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Cosmetic Surgery Frequently Asked Questions

How do I select a plastic surgeon?

A highly qualified, experienced plastic surgeon who makes you feel comfortable and confident is necessary for optimal plastic surgery results.

Before choosing a surgeon, ask about his or her training and the number of procedures like yours that they have performed. Ask to see before-and-after photos of their past clients. Also, check to see that the doctor, like those on the cosmetic surgery team at Vanderbilt, are certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery.

You’ll achieve the best results if you and your surgeon communicate openly and work together to achieve realistic goals. An understanding of your goals, expectations and motivation is essential to a successful partnership between you and your surgeon, helping both of you to determine whether plastic surgery is the right choice for you.

Use the following questions as a guideline when selecting a plastic surgeon:

  • Are you certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery? This certification indicates that the surgeon has advanced training in aesthetic plastic surgery.
  • Are you a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons?
  • How many years of plastic surgery training have you had?
  • How many procedures of this type have you performed?
  • Am I a good candidate for this procedure?
  • What are the risks and complications associated with my procedure?
  • How long should I expect to recover, and what help will I need during my recovery?
  • How are complications handled?
  • What are my options if I am dissatisfied with the outcome of my surgery?
  • Do you have before-and-after photos I can see for each procedure?
  • What results are reasonable for me?

Am I a good candidate for plastic surgery?

The best candidates for plastic surgery are individuals in good general health who have reasonable expectations about their appearance. During your initial consultation, it is extremely important to be honest while discussing your goals and concerns so the surgeon can make an informed, realistic assessment about your candidacy for plastic surgery.

What is the right age for plastic surgery?

There are a number of guidelines in place to help surgeons determine appropriate age limitations for plastic surgery procedures. However, many factors may influence the surgeon’s ultimate decision regarding your treatment, so it is best to speak personally with a qualified doctor about your goals.

What should I expect during my first visit?

  • Your first visit at Vanderbilt Cosmetic Surgery includes a one-on-one meeting between you and one of our highly skilled surgeons.
  • You can tell us in detail about your goals and expectations, and we can discuss how cosmetic plastic surgery can help you meet those goals. We make recommendations for appropriate treatments with honesty and compassion, and we’ll create a personalized care plan specifically for you.

What is recovery from cosmetic surgery like?

Each patient tolerates pain after surgery in different ways. Your surgeon will prescribe appropriate pain medications to help minimize any discomfort. In general, most facial cosmetic operations have minimal discomfort following surgery. 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.

Is surgery performed under general or local anesthesia?

The surgeon will decide what type of anesthesia is appropriate for your situation. He or she will answer any questions you have.

How can I minimize swelling or bruising?

Depending upon the type of procedure, it might help to sleep in a reclining (not horizontal) position for one week after 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.

How soon can I return to work?

Recovery time after plastic surgery varies depending on the procedure performed and the client. Most patients will require assistance for the first two days following surgery.

How long will the benefits last?

The results of your plastic surgery depend on the procedure. Generally, results from most plastic surgery procedures are long-lasting if you maintain a healthy weight and lifestyle.

What is the difference between cosmetic and reconstructive surgery?

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 it 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.

How much will cosmetic surgery cost?

Our expert team tailors each procedure to your individual needs. Pricing will be discussed in your initial consultation.

In terms of financing, we offer several payment options. We accept cash, checks and all major credit cards. In addition to traditional methods of payment, we also offer CareCredit, a health care services payment program for our surgical patients. CareCredit offers convenient monthly payment options, no up-front costs, no prepayment penalties and no annual fees.