FAQ- Plastic Surgery in Oklahoma City
- Why is it called “plastic” surgery?
- What is the difference between cosmetic surgery and reconstructive surgery?
- Are silicone breast implants really safe?
- How painful is plastic surgery?
- How long will it take me to recover and get back to work?
- When can I start exercising regularly again?
- Do plastic surgeons only perform reconstructive surgery?
- Does it really matter which group my surgeon is board certified through?
- Is it okay to ask tough questions?
- Is it inappropriate to ask to speak with a surgeon’s former patients?
- Why does the price for cosmetic procedures vary so much from place to place, even within the same city?
- Isn’t it only celebrities or rich people who have plastic surgery?
Why is it called “plastic” surgery?
It may sound like patients are being implanted with plastic devices, but medically the term “plastic” comes from the Greek word plastikos, which means “to mold or shape.” Cosmetic surgery is essentially synonymous with “plastic” surgery. However, a plastic surgeon and a cosmetic surgeon are not the same. Read about this here.
What is the difference between cosmetic surgery and reconstructive surgery?
Cosmetic surgery is performed to reshape normal structures of the body, such as the nose, in order to improve the patient’s appearance and self-esteem. It is considered an elective (non-essential) surgery and is usually not covered by health insurance. Reconstructive surgery is performed on abnormal structures of the body. These may be caused by congenital defects (like cleft palate), developmental abnormalities, trauma, infection, tumors or disease. Reconstructive surgery is usually covered by health insurance, although the types of procedures and the level of coverage provided vary greatly.
Are silicone breast implants really safe?
Yes! In November 2006 the FDA reversed its 14-year ban on silicone breast implants, allowing patients in the United States access to the same implants that women in 60 countries around the world already have. The new generation of silicone implants are safe, are made with vastly improved technology, and produce a more natural look and feel. They are also lighter in weight than saline implants and are preferred by almost all of our patients. Breast augmentation is an extremely popular treatment performed in Oklahoma City and by Dr. Brou.
How painful is plastic surgery?
Each patient reacts to pain differently, and this is taken into consideration when planning your recovery. Some patients say they merely feel achy; others may experience more discomfort. All patients are prescribed appropriate pain medications that help minimize discomfort. Most facial cosmetic procedures are the least painful. Liposuction is slightly more uncomfortable, and operations that require elevating or tightening the muscles (e.g. tummy tucks or breast augmentation) have a discomfort level that is about equal to that of a C-section.
How long will it take me to recover and get back to work?
Again this varies widely, depending upon the individual and the type of procedure that was performed. Most people require assistance for at least the first two days, and then are able to care for themselves. (However, if the patient has young children or other physical duties they cannot postpone, then they may need assistance for a longer period of time.) While recovery time cannot be completely predicted for each patient, the average recovery periods are:
Breast Augmentation – Patients can usually get around independently by the second day and are able to return to work in five to seven days, if they are not required to lift more than 10 pounds.
Eyelid Surgery – Again the patient can usually get around independently by the second day. With sunglasses, short trips are possible by the third and fourth day, and the patient usually returns to work by the fifth to seventh day, unless their job requires heavy lifting.
Facelift Surgery – The patient can move independently by the second day, but usually will not feel comfortable going out in public for five to seven days. If the person is not in the public eye, it’s possible to return to work in 10 to 14 days.
Tummy Tuck – These patients normally take two to four days before they can get around by themselves. The recovery time is roughly equal to that of a C-section, with the patient able to return to a desk job in five to seven days, or to a more physically demanding job in 10 to 14 days.
When can I start exercising regularly again?
This varies depending upon the type of procedure performed and the patient’s overall health, and is a decision that should be made by Dr. Brou. In general, all patients are encouraged to get up and walk around slowly on their second day post-op. More vigorous activity, including aerobic exercise, is usually not allowed during the first two weeks, in order to reduce the risk of complications like bleeding, swelling and bruising. Activities like weight lifting and contact sports are usually allowed after one month. When you do head back to the gym, the key is to start slow, gradually building up to your normal workout routine.
