Frequently Asked Questions
Find answers to the most commonly asked questions below.
Plastic surgery is the medical discipline devoted to restoring or correcting form, function and appearance of face and body. The term comes from the Greek and Latin words denoting "the art of molding" and traces back to the mid 1800's. Most plastic surgical procedures are not cosmetic in nature, but rather are reconstructive procedures to treat burns, birth defects and survivors of accidents and deforming illnesses.
The educational paths for plastic surgery and cosmetic surgery are distinct. After completing medical school, physicians specializing in plastic surgery perform residency in plastic surgery. They then can earn certification through the American Board of Plastic Surgery. Once gaining certification, they can pursue further training in cosmetic procedures through fellowships, workshops and seminars.
There is no specific residency for cosmetic surgery. Physician pursuing this specialty typically perform residency in general surgery or sub-specialty for head & neck or dermatological surgery. After earning certification, they hone their skills through fellowships, workshops and seminars to qualify for certification by the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery.
Board certification ensures patients that their doctor has successfully met strict criteria demonstrating knowledge, skill and proficiency in a particular medical specialty. Some surgeons are certified by both the American Board of Plastic Surgery and the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery.
Modifying surgical procedures such as rhinoplasty or breast enhancement rarely lead patients to want more. The most addictive procedures are non-surgical treatments including wrinkle-reducing injections, chemical peels and lip enhancements.
- Stop smoking immediately, and at least 6 weeks before surgery.
- Stop alcohol consumption at least 10 days prior to surgery.
- Stop intake of aspirin and other blood-thinning medications at least 10 days prior to surgery.
- Adjust medications according to doctor's instructions.
- Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables.
- Limit caffeine intake and drink plenty of water.
- Get plenty of rest and exercise moderately.
- Inform your doctor's office if you become ill or develop any rashes, wounds or sores ahead of surgery.
- Stop all eating and drinking by midnight.
- Shower with an antibacterial soap the day before and the day of surgery, but avoid scrubbing targeted areas.
- Try to get a good night's rest.
- Do not shave the surgical area or apply moisturizing lotion.
- Wear minimal or no makeup to the hospital.
- Wear loose fitting, button-front clothing, and leave all jewelry and valuables at home.
- Arrive at the hospital one hour prior to your scheduled surgery time.
- Sudden increased pain in the area of surgery
- Sudden swelling at the surgical site
- Sudden numbness in any extremity
- Fever greater than 101.5 degrees
- Wound separation
- Bleeding or oozing from the incision
- Swelling and/or sharp pain in either leg
- Persistent nausea or vomiting
- Inability to urinate
- Any other unusual symptoms of concern