often associated with a loss or displacement of fat that leads to a sagging appearance. A common complaint is “I am starting to look like my mother/father”. A marked improvement can be made by realigning and tightening both the underlying soft tissue and the skin. In some cases the addition of soft tissue fillers or an implant can have dramatic effects.
This section will answer many of your questions regarding facial rejuvenation. Actual recommendations will depend upon your individual situation and cannot be made until an examination has been performed.
Many people notice excess skin in the upper and lower eyelids and attribute this to loss of elasticity. What in fact has often occurred is the eyebrow has become too low and needs to be lifted. This can have a dramatic effect on appearance. In addition, at the time it is done, the corrugator (wrinkler) muscles that cause lines between the eyes can be weakened to give a better appearance. Browlift. (link to photo section)
Sagging and bagging of the lids can be corrected by a judicious removal of fat and skin. This removes the appearance of being tired and opens the eye to allow the natural shape to be seen. The lower lid often requires tightening (canthopexy) to restore a youthful appearance. All of this can be done with minimal incisions. Blepharoplasty. (link to photos)
The area of tissue beneath the eye down to the naso-labial fold can be elevated to restore a youthful roundness to the face and decrease the fold formed when we smile. This can be performed through the mouth or with tiny incisions in the fold itself. Midface lift. (link to photos)
Face and Neck:
Two of the most obvious areas of facial ageing are the cheeks and the neck. A clear jaw line with a smooth neck devoid of sagging skin looks younger. This can often be achieved by sculpting the neck with liposuction, tightening the neck muscles and removing excess skin with an “S” shaped incision around the ear. This “mini” or ‘S” lift is very safe, heals quickly and does not look overdone. Facelift. (link to website).
Where is surgery performed?:
Surgery is performed in a certified surgery center.
Plan on spending 4 to 6 hours from beginning to end. You will need a ride home afterward. Minor surgery may be performed in our office.
Post op discomfort:
Your surgery is performed in a precise manner using the latest techniques which include: local anesthesia infiltration of the surgical site to decrease bleeding and pain, minimal incisions around the ear to decrease the appearance of scars and self absorbing sutures for the most part. Local anesthesia provides several hours of pain free recovery while you are awakening from anesthesia.
Typical surgical costs are approx. five to twelve thousand dollars including surgery, anesthesia, and all post op visits. You can find this procedure for less, but you get what you pay for. We have been doing this surgery for 5 years and have happy patients.
The desire for larger breasts is common among many women. The decision to enlarge your breasts is highly personal and should be made only after you have considered all of the options along with the risks and benefits.
What happens at the consultation?:
At the initial consultation a history will be taken and we will listen to understand what your desires are. Some women are nervous. We will try to put you at ease. Your brief exam will be conducted in a non-threatening atmosphere where your wants and needs are catered. We will discuss the various options for you to achieve your goals, including the type of implants, its size, the placement of the incision and what you can expect after the surgery. We will also review pre and postoperative photos of actual patients to give you an idea of what you will look like.
Where is the implant placed?:
For the majority of women, placing the implant beneath the chest muscle (pectoralis major) makes the most sense, because it minimizes the “step off” effect of an implant seen at the upper chest and decreases the chance of a capsule contracture (scar) forming around the implant. It also minimizes interference with mammogram.
Where is the incision?:
The most common incision sites chosen by women are in the crease under the breast or at the junction of the light and dark skin of the areola. Another option is to place the incision in the armpit. All incisions leave a small (1 1/2 inch) scar that fades with time.
Can we use gel implants?:
Yes, they are now FDA approved.
Is the implant shaped?:
Round, smooth implants give the most natural appearance and the least amount of postoperative problems. Studies have shown they cannot be differentiated from “anatomical” or “shaped” implants and have far fewer potential problems.
Where is the surgery performed:
Surgery is performed in a certified surgery center. We feel your safety is enhanced in this environment. Plan on spending 4 to 6 hours from beginning to end. You will need a ride home afterward.
Post op discomfort:
Your surgery is performed in a precise manner using the latest techniques which include: tumescent anesthesia infiltration of the surgical site to decrease bleeding and pain, NO blunt dissection, liberal use of long acting anesthetic placed directly into the surgical site. This last step provides several hours of pain free recovery while you are awakening from anesthesia.
What are the possible complications?:
The following complications, though rare can occur.
-Hematoma (bleeding within the developed pocket requiring a return to the OR to remove) occurs in less than one percent of cases and is NOT life threatening. Treatment consists of removing the implant, evacuating the blood, finding the bleeding point and replacing the implant. The blood is removed to decrease the chance of a denser scar forming around the implant.
-Change of breast sensation, either increased or decreased in all or part of the breast can occur.
-Capsular contracture is a condition in which scar forms around the implant and changes the feel and shape of the breast. This develops over time and often requires removal of the capsule to correct.
-Asymmetry and noticeable scar are both rare but do occasionally occur and can be corrected.
How much does it cost?:
Typical surgical costs are approx. $5000 to $6000 including implants, surgery, anesthesia, and all post op visits. You can find this procedure for less, but you get what you pay for. We have been doing this surgery for 15 years and have hundreds of happy patients.