Do plastic surgeons only perform reconstructive surgery?
No. As a medical specialty, plastic surgery encompasses both cosmetic and reconstructive surgery. Surgeons are trained, experienced and qualified to perform both cosmetic and reconstructive procedures on every area of the body, not just the face. In fact, many cosmetic procedures are rooted in reconstructive plastic surgery.
Often people do not realize that there are no regulations governing what type of medical practitioner can perform plastic surgery procedures. The lure of easy money inspires many people to open up shop after completing a just weekend course or other minimal training. This is why it is important for you to make sure you select a well-qualified medical professional trained specifically in the procedures you are seeking. Whatever procedure you need or are considering, make sure the surgeon you select is board certified in a specialty that is pertinent to your procedure, ideally by the American Board of Medical Specialties. Read more about this here.
Does it really matter which group my surgeon is board certified through?
Very much so. Good credentials do not guarantee a good outcome, but they drastically improve the odds of getting one. Plus, any group of medical professionals can create its own “certification” board. It’s a common tactic that creates a false sense of security for unsuspecting patients, since many medical professionals are now supplementing their income by dabbling in the cosmetic procedures market without specialized training.
To make sure your surgeon is truly qualified to perform your procedure, he or she should be certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, which falls under the umbrella of the American Board of Medical Specialties, the certification “gold standard” among reputable plastic surgeons. The ABMS is a 75-year-old, nonprofit organization established to oversee and regulate the certification of medical specialties.
To achieve ABMS board certification, all medical specialists undergo rigorous training and examinations to ensure that they provide the highest level of care. For plastic surgeons that includes at least six years of surgical training and experience, with a minimum of three years of plastic surgery. They must also operate only in accredited facilities and fulfill continuing medical education and training requirements. Read more about this here.
Is it okay to ask tough questions?
Absolutely! As a patient you are entitled to know the surgeon’s qualifications and experience, and indeed would be foolish not to do so. Asking questions also gives you both a chance to become comfortable with each other, which is essential to establishing a successful doctor-patient relationship. Finally, it lets the surgeon know that you’ve done your homework and are prepared to be an active partner throughout the process.
Is it inappropriate to ask to speak with a surgeon’s former patients?
No. Reputable surgeons (and all physicians) have no problem supplying you with contact information for some of their recent patients. Many patients already select a surgeon based on the recommendation of family, friends or coworkers. If none of these are available, speaking with former patients is an excellent way to learn more about your surgeon and dispel your own concerns.
Why does the price for cosmetic procedures vary so much from place to place, even within the same city?
There is a lengthy list of variables that affect the price of plastic surgery procedures, specifically geographic location, the surgeon’s expertise and demand, how much time and effort your procedure requires, and the costs of anesthesia, surgical facilities, labs, etc. Some procedures are covered by insurance, and most surgeons have patient financing plans. Be up front and have your surgeon go over ALL costs involved with your procedure beforehand, so you can make an informed decision. But by the same token, remember that how comfortable you are with the surgeon, as well as his or her qualifications and experience, are just as important as price.
Isn’t it only celebrities or rich people who have plastic surgery?
Not any more. The number of cosmetic procedures performed on middle- and lower-income patients is growing exponentially each year. A study in 2005 found that almost 60 percent of people who had recently had plastic surgery or were seriously considering it had a household income of between $30,000 to $90,000 per year. In fact, 40 percent of that 60 percent reported an annual income of less than $60,000. Other factors that contribute to this trend are the aging of the baby boom generation and the “demystifying” of plastic surgery via television programs and other media. Both of these developments have lessened the social stigma and reduced the fears of those contemplating cosmetic procedures.
If you do not see your question here in FAQ, please feel free to call us at any time at (405) 945-0001!