Cosmetic surgery, like any surgery, is not a proposal to be entered into lightly. You, the patient, need to do your homework as much as the doctor needs to do his/hers. Many times when we go to a doctor we do not, or forget to, ask questions that are not only important to ask, but are necessary to help ensure a good outcome. Over the years in my practice I have heard just about every conceivable question come out of a patient’s mouth. All are very important and I have listed a few of the most frequently asked questions as well as my responses for a variety of different cosmetic procedures. Remember, these are generalities, nothing is written in stone and these are my responses, others’ may vary.
Am I a good candidate for the procedure?
This takes into account your medical status, factors that can affect your outcome and a reasonable result you can expect. The best plastic surgery candidate is someone with realistic expectations and an understanding of the limitations set by medicine, technology, and each patient’s own body. Good candidates have a strong self-image and well-developed reasons for pursuing a plastic surgery procedure. They are looking for improvement of a physical trait, knowing that while this positive change may enhance their self-image, it will not change people’s perception of them. Dangerous motivations for plastic surgery would be purely doing it to gain popularity, or attempting to reverse recent life crises.
Are you board certified and if so in what specialty?
Many physicians and non-physicians are performing cosmetic procedures. Some are not qualified to do so. Ask your doctor what specialty he/she received his/her primary training in.
Where is the surgery performed?
That can depend on the surgeon. Most plastic surgeons are affiliated with local hospitals and can arrange operating room times as needed. Many carry out a similar procedure at surgical centers, while other surgeons have private surgery suites in their own office space. You’ll find that many plastic surgeons fit into all or most of these categories, and offer options to each patient. They would then help you choose your surgery location based on comfort, safety, scheduling issues, and sometimes geography issues (which surgery location is closest to home, etc.).
Can the procedure be performed under “twilight” anesthesia or does it require general anesthesia?
This depends on the procedure and the comfort level of the anesthesiologist and surgeon. In general, the more involved the procedure, the more likely the need for general anesthesia.
Other questions to ask:
Do you routinely perform the procedure I want?
What are the risks and complications?
How long will the effects of the procedure last?
At which hospital(s) do you have privileges to perform the procedure I’m considering?
How long will I be bruised?
While every patient is unique and there are a variety of factors affecting bruising, I generally explain to patients to expect bruising to last approximately one week.
When can I get back to my normal routine and work?
Again this depends on the patient and what you consider “normal.” Again, I generally explain to patients that it will be about 10 days before they can expect to feel like themselves again.
How much weight am I going to lose with liposuction?
Liposuction is not a weight loss procedure. It is best used to “sculpt” a patient who has a relatively good shape but requires a bit of help in those areas that they just cannot work off in the gym.
What is the difference between saline and silicone?
These are the types of liquids that fill the implant. Both implant types use a silicone shell.
Is silicone safe?
Simple answer, yes.
Will I be able to breast feed after implant surgery?
If you were able to breast-feed before surgery, you should be able to breast feed after surgery.
These are just a sampling of the questions that you may want to ask, to familiarize yourself with your procedure and surgeon. Please study your procedure, surgeon and options carefully. If you do, all involved will be much more comfortable with the results.
Dr. Norman Rowe uses the latest techniques and ideas in attempts to improve a patient’s looks. After having completed his plastic surgical training at the prestigious New York University Medical Center and the world renowned Manhattan Eye, Ear and Throat Hospital, Dr. Rowe went on to develop and improve in the area of minimally invasive and short-scar surgery. This allows him to offer his patients facial and body rejuvenation with nearly invisible incisions. In addition, he uses the latest non-surgical treatments in anti-aging in order to give each patient a more youthful appearance with no scars. Norman Rowe M.D., M.H.A., L.L.C. Aesthetic and Reconstructive Plastic Surgery, 50 E.69th Street, 212-628-7300.