Lenox Hill HospitalNew York, NY Long Island Jewish Medical Center New Hyde Park, NY
American Board of Plastic Surgery
Lenox Hill Hospital Residency, General Surgery State University of New York Downstate Medical Center College of Medicine Medical School
Plastic surgery is a surgical specialty aimed at restoring, reconstructing, or altering aspects of the face and body. Broken nose repair dates back to 3000 BC in ancient Egypt. India has a long and respected history of plastic surgery, dating back to 800 BC. Many modern facial plastic surgery techniques were developed for veterans of WW1 who had endured disfiguring facial injuries.
Plastic Surgery procedures generally fall into 2 categories: Reconstructive and Cosmetic. Reconstructive Surgery applies to the repair of congenital and developmental defects, as well as deformities due to trauma and disease. Cosmetic surgery has the aim of enhancing the appearance of the face and body or making elective alterations.
Common Questions, Concerns and Protocols
Plastic surgery is often referred to as Cosmetic surgery or Aesthetic Surgery. Although many Doctors can train to do cosmetic procedures only surgeons who are certified by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons can refer to themselves as a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon.
Cosmetic consultations usually require a fee that many Plastic Surgeons will deduct from the cost of the procedure if you decide to schedule it with them. If your consultation is for a non-cosmetic concern, the fee may be billed to your insurance.
In preparation for a plastic surgery procedure your Plastic Surgeon will take a complete medical history and do a physical exam, particularly if your surgery will be a major procedure such as an abdominoplasty. Your surgeon will discuss scar placement and length, risks, complications and realistic expectations. Your Plastic Surgeon may suggest endoscopic surgery if appropriate. Endoscopy incisions are shorter and the risk of sensory loss from nerve damage is decreased.
Your pre procedural instructions will invariably include cessation of smoking. Many smokers resist this requirement, but it is extremely important. Nicotine has a tremendous adverse effect on healing and blood flow, which can lead to tissue necrosis and wound infection. You will be advised to quit smoking 6 to 8 weeks prior to your surgery.
Typically, you will see your Plastic Surgeon two weeks prior to your procedure for a comprehensive pre-operative visit. A complete list of "dos and don'ts" will be reviewed as well as the pre and postoperative instructions and any questions that remain will be answered. You will be directed to avoid anything that has a blood-thinning effect (aspirin, ibuprofen, vitamin E etc.) for two weeks before surgery. You will be asked to minimize alcohol intake. Basic blood work for preoperative testing will be ordered.
Most plastic surgery patients can go home the same day, and be seen on the day after surgery to remove bandages and drains. Stitches are removed within 4 to 7 days. Temporary bruising and numbness are normal, and will improve in a few weeks. During your recovery your Plastic Surgeon will see you for post-operative visits. He or she will answer any questions you may have about your recovery.
Temporary bruising and numbness are expected for most procedures and will improve in a few weeks. Complications are rare but may include hematoma, temporary or permanent nerve injury, infection, and reactions to anesthesia.
Reconstructive Plastic Surgery Procedures
Cosmetic Surgery Procedures
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