Frequently Asked Questions

What is plastic surgery?
Is there a difference in training between plastic surgeons and cosmetic surgeons?
What is the importance of board certification?
Am I a good candidate for plastic surgery?
Am I a good candidate for non-surgical cosmetic procedures?
Is plastic surgery safe?
What factors determine fitness for surgery?
Is plastic surgery addictive?
How long and painful is recovery from surgery?
How long is recovery from non-surgical procedures?
Are there any age restrictions for plastic surgery?
How much will my surgery cost?
Is plastic surgery covered by insurance?
Is financing available?
Is plastic surgery performed on an inpatient or outpatient basis?
How long do the benefits of plastic surgery last?
How long do the benefits of non-surgical procedures last?
How popular is cosmetic plastic surgery?
How many men have cosmetic plastic surgery?
If I have a heart condition, is general anesthesia safe?
Will I have a choice of general or local anesthesia?
Is a facelift considered surgery?
What should I learn from my surgical consultation?
Will my surgical procedure leave a scar?
Will my results look natural?
What happens during consultation?
How do I prepare for surgery?
What can I do to help make my procedure successful?
What should I do the day before and day of surgery?
What happens when I arrive for surgery?
What happens after surgery?
What post-surgical symptoms warrant a call to the doctor?
When can I resume my normal activities?
Can you make me look like _____________?

What is plastic surgery?
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.

Is there a difference in training between plastic surgeons and cosmetic surgeons?
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.

What is the importance of board certification?
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.

Am I a good candidate for surgery?
If you are in good health and have an appearance issue that is addressable by an ever-increasing range of technologies, then cosmetic surgery may indeed be a great solution for you. The key to a successful outcome is determining realistic expectations. You should also learn the recovery regimes to make sure you can reasonably adhere to them. A lot of information is available on this site and online. Schedule a consultation today, to find out for sure.

Am I a good candidate for non-surgical cosmetic procedures?
Yes! Since non-surgical procedures don't require anesthesia, almost all those wanting the benefits of the growing range of dermal injections and medical-spa treatments are great candidates. A clinical aesthetician or nurse injector can help you determine the best option for you.

Is plastic surgery safe?
All surgery involves some level of risk. Thorough pre-surgical exam and assessment, your surgeon can determine your physical readiness for general anesthesia and the procedure.

What factors determine fitness for surgery?
The primary factor is determining surgical fitness, is your current state of health. Other factors to consider are your and your family's medical history, your age and any existing conditions that may increase likelihood of complications during surgery or interfere with recovery. It's also vital that you are able to adhere to all pre- and post-surgical regimes.

Is plastic surgery addictive?
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. For more information on addiction to plastic surgery, including case histories, click here.

How long and painful is recovery from surgery?
The more invasive your surgical procedure(s), generally the longer your recovery. Medications can keep you keep you comfortable while pain subsides. Rhinoplasty (nose surgery) can keep you home for two to three weeks. Full recovery will take several months or more. Facial lifts and augmentations can limit activity for a week to ten days, with full recovery within a month. Body-contouring procedures such as liposuction require a week of home recovery as well as up to six week of wearing compressive bandages. Breast procedures generally require minimal home recovery. However, it may take up to six weeks to resume any significant lifting. Your surgeon can fully detail your likely recovery progression during consultation. Go the Procedures section for more information.

How long is recovery from non-surgical procedures?
Dermal injections such as Botox® involve no recovery. Deeper chemical and laser peels may keep you homebound for a week or so, and require regular home skincare for a week to 10 days.

Are there any age restrictions for plastic surgery?
There are no hard-and-fast rules regarding age. Each patient is evaluated individually. Age is one factor among several your surgeon will consider in determining your fitness for surgery.

How much will my surgery cost?
Costs vary by procedure. While surgical improvement can be a significant investment, it may be more affordable than you anticipate. Contact us for specific cost information, as well as financing alternatives.

Is plastic surgery covered by insurance?
Reconstructive procedures for burns, injury and congenital defects usually qualify for some level of coverage. Procedures to enhance normal face or body features general do not qualify. Be sure to check with your provider.

Is financing available?
Franciscan Plastic Surgery Associates does offer third-party financing. Contact us for more information on financing and payment options.

Is plastic surgery performed on an inpatient or outpatient basis?
Most procedures are performed on an outpatient basis, meaning you are discharged on the same day you check in for surgery. If a patient lives alone or is undergoing multiple procedures, overnight hospitalization may be recommended to ensure proper post-operative care and pain management.

How long do the benefits of plastic surgery last?
The benefits of many surgical procedures are long lasting, including breast procedures, rhinoplasty (nose surgery) and chin augmentation. The benefits of face, brow and eyelifts can last a decade or more, depending upon age and lifestyle. How long the benefits of liposuction last is largely up to the patient. If proper diet and exercise are maintained, weight loss can be permanent. For more information on particular surgical procedures, click here.

