Q. What is the difference between cosmetic surgery and reconstructive surgery?
A. Cosmetic surgery enhances specific features to improve one’s appearance and boost one’s self esteem. Reconstructive surgery is done to provide or improve / restore form and function in patients affected by birth defects, trauma, tumors, infection or developmental abnormalities.
Q. Who is a good candidate for cosmetic surgery?
A. A good candidate for cosmetic surgery is one who understands the procedure, is realistic about the expectations and risks of surgery and of course is motivated by his/ her own desire. Also, the candidates must be willing to follow orders and willing to tolerate unavoidable inconveniences like healing time, time for the swelling to come down, avoiding exposure to direct sunlight, refraining from smoking, etc.
Q. What tests need to be done before surgery?
A. All patients undergoing procedures under general anesthesia require basic blood tests. Older patients require an ECG and maybe a chest X- ray at the surgeon’s and anesthetist’s discretion.
Q. Will it hurt?
A. During the procedure our anesthetist’s will ensure that you are comfortable and feel no pain since you will be asleep. In cases where local anesthesia is used only the initial discomfort of a needle prick is felt. After surgery any pain or discomfort you experience will be dealt with by medication and usually subsides within a few days.
Q. How soon can I get back to work?
A. Depends on the procedure done. In procedures not requiring hospitalization, usually 2 – 3 days is enough, but larger operations may require some additional time away from work.
Q. How long before the final result can be seen?
A. This varies with the type of operation. Generally, there will be swelling and bruising for some time. 80% of the swelling abates within a few days, but it takes 3 – 6 months for the final results to be seen.
Q. Will there be scars?
A. Yes, but they probably won’t be noticeable. All efforts are made to keep the scars as minimal as possible and to try and hide them in natural lines and skin creases. In majority of the cases the scars settle with time and are barely noticeable. In few cases they might become hypertrophic, this depends on the person’s healing capacity. So, if you have any hypertrophic scars please bring it to the notice of the surgeon.
Q. Are there any risks and complications?
A. As with any operation, there are risks. But in an otherwise healthy individual there is no increased risk of any kind. The most common risks are anesthesia related, bleeding, infection and significant scarring. Though these are infrequent, they do occur sometimes. Since potential complications vary with each procedure, these are usually discussed with you at the time of the consultation.
Q. How long will the results last and is the procedure a one-time job?
A. This varies on the type of operation performed. Procedures that reshape such as surgery of the nose, chin, breast augmentation, etc. offer permanent benefits. As the healing process is unique to each individual, though the surgeon will do his best to give you the best result, no guarantee or warranty can be given. In such cases sometimes a “touch up” or adjustment procedure is needed. If this should occur, the surgeon will not charge for the revision but the other charges like the anesthetist’s charge, hospital charges, implants and any other expenses are the patient’s responsibility.
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