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Plastic and Cosmetic Surgery UK
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FAQ

Plastic Surgery FAQs

1. What is Plastic Surgery?
Plastic surgery is a surgical sub-specialty that deals with the healing and restoration of patients with injury, disfigurement, or scarring from trauma, disease, or congenital defects. It’s grown to also include cosmetic surgery, done to correct or rejuvenate facial and bodily features that the patient wants to change. Many medical terms are derived from Greek or Latin. The term ‘plastic’ is from Greek, meaning ‘molding or giving form’ and does not refer to the use of any plastic materials.

2. How does a physician become a plastic surgeon?
All medical practitioners, whether physicians or surgeons have to undertake training at medical school to obtain a qualifying degree. Thereafter a further period of postgraduate study and training through junior posts is required before full consultant surgeon status is achieved.

3. What is the difference between reconstructive and cosmetic plastic surgery?
Reconstructive surgery corrects defects (as in a breast reconstruction after cancer surgery) or restores function, while cosmetic surgery is meant to improve a person’s appearance.

4. Am I a good candidate for cosmetic surgery?
The best way to discover if you are a candidate for plastic surgery is to discuss your situation with a qualified plastic surgeon. A plastic surgeon will be able to evaluate your goals and help determine whether or not you should proceed.

5. Who is not a candidate for plastic surgery?

● An uninformed patient is not a good candidate for plastic surgery. The fact that you are reading this guide shows that you are taking the right steps and want to learn about plastic surgery before jumping in.
● An indecisive patient is not a good candidate for plastic surgery. Plastic surgery is a major commitment and should not be performed on someone who is mildly curious about how they might look.
● Patients with unrealistic goals, such as sixty-year-old who wants his or her teenage body back, are also not good candidates.
● Patients with underlying emotional issues are not good candidates. Most plastic and cosmetic surgeons will ask you a series of questions to determine your emotional health and your reason for wanting the procedure. A good surgeon will evaluate whether you are sincerely considering plastic surgery to look and feel healthier, or if you are using plastic surgery to disguise some emotional distress.

The best way to discover if you are a candidate for plastic surgery is to discuss your situation with a qualified plastic surgeon. A plastic surgeon will be able to evaluate your goals and help determine whether or not you should proceed.

6. What are average physician/surgeon fees for cosmetic surgery procedures?
Cosmetic surgery costs vary widely from surgeon to surgeon and from one city to another. You should ask your plastic surgeon for a quote for your procedure, and what that fee includes; is it only the surgeon’s fee? Does it include a facility fee and/or follow up visits?

7. Will my insurance cover any of the costs for plastic surgery?
Cosmetic surgery is never covered by medical insurance unless it is also performed to improve or restore function. In this case your insurance company may cover part or all of the costs. This is a matter, which you must take up with them.
8. How long do breast implants last?
Breast implants do not last forever. Many implants placed 15-20 years ago are now “worn out” and have leaked. A deflation is readily apparent in those breasts that were augmented with saline filled implants because they immediately go flat. Silicone implants do not deflate ­ the gel remains in the implant pocket and the leak may not be noticed until it’s seen on a mammogram. Once an implant leaks it should be replaced ­ but this is not an emergency.

9. Can I have fat removed from my buttocks and implanted in my breasts?
No. Transplanting fat into the breast is not a safe procedure. The fat often dissolves and forms scars in the breasts which can look and feel just like breast cancer. However, fat in small quantities can often be transplanted to the face to provide correction for deep wrinkles or scars.

10. Can I get a face-lift without surgery?
Effective correction of deep facial wrinkles and skin sagging can only be achieved by surgical removal of excess skin. However, newer nonsurgical techniques such as chemical or laser peels and injectables such as Collagen produce a significant improvement in facial lines that have resulted from sun damage or early aging. These techniques can often postpone the timing of a surgical face-lift. Often a combination of both surgical and nonsurgical procedures will be required to improve signs of aging of the face.

11. How much work/school will I miss after plastic surgery?
This depends on what procedures you have done, and your ability to recover from the techniques used. Most plastic surgery is performed in an outpatient setting, allowing full recovery from surgery at home. Many patients feel like returning to their normal routine within 3-4 days of their procedure.
Facial procedures can require up to two weeks for the associated bruising to resolve.
When having surgery to areas hidden under clothes, patients can return to work or school often within one week of surgery and light exercise can be resumed within 2-3 weeks. Ask your doctor about your procedure and your expected healing times.

12. Is Botox safe and effective?
Botox (a chemical derived from bacteria) is a nerve-blocking agent, which weakens muscles. It is effectively used to reduce facial wrinkles caused by excessive muscle contraction. The areas most often treated are the forehead, eyebrows and temple. Botox is safe when properly used. The results of Botox last approximately 3-6 months,

13. Is a plastic surgeon a skin specialist?
Dermatologists specialize in skin, but the plastic surgeon has an equally important role of the treatment of benign and malignant tumors of the skin. The skills of a plastic surgeon are especially needed when large areas of the skin must be removed and replaced, especially where disfigurement may result or when in conspicuous areas such as the face. Plastic surgeons also perform skin resurfacing techniques, for cosmetic purposes, resulting in healthier-looking skin, often reducing wrinkles and pigment changes.

14. Will I have a scar after plastic surgery?
Scarring is an inevitable part of healing; however a very fine scar that is well-placed may be virtually invisible. A plastic surgeon spends years trying to master the techniques of placing scars in the most desirable locations. Plastic surgeons try to make incisions where they will not show, like under undergarments or along natural creases. Scars normally fade over time, but there are some areas of the body, such as the back and chest, that are more
prone to severe scarring regardless of the techniques used. The severity of the scarring varies from person to person.

15. What is rhinoplasty and nasal reconstruction?
Rhinoplasty includes any type of nose surgery performed to reshape the nose, and it is one of the most common plastic surgery procedures. Whether reshaping the nose for aesthetic reasons, correcting birth defects or breathing problems, or fixing an injury, rhinoplasty is often able to correct a multitude of problems with your nose. Rhinoplasty is commonly used to correct:
● The size of the nose
● The shape of the end of your nose
● The shape of the bridge
● The size of the nostrils
● The angle between the nose and the upper lip
● Birth defects
● Upper respiratory problems

For many people rhinoplasty is used for aesthetic reasons, but it can also be used for reconstructive purposes.

16. Am I a good candidate for liposuction?
Liposuction is not used for weight loss. It’s used to correct problem areas or fat bulges. To be a good candidate, you should be close to your ideal weight because liposuction is typically performed in an area of fat you find difficult to lose. The fat removed does not weight a lot, so you should expect a shape change, not a weight change.

17. Do the results of liposuction last?
As long as you maintain a healthy lifestyle, including exercise and a sensible diet, liposuction results are long-lasting. Once fat cells have been removed from an area, they’re gone. Your body will no longer have that “preferential fat storage area” and if you do gain fat, it will be distributed more evenly over the rest of your body.

18. What areas of the body can be treated with liposuction?
Most body areas can be treated with liposuction, though the most common areas for women include the abdomen, hips, and thighs. Men are often treated in the breasts, hips, and abdomen. Liposuction is not limited to these areas, though. Other treatments may include the upper arms, under the chin, and the buttocks.

19. Does liposuction leave scars?
Incisions made during liposuction are generally very tiny and are typically located inconspicuously.