The skin, our body’s largest organ is both a complex and multipurpose organ. It protects the body against injury, chemicals, bacteria and even UV light. It regulates body temperature, and is a vital part of our immune system. In addition it has the wonderful power to constantly repair itself.
The skin is made of three layers. The epidermis (the outermost layer-which has five sub layers) the dermis (the middle or supporting layer) and the subcutis (bottom or fatty layer).
The epidermis, the layer we see and touch is very tough but microscopically thin. It is the layer with the highest content of water. However, as we mature, the skin’s ability to retain water decreases which causes the skin to become dehydrated. This is why many of us feel the need to use a moisturizer when we reach our mid 20’s. The melanocytes (the cells responsible for skin’s pigment) are present in the lower layers of the epidermis. These protective cells produce pigment (melanin) in response to ultraviolet rays, skin trauma, and/or hormones. Melanocytes migrate into individual cells to form a physical umbrella over the cell’s nucleus. This “brown umbrella” (a suntan) is created to protect the cell’s nucleus from even further sun damage and sunburn. Because a tan is created only when the skin is confronted with injury, there is NO such thing as a healthy tan (unless it comes from a self tanner). When severe damage has occurred and as we mature, these cells often coagulate into clumps causing hyperpigmentation (age spots).
The dermis (middle layer) is often referred to as the living skin. This layer is made of collagen (95%) and elastin ( 3 %) protein fibers that are woven together in a microscopic network. Collagen enables the skin to stretch and elastin brings it back to form. Elasticity depends on a well balanced water content in the dermis and other skin layers. The dermal layer is also responsible for supporting the epidermis the skin’s repair, immune system and sensory system.
The subcutis (the bottom layer) consists mainly of fat and cells interspersed with blood vessels, nerve fibers and muscle fibers. This layer acts as a protective cushion for what lies above it and below it.
How our skin ages
The skin, which has the ability to renew itself, goes through a natural shedding process called desquamation. This cellular renewal takes about 30 days in normal skin. However as we age, this natural shedding process slows down. In addition, collagen production declines as well as the skin’s natural moisture level. Furthermore, the subcutis fat begins to thin and facial muscles begin to sag.
This natural aging process is inevitable. However, many of our lifestyle choices make our skin age before it’s time. Activities such as smoking, sunbathing, excessive alcohol consumption, a poor diet, and lack of sleep all take a toll on our skin. Terms such as “weathered skin” , “photoaging” and “premature aging” are often used to describe such skin.
The good news is that we can do something about it.
Why peel your skin?
Artificially removing the outer layer of skin by a process called peeling or exfoliating helps speed up the body’s natural process of skin renewal. The skin grows back without replicating many of the problems that have developed during its life—such as fine lines, sun damage, dark spots etc. Consistently removing the outer layers of skin (epidermis) results in a skin that is well hydrated, less pigmented and more youthful looking.
Chemical peeling involves applying an acidic solution to the skin. The most popular chemical peels are glycolic acid (made from sugar cane) and lactic acid (made from milk). These chemicals are also called alpha hydroxy acids. The chemical solution promotes the shedding of the skin by breaking down the substance that holds the skin cells together. The extent of the exfoliation depends on the type of acid, its pH and the condition of your skin.
Chemical peels have a cumulative effect and are best done is a series of 4-6 treatments.
- Smoother skin surface and texture
- Minimized appearance of lines and wrinkles
- Increased production of collagen and elastin
- Reduction of Hyperpigmentation
Salicylic acid (betahydroxy acid) another popular chemical peel contains the same active ingredient found in aspirin. Although this acid is similar to alphahydroxy acids, it has the added ability to penetrate the skin’s pores because it is lipid (oil) soluble. This type of acid peel is excellent for refining clogged pores and reducing skin’s breakouts. Because this acid is related to aspirin, it is an anti-inflammatory and is a great treatment for acne and rosacea.
- Epidermal pigmentation problems
- Fine lines and wrinkles
- Shallow Scarring
- Skin Laxity
This manual peel uses a harmless sand like crystal to exfoliate the skin’s surface. No harsh acids are used and the skin is left noticeably smoother after just one peel. This peel is an excellent treatment for men and anyone who wants a quick healthy glow. Microdermabrasion is great for light scarring and hyperpigmentation . Because this peel has a cumulative effect, a series of 5 to 10 treatments is recommended for optimal results.
- Reduction in fine lines
- Superficial Scarring
- Uneven skin tone
- Acne and acne scarring
- Sun damage
In addition to peeling the skin, a skin care regimen (including cleanser, moisturizer, antioxidants and sunscreen) is highly recommended to obtain the best results.
All data and information provided within this website and related blog is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice. Georgia Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery, PC makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, correctness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. Treatment information and medical recommendations must be made on a case-by-case basis; it is recommended that you seek personalized care from a board certified medical doctor for any medical questions or health issues you may have. Some photos in this website feature models for illustrative purposes. Photos of actual patients can be found in the before and after photo gallery.