Patients always face that question when they decide to undergo cosmetic surgery and there is no simple answer, but here are some important points to consider:
- Is the Surgeon trained specifically in cosmetic surgery?
- Does he/she perform the desired procedure on a regular basis? ·
- Is he/she board certified? In what specialty?
The truth is that training in cosmetic surgery does not guarantee competence in cosmetic surgery. Typically, the training has to do much more with reconstruction rather than cosmetic surgery and many reconstructive surgeons prove to be untalented cosmetic surgeons.
- Do you know someone who has the same procedure performed by that surgeon
- Does that surgeon have any before and after pictures?
- How many similar procedures has the surgeon performed in the last year?
Get a consultation and see if you are “comfortable” with the surgeon and the practice in general. Does he/she spend time and listen to you or just dictate to you in a few words what should be done?
In short, it is a complex process and not as simple as hearing a friend say “My doctor is the best,” because the majority of patients claim that.
After many extensive studies comparing the safety of outpatient facilities to hospitals, it was found that the risk ratios are the same. A new concern nowadays with hospital surgery is the presence of “superbugs” that can cause major complications if acquired during the hospital stay.
- Ask if the outpatient facility is certified
- What is the contingency plan in the case of an emergency?
- Visit the facility to see if anything appears to be dangerous, unclean or missing.
- Fortunately, the general rate of serious complications is very low in experienced hands. The more experience, the better the surgeon will be at knowing how to manage complications should they arise. Some of the complications are:
- Bleeding after surgery: This could vary from minimal blood collection under the skin to major bleeding (a rare occurrence).
- Infection: Infections are uncommon if the appropriate preparations for surgery, ultra-operative and post-operative prevention procedures are followed.
- Nerve Injury: In the majority of cases, it is temporary and will resolve without treatment, but may take weeks or months to recover.
- Un-Met Expectations: Not a medical complication, but a disappointment best avoided by thoroughly discussing the expected outcome and the limitations with the surgeon prior to the procedure.
- Complications specific to certain procedures, like the contour irregularity, asymmetry, etc. Assessing the patient’s general health before the surgery is paramount in raising the level of safety and reducing the risk of complications.
Generally, the results are “permanent” or last a lifetime, but the aging process continues. A patient undergoing a facelift will permanently look improved and more “fresh” and youthful. A patient undergoing an Abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) will permanently have a flatter abdomen if no major abdominal procedures follow it.
It varies with the procedure from the next day to 1 week after surgery – bathing in a tub is not recommended following body surgery for a period of six weeks.
Generally, 3 weeks for lighter exercise (walking, lifting weights 5 lbs or less); six weeks for full, unlimited exercise activity.
While we strongly discourage any form of tanning – It can only be allowed after all swelling and bruising has subsided. Spray tanning is recommended instead.