Plastic Surgery Facts

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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. I recommend quitting 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.

— Robert A. Colgrove, Jr., M.D. of Vinings Surgery Center is board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and has maintained a private practice since 1986. He performs cosmetic surgery of the breast, body and face, specializing in breast augmentation, breast implants, breast lifts, breast reduction and breast revision surgeries.

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