Ask The Doctor

What is the difference between reconstructive and cosmetic plastic surgery?

Reconstructive surgery corrects defects (as in breast reconstruction after cancer surgery) or restores function, while cosmetic surgery is meant to improve a person’s normal appearance.

Will I be able to tolerate the pain post-operatively?

Each patient will tolerate pain post-operatively in a different way, and we consider this. While some patients may describe the pain as an ache, others experience greater discomfort. Appropriate pain medications are prescribed for the post-operative patients, and these help minimize discomfort. 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 will vary from patient to patient.

How long is the recuperative period and when can I return to work?

The length of time it takes to recuperate after plastic surgery varies depending on the procedure performed and the person operated on. Then most patients are able to care for themselves, but may still need assistance if they have small children to care for. The specific lengths of disability are outlined below by procedure. These are approximations, and do not include return to exercise.

  • Eyelid Surgery – Usually can get around independently by the second day. With the use of sunglasses, may feel comfortable going to the store by day 3-4, and with makeup could return to work by 5-7 days.
  • Facelift Surgery – Usually can get around independently by the second day. Usually don't feel comfortable going out in public for 5-7 days. Requires 10-14 days before returning to work if in the public eye.
  • Breast Surgery – Usually can get around independently by the second day. May return to work at 5-7 days based upon type of job they perform.
  • Liposuction – Usually can get around independently by the second day, earlier if smaller number of areas treated. One can return to work and normal activities in 7-14 days.
  • Abdominoplasty – Patients may take between 2-4 days before getting around independently. Many patients state that the recovery is almost identical to C-section. One can return to a job at 10-14 days.

When can I resume regular exercise?

The time a patient resumes regular exercises varies based on the operation performed. All patients are encouraged to start a slow walking routine on the second postoperative day. Regular aerobic and more vigorous activities are not allowed during the first 2 weeks in order to decrease the risks of bleeding, swelling, and bruising. Weight lifting and contact sports are allowed at 1 month in most cases.

What are the benefits of having a cosmetic surgeon perform cosmetic procedures?

Cosmetic surgeons are dedicated to the art of cosmetic surgery. Their strong knowledge base, high level of training and practical experience make them among the most qualified to perform safe and proper cosmetic procedures.