Frequently Asked Questions
Who is a candidate for plastic surgery?
Plastic surgery is a personal decision and should not be sought to please somebody else, or because you feel it will make all of your problems go away. Plastic surgery can help improve self image, but patients who have surgery to reverse a recent life crisis or to treat an underlying depression, or suffer from body dysmorphic disorder are poor candidates for surgery, and are likely to be displeased with their results. Patients with multiple medical problems, such as heart or lung disease or diabetes, are often poor candidates for surgery and at higher risk for serious surgical complications.
Where Will My Surgery Take Place?
Most plastic surgery procedures we offer are performed at our outpatient surgical center, the UF Health Florida Surgical Center, conveniently located on Hull Road in Gainesville. In fact, most plastic surgery procedures are considered ‘outpatient’ and do not require an overnight stay in the hospital. Your anesthesia will be administered by a board-certified
anesthesiologist rather than a nurse. We feel this approach is much
safer and further ensures your surgery will occur without any major
complications.Once the procedure is complete and your anesthesia has adequately worn off, you will be able to return home to continue your recovery.
If your procedure requires an overnight stay for observation and recovery, it will occur at UF Health Shands Hospital in Gainesville. This renowned institution is considered one of the best, most technologically advanced surgical facilities in not only Florida, but the U.S.
How does a physician become a plastic surgeon certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery?
Training to become a plastic surgeon is a difficult task. While numerous physicians use the term “plastic,” only those certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery are true plastic surgeons. To become board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery a physician must complete a specialized post-graduate training course of five to seven years after medical school. Background training usually includes a thorough grounding in general surgery. However, a background in ENT or orthopedics may be acceptable. The final two to three years of training must be in an approved plastic surgery residency program. Prior to official certification by the American Board of Plastic Surgery the physician must pass a rigorous set of both written and oral examinations.
What is the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS)?
Our physicians are members or candidate-members of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, which was founded in 1931. It is the largest organization of board certified plastic surgeons in the world. The mission of ASPS is to advance quality care to plastic surgery patients by encouraging high standards of training, ethics, physician practice and research in plastic surgery. The society advocates for patient safety, and also works in concert with the Plastic Surgery Educational Foundation (PSEF), founded in 1948, which supports research and educational programs for plastic surgeons.
Is plastic surgery covered by insurance?
Plastic surgery performed for cosmetic reasons is not covered by insurance. When surgery is needed for reconstructive purposes or medical reasons, it may be partially or completely covered by insurance. Surgeries such as breast reduction, breast reconstruction, rhinoplasty (to correct breathing problems) abdominoplasty after weight loss surgery and eyelid surgery (to improve vision problems) are often covered.
Can I finance my plastic surgery procedure?
Yes. Plastic surgery financing has become commonplace in most offices. We do offer financing options, and accept major credit cards as well. During your consultation, a member of our office staff will explain your financing options with you and let you know how to get in touch with providers to apply for a loan.
How does being a smoker affect my surgical outcome?
Smoking significantly increases the rate of complications after surgery. It increases risks associated with anesthesia and with breathing complications after surgery such as coughing, bronchitis, and pneumonia. It decreases the delivery of blood and nutrients to a healing wound, thereby dramatically increasing the rate of wound healing complications. These include wound infections, wound breakdown, slower healing, worse scarring, skin necrosis (tissue death), additional surgery and revisions. Smokers should quit smoking four weeks before and after surgery. Also, smoking speeds up the aging process of your skin, so it is a good time to quit.
How much pain is involved in plastic surgery?
Plastic surgery recovery can be painful, and you should expect some pain. Each plastic surgery procedure carries a different level of discomfort, and different patients react differently after the same procedure. It is difficult to predict, except that patients who are afraid of being in pain typically have more pain than those who are prepared for it. We prescribe appropriate pain medication to minimize pain during and after surgery, which makes it more tolerable, but it is impossible to remove all traces of pain. We have incorporated the use of a pain pump with our abdominoplasties (tummy tucks), which delivers a low dose of local anesthesia to the area and has improved patient comfort.
What is the expected recovery time, and when can I return to work?
Recovery time depends on the procedure performed. Most patients require assistance for the first two to three days. Then most patients are able to care for themselves. Typically one to two weeks off of work is needed for most procedures, and most people are back to full activity and exercise in four to six weeks. People with young children need to make arrangements for a caregiver to help for up to two to three weeks.
What is your policy on surgical revisions?
Sometimes touch up or revisional surgery is needed. This can be from a variety of different factors, including complications which can arise, but is a risk taken when you undergo surgery. Fortunately, this is infrequent, and we work closely with patients on an individual basis when this occurs to assure maximum patient satisfaction and minimize costs.
Will I have a scar after plastic surgery?
Yes. Scars are inevitable, and permanent. They vary from patient to patient, depending on the location of surgery and the patient’s healing process. Scars are initially more noticeable, and then fade with time. It can take many months for scars to achieve their final result. We monitor your healing carefully and use a variety of scar treatments to help the scars heal as nicely as possible.
What is the main difference between silicone and saline breast implants, and are silicone implants safe?
Breast implants are medical devices with a solid silicone, elastic shell. The implant shell may be filled with either saline solution (sterile salt water) or silicone gel. Both saline and silicone gel breast implants are approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and are safe for implantation. Approval means that an implant has been rigorously researched and tested, and reviewed by an independent panel of physicians for safety. Silicone implants have been recently re-approved for use with primary breast augmentation. Silicone implants have a more natural feel, are more expensive, and have to be placed through a larger incision. Saline implants are less expensive, are placed through a smaller incision, so there is usually less scarring, and a leak is easier to detect since the implants simply deflate.