Plastic Surgery FAQs - Reliant Medical Group

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Reliant Medical Group Southboro Medical - Now a part of Reliant Medical Group (800) 283-2556 (508) 481-5500

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(508) 890-9956

Skin Resurfacing

  1. Is it painful?
    The pain associated with the procedures varies depending on the depth of skin to be removed. More drastic results require deeper skin resurfacing, which may result in more discomfort. Everything will be done to minimize pain during and after any procedure.
  2. Where is the procedure done?
    The chemical peel, laser and dermabrasion can all be done in the office. Some of the more extensive procedures may be done in a same day surgery environment for your comfort.
  3. How long do the procedures take?
    Length of procedure again depends on the depth of the skin resurfacing. On average, you can expect to be in the office for around 30 minutes for the procedure.
  4. Are there quick and easy skin procedures that will give me good results?
    Yes, there are procedures that can be done quickly in the office that will allow you to return to work immediately. However, these will be the less invasive procedures such as superficial chemical peels which do not cause much redness or downtime. These procedures will improve skin texture and appearance, but are not enough to improve wrinkles.

Injectable Treatments

  1. Are there side effects?
    Yes, the most common is bruising after the injections. Your surgeon will discuss the side effects with you at the initial consultation. If you are considering having the injection at the time of the consultation, you should avoid aspirin, ibuprofen and products containing these substances for 2 weeks prior. This will help decrease the amount of bruising you will have.
  2. How long do the injections last?
    Hyaluronic fillers last on average 6-9 months. Hydroxyapatite may last up to 14 months. This varies depending on the person, and the area injected.
  3. Are they painful?
    Yes, the injections can be painful. However, your surgeon will discuss whether you would like numbing medicine to improve the pain.
  4. How long before I see results?
    Results of these injections are immediate. You will leave the office with dramatic results.

Laser Vein Treatments

  1. Can I be tan during the treatment?
    You must make sure that you have not been exposed to the sun in the last 2 months with tanning or sunburn. Sun exposure increases the risk of blistering of the skin, pigment change and scarring. If you have a tan, you may not be eligible for laser treatment until your tan fades.
  2. How many treatments will I need?
    Some spider veins will disappear after only one treatment, some will require up to 4 treatments