How long do the benefits of non-surgical procedures last?
The benefits of Botox® and other injectable treatments usually last three to six months. Depending upon the aggressiveness of treatment, the benefits of facial peels can last a few months to year or more. For more information on in-office procedures, click here.

How many men have cosmetic plastic surgery?
Men had over 9% of cosmetic procedures in 2012, 1.3 million in all between surgical and minimally invasive procedures. The most popular procedures among male patients were nose reshaping, eyelid surgery, liposuction, breast reduction and facelift. For more information on plastic surgery statistics, click here.

If I have a heart condition, is general anesthesia safe?
Your heart health is a significant factor in determining your readiness for surgery requiring general anesthesia. Be sure to bring a list all medications and discuss any concerns during consultation.

Will I have a choice of general or local anesthesia?
For procedures that can be performed safely and reasonably comfortably with either general or local anesthetic, the unequivocal answer is yes. During consultation be sure to voice your preference.

Is a facelift considered surgery?
Yes. Because a facelift involves disconnection of underlying tissue through surgical means to tighten skin, it is indeed surgery. In-office wrinkle-reducing treatments are not considered surgery because the affected tissue remains intact.

What should I learn from my surgical consultation?
The most important aspect of a surgical consultation is gaining realistic expectations of the outcome. You should also know all recovery regimes to make sure you can adhere to them. For a list of questions to ask your surgeon, click here.

Will my surgical procedure leave a scar?
Scars are a part of any surgery. However, they can be concealed through careful placement of incisions. Your surgeon can detail methods of minimizing scarring during consultation.

Will my results look natural?
Making your results look natural is the high art of plastic surgery. New technologies are facilitating natural-looking results in even extensive procedures. Your surgeon should give you an accurate idea of the end result during consultation. Checkout before-and-after photos of Franciscan's patients.

What happens during consultation?
Upon arrival, you first will be asked to complete patient-information and medical-history forms. A nurse will take your weight and blood pressure, and review your medical history, medications and purpose of your visit. Your doctor will conduct a medical evaluation and take photos. Together, you both will decide on the best course to reach your desired result. Your doctor will go over any pre-surgical regimes. Franciscan's surgical consultations are obligation-free. Schedule your consultation today!

How do I prepare for surgery?
Your surgeon will specify all pre-surgical regimes during consultation. Prescription medications may be restricted, as well as aspirin and other blood-thinning medications. A big part of preparation is planning your recovery. Make sure you have the support you will need while your movement is limited. If you live alone, you may consider staying at hotel or facility that caters to surgical recovery. Professional homecare may also be an option. And be sure to fill your cupboards with everything you will need while homebound.

What can I do to help make my procedure successful?
As a surgical patient, your most important duty is to arrive healthy and ready for surgery. Here is a checklist to ensure the best chance at a successful outcome:

  • 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.
 

What should I do the day before and day 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.
 

What happens when I arrive for surgery?
Upon arrival at the hospital or surgical facility, you will be asked to sign a consent form verifying the procedure to be performed and that you are aware of the risks. All information regarding the surgery will be double-checked. A pre-surgical evaluation will be performed. The areas of your body to be operated upon will be marked as final confirmation before administration of anesthesia.

What happens after surgery?
After surgery, you are moved to a recovery room for around an hour before being transferred to a post-surgical area. If you an outpatient, a nurse will discharge you as soon as your condition is stable, usually two to four hours after surgery. You should then get your prescriptions filled. You must have a ride home. You will need someone to help you for the first 24 to 48 hours, depending upon the extent of your procedure. Stay in bed for the first day, and take medications as directed. It's best to eat some soft, bland food, even if you aren't hungry. Drink plenty of fluids. And call your doctor should you experience unusual symptoms.

What post-surgical symptoms warrant a call to the doctor?
Alert your doctor immediately if you develop any of the following:

  • 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
 

When can I resume my normal activities?
Most patients return to work and normal activities in a week to ten days. More extensive procedures may keep you home for two weeks or more. You should avoid driving for at least a week, and never drive after taking pain medication. Your stomach can be your guide towards resumption of your normal diet. Generally you should sponge bath to avoid disturbing bandages and dressing till removed. Depending upon your procedure, it may take four to six weeks or more to resume vigorous activity that may disturb tissue still in the healing process. Your doctor can give you specific recovery instructions at your post-surgery appointment.

Can you make me look like __________?
Generally the answer is no. The goal of cosmetic surgery is to bring out the most attractive you. We are all limited by our own genetics. The most important aspect of reaching a successful outcome is a setting realistic objective. Your surgeon can give you a good idea of the likely outcome. While your doctor will make every effort to achieve your desires, the ultimate judge of the success of your procedure is you. Schedule a consultation to get a good idea of the likely outcome.