Plastic Surgery FAQs
Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about plastic surgery, including insurance, procedures, and more. If you have any questions that aren’t answered here, please contact us today.
Any surgical procedure is accompanied by a certain degree of risk, regardless if it is a medical necessity or elected cosmetic procedure. Dr. Choi and his staff are dedicated to ensuring an effortless procedure. During your consultation, the doctor will carefully assess which, if any, procedure is best for you given your current health and medical history. Because of this, it is crucial that any relevant information be disclosed beforehand, so that we may take into consideration any precaution necessary.
The new silicone gel breast implants approved by the FDA in 2006 are much safer then those used in the 1980s. The new silicone gel is cohesive which means that if the implant is ruptured the gel stays in place and does not migrate outside the breast capsule. Silicone implants remain more natural to touch relative to their saline counterparts.
The first few days after surgery is the most uncomfortable. Pain medication will be prescribed and should help with managing pain. After one week, there should be minimal discomfort that can be managed with over-the-counter medications. The next few weeks, there may still be some soreness and swelling. Light activities such as slow walking on treadmill, elliptical machine, and slow cycling are usually allowed, depending on the surgery performed. Generally, recovery takes about 6 to 8 weeks. It may take more time depending on how you heal and your overall health. It’s important to refrain from physical activity, lifting heavy objects and overworking yourself during this sensitive time.
Many people require several surgical procedures to get the best results possible. Yes, you may have multiple procedures done at the same time; however, all safety concerns must be addressed to your surgeon beforehand. Your surgeon will determine whether the procedures may or may not be combined. Each patient is unique, so multiple aesthetic procedures will naturally have different outcomes with different individuals.
The main benefits of combining cosmetic procedures include:
- Less down time, since the patient will be recovering from multiple procedures at the same time.
- By undergoing anesthesia only once, the patient faces fewer risks of complications.
- Combining plastic surgery procedures can also save you money in the long run as you only have to pay for certain fees, like anesthesia and facility, once rather than every time you undergo surgery.
Surgical procedures for aesthetic purposes, which are elected surgeries to improve appearance, are not covered by insurance. Procedures that are meant to correct functional issues and those which are health-related may be covered by your insurance as a medical necessity, with proper examination and documentation. Prior authorization from your insurance provider may be required in such cases.
During your consultation, we will need to be informed of any previous medical history, planned surgeries, and most importantly, your individual desires for cosmetic or reconstructive surgery. The process begins with a consultation, during which our staff will have an in-person meeting with you to thoroughly discuss every aspect of the procedure, the recovery time and your ideal results. During this time, you may be able to view before-and-after photos of patients with similar facial and/or body features to yours who have had the same procedure you’re planning to have, so you have a clearer idea of what results you can expect. We will also review your health history and give you additional instructions for pre- and post-surgery. After the consultation, you will meet with Dr. Choi for a personal assessment. Please come prepared with a list of cosmetic surgery questions – when you’re planning to make such a big change to your appearance, there’s no such thing as asking too many questions.
Local anesthesia is when an area of the body is numbed and you remain fully conscious, often used for minor procedures and paired with pre-operative relaxing medications. If relaxing medication is given, you will not be able to drive yourself home or utilize a taxi delivery service, such as Uber or Lyft. You will need a responsible party to assist you with your commute, such as a family member or friend.
General anesthesia is when an individual is completely unconscious and unaware of the procedure. No overnight stay is required. You may be permitted to go home after a few hours, unless you and your plastic surgeon have determined that you will stay in the surgical facility or hospital overnight. You will need someone to take you home because you won’t be able to drive or take public transportation by yourself. Also, it is best to have someone with you for at least the first 24-hours following general anesthesia.
- Share questions and concerns with your doctor
- Think positively and hold realistic expectations of surgery outcome
- Practice relaxation exercises
- Your body needs good nutrition to fight infection and heal following surgery. It helps to double your protein intake.
- Avoid dehydration. Drink plenty of water.
- If medically possible, you will need to cease taking certain medications before surgery, such as blood thinners 2 weeks before/after surgery, as well as accutane 6 months before.
- It is best to avoid smoking and alcohol consumption around the time of your surgery
Blepharoplasty is the generic term used to describe eyelid surgery which usually involves removing excess skin, and occasionally fat.
A double suture is a more specific surgery that is done to form an eyelid crease (double eyelid) when only a mono-lid is present. It is done with a permanent thread and it is non-incisional, although it is often paired with a blepharoplasty, which does make an incision. Studies have shown the double eyelid suture can remain for over 10 years. However, as we age, we may require a revision over time.
A canthopexy, which can be performed on either the medial (inner) or lateral (outer) corner of the eye, is sometimes utilized to help release tension on the skin or muscle tissue surrounding the eye. This can help give the appearance of a more open or wider western eye look.
These three procedures are sometimes partnered together, depending on the look each individual wishes to achieve from surgery, as well as the doctor’s professional recommendation.
Fillers provide an immediate result and require regular maintenance. The procedure is done in the office and you can resume your normal activities the same day. There may be some slight swelling and bruising from the treatment.
Fat grafting is a surgical procedure that involves removing and harvesting your own body fat, where it can then be transferred to other areas of the body that require more volume. The recovery time varies from patient to patient but, most individuals should arrange 7-10 days off from work and other social activities.
During the procedure, small amounts of fat are removed from the body, typically the abdominal or thigh area. The fat is purified and then injected into the areas with a cannula. After about 6 months following surgery, the fat that remains should be relatively permanent, which varies from 50-70% of what was initially injected, as the remainder gets reabsorbed by the body over the first few months.
Area Treated and Average Number of Syringes needed:
Smile Lines (Nasolabial Folds): 1-2
Jawline Contouring: 2-4
Frown Lines: 1
Facial Sculpting (full face – changes contours): 4-8
How much filler is in a syringe? Theamount can vary depending on what filler is injected, but on average is about 1.0mL. Some common FDA-approved dermal fillers used are Juvederm, RHA, Belotero, Radiesse, and Versa.
Botox can reduce the appearance of facial wrinkles by relaxing the muscles underneath the skin. Dynamic wrinkles are caused by repetitive facial movements, resulting in permanent creases. Botox works by gently relaxing the facial muscles that cause dynamic wrinkles, which can in turn prolong the lifespan of our skin elasticity. After Botox/Xeomin/Daxxify injections you can start to see the effects almost immediately and effects will typically continue to increase for the following 3 to 4 days.
How many units you need depends on the area(s) treated.