Q. What is the difference between cosmetic and reconstructive surgery?
A. Cosmetic surgery is performed to reshape normal structures of the body in order to improve appearance and self-esteem. Cosmetic surgery is usually not covered by health insurance because it is elective. Reconstructive surgery is performed on abnormal structures of the body caused by congenital defects, developmental abnormalities, trauma, infection, tumors or disease. In general, reconstructive surgery is performed to improve function, but may also be completed to approximate a normal appearance. Reconstructive surgery is typically covered by most health insurance policies, although coverage for specific procedures and levels of coverage may vary greatly.
Q. What is the recovery from cosmetic surgery like?
A. Each patient tolerates pain after surgery in different ways. Your surgeon will prescribe the appropriate pain medications to help minimize any discomfort. In general, most facial cosmetic operations have minimal discomfort post-operatively. Liposuction is slightly more uncomfortable, and operations that require elevation or tightening of the muscles-such as an abdominoplasty or breast augmentation can cause discomfort equal to a C-section.
Q. Will a partial face-lift take away wrinkles from lower face and neck?
A. This can only be determined after you are evaluated by a plastic surgeon, but any kind of plastic surgery in this area should improve your appearance.
Q. Is there anything to do to minimize swelling or bruising?
A. Yes. Depending upon what the procedure, it might make sense to sleep in a reclining (not horizontal) position for one week following surgery to minimize the collection of fluids in the face and eyelids. Follow the instructions you will be given about making and administering your cold and warm compresses. These will not only reduce bruising and swelling, but they will also maximize and promote healing.
Q. How soon can I return to work?
A. The length of time it takes to recover after plastic surgery varies depending on the procedure performed and the person operated on. Most patients will require assistance for the first two days following surgery.