Q: What are the most common cosmetic surgery procedures?
A: According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, in 2010 in the US, the five most frequently performed invasive cosmetic surgery procedure were breast augmentation, then nose reshaping, then eyelid surgery, liposuction and tummy tuck. The top five minimally invasive procedures nationwide last year were Botulinum Toxin Type A (BOTOX®), followed by soft tissue fillers, then chemical peel, laser hair removal and microdermabrasion.
Q: What type of anesthesia is used? How safe is it?
A: At Vinings Surgery Center, general anesthesia is used for most invasive procedures. It is very safe, and it allows Dr. Colgrove to work quickly and precisely because the patient lies completely still. It also makes the experience a better one for patients, since most are unaccustomed to the sights and sounds of surgery, and they may be unsettling if they are awake and under local anesthesia. Local anesthesia and IV sedation allow the patient to stay awake during the procedure. However, the medications used in local anesthesia and IV sedation actually cause more hangover effects than the inhalation agents used in general anesthesia. Contrary to popular perception, the inhalation agents have a very low incidence of nausea and vomiting. A dedicated, licensed and certified anesthesia professional attends to the details of the anesthesia while Dr. Colgrove operates. The team works together to ensure that all goes smoothly for each patient, with an optimum outcome for the procedure.
Q: What is the difference between saline and silicone implants?
A: Saline implants are filled with saline, typically at the time of surgery. These tend to feel firmer than silicone implants. Silicone implants are prefilled with silicone gel, which is a thick, sticky fluid that mimics the feel of natural tissue. In most cases, there is little to no discernible difference between the appearance of breasts augmented with saline versus silicone, but there could be a slightly greater chance of visible rippling or wrinkling with saline implants. The chances of this are reduced when implants are inserted under the pectoral muscle. For this reason, each patient’s individual muscle stiffness or looseness is important to consider when choosing implant type.
Q: How many plastic or cosmetic surgery operations can a person have at one time?
A: A patient is safe if the time spent under general anesthesia is limited to five hours or less. The number of procedures done also depends on what other physical ailments the patient may have. For example, if the patient has diabetes or high blood pressure, it may be necessary to limit the number of areas to be surgically rejuvenated because the medical conditions may delay healing.
Q: What medications, vitamins and supplements should I stop taking before having plastic surgery?
A: Before undergoing any invasive procedure, patients must stop taking any aspirin or ibuprofen containing products and Vitamin E. If a surgical procedure lasts more than an hour, you must also stop taking birth control pills two to four weeks before your procedure. Smoking can severely interfere with healing and good wound formation. It is highly recommended to quit tobacco use at least two weeks before your procedure and for four weeks afterwards.
Q: How old does a person need to be to have plastic surgery?
A: Performing plastic surgery on people younger than 18 can be difficult because the person can still grow. For this reason, the patient must be at least 18 for breast augmentations and reductions and any procedure done for reasons of vanity. Ear pinning requires the patient to be at least 10. The patient must be at least 14 for rhinoplasty. You can never be too old for plastic surgery, although surgeons must take into account the safety of anesthesia for those over 65.
Q: How long will it be before I can go back to work?
A: Recuperation is dependent upon the patient and the procedure performed. Most patients require varying degrees of assistance for the first two postoperative days. The approximate lengths of disability are outlined below for the most popular procedures:
Liposuction: The patient is usually able to get around alone on the second day, or earlier if smaller areas are liposuctioned. Most liposuction patients are able to go back to work in four to six days after the procedure.
Breast Surgery: Although the patient may not be able to put their arms above their head, the patient can usually do most things for themselves by the second day. The patient can usually return to a desk job five to seven days after the procedure. Two weeks may be required for jobs that require exertion like food servers or flight attendants.
Facelift: The patient can get around alone on the second day. It may be ten days to two weeks before the patient feels comfortable being seen in public again.
Eyelid Surgery: The patient can get around alone on the second day. The patient may want to wear sunglasses and surgical makeup when going out in public after the third day. He or she can go back to work about the sixth postoperative day.
Tummy Tuck: It may require up to four days before the patient can get around alone. Patients who have a desk job may return in ten days. More strenuous jobs like a food server or letter carrier may require at least three weeks.
Q: How long will it take to recover from my procedure?
A: Recovery time varies for each patient, but most recover from anesthesia within a few hours. You may feel groggy or nauseous at first. Essentially all patients are well recovered, awake and able to read a book by the evening of their procedure.
Q: Where will my operation take place?
A: Dr. Colgrove’s surgical suite is certified by the American Association of Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgical Facilities (AAAASF). The facility must maintain high quality standards and rigorous routines for procedures and safety. Rigorous inspections are done on a regular basis. After your surgery, the center provides comfortable recovery suites, a warm and friendly atmosphere, and the convenience and privacy that is hard to find in large, busy hospitals.
Q: What type of pain is usually encountered?
A: In general, surgeries done on the face and neck are less painful than surgeries done on the body. All patients are given pain medications to help control the pain following surgery.
Q: If I have a breast augmentation, can I still breast feed?
A: Yes, unless you have some preexisting condition that prevents breast feeding.
Q: Do breast implants interfere with mammography?
A: Yes. However, mammography centers are accustomed to performing mammography on patients who have breast implants by taking an additional view of the breasts.
Q: Are the scars visible?
A: It depends largely on the procedure that is performed. Dr. Colgrove specializes in placing surgical incisions in places like wrinkles, folds, hairlines, inside the mouth, nose and the conjunctiva, the pink area revealed when you pull down your lower eyelid. Virtually all scars are well hidden with the exception of an extensive body shaping procedure for patients who have lost in excess of 100 pounds. Body shaping removes large sheets of skin from the legs, abdomen and upper arms and leaves long scars which do fade over time.
Q: After my procedure, how long must somebody stay with me?
A: Another adult over the age of 18 should be on hand to drive you home. They must stay with you for at least 24 hours after surgery, although 48 hours is preferable.
Q: Which of your procedures require compression garments?
A: Invasive procedures anywhere on the body require compression garments. They help the layers of tissues heal quicker, reduce bleeding and swelling and provide support and protection.
Q: What is a board-certified plastic surgeon?
A: Board-certified physicians have completed an approved educational training program. They also complete an evaluation process that includes written and oral exams to assess the knowledge, skills and experience necessary to provide quality patient care in that specialty. A board of highly experienced examiners reviews the surgeon’s cases for the past several years.
Q: What is the difference between a plastic surgeon and a cosmetic surgeon and the surgeries each does?
A: Cosmetic surgery is done to enhance or change a healthy, normal functioning part of the body. Only the patient’s desire for physical improvements necessitates cosmetic surgery. After medical school, internships and residencies, a plastic surgeon receives extensive training in general surgery and, often, in reconstructive surgery, a field of surgery that restores function to abnormal, damaged, diseased or burned body parts. Moreover, a board-certified plastic surgeon represents about 5-7 years of training whereas a cosmetic surgeon typically has less training.