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Q What is plastic surgery?

A Plastic surgery involves surgical procedures designed to repair, reconstruct, replace or enhance features of the face and body. Plastic surgery procedures can be divided in two major categories; cosmetic and reconstructive surgery.

Q What is the difference between cosmetic and reconstructive plastic surgery?

A Cosmetic surgery procedures are performed to aesthetically enhance the normal features of the face and body.

Reconstructive surgery procedures are performed to correct the abnormal features of the face and body caused by birth defects, tumors, diseases, or trauma.

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Q What is the importance of Board-Certification in Plastic Surgery?

A Any medical doctor, legally, can perform plastic surgery procedures, however only doctors board-certified in Plastic Surgery received the necessary training to perform cosmetic surgery procedures. A doctor can become certified in plastic surgery after he or she has graduated from an accredited medical school and has completed at least five years of additional training as a resident surgeon. This includes a minimum three-year residency in an accredited general surgery program and a minimum two-year residency in plastic surgery. To become certified, the doctor then must successfully complete comprehensive written and oral exams.

Q Why do people consider having cosmetic surgery?

A People consider cosmetic surgery for a variety of reasons. Usually people want to change a specific area in their appearance that they feel could be improved. This personal desire may be influenced to some degree by the individual's role in society. Because our culture is youth-oriented, people seek ways to counter the effects of aging on their appearance. Many elect surgery to look as young as they feel, to build confidence after a change in lifestyle, or to maintain their looks compared to younger generations.

Whatever your reasons for choosing cosmetic surgery, it is important to have realistic expectations. Improving a feature of the face or body may give you greater self-confidence and add to your sense of well-being, but it is not a solution for happiness or a guarantee for better relationships with others.

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Q Does my insurance cover cosmetic surgery?

A No, not generally, cosmetic surgery is considered "elective surgery" and is not covered by most insurance plans. However, sometimes certain procedures are performed to improve function rather than appearance. For example, protruding or large ears may be considered a birth defect and ear surgery deemed necessary to correct it, or eyelid surgery to correct drooping eyelids, which cause impaired vision, or breast reduction if the weight of the breasts causes pain or interferes with normal activity. If this is the case, contact your insurance company before surgery to determine if it is covered.

Q What type of anesthesia should be used and what are the side effects?

A Usually local anesthesia will be administered to numb a specific area to be treated, along with a light sedative to make you feel drowsy and relaxed. Generally for larger areas, general anesthesia is applied which causes you to be asleep during the whole procedure. Any pain experienced is usually controlled with a medication prescribed by your surgeon.

There may be some side effects with anesthesia. Some people have a slight feeling of nausea during the postoperative period. Some people may vomit, but this is uncommon. Some patients may feel slightly tired for the first few hours after surgery, which typically wears of quickly.

Side effects of anesthesia vary from person to person dependent on the reaction of their body. Some people may have side effects even with slight amounts of sedation. Therefore it may be necessary that you be observed during the immediate post-operative period, by a trained nursing staff.

Most important to remember is that anesthesia is an integral part of your surgical experience. You should know as much about it as possible. You should thoroughly discuss your anesthesia needs with your surgeon.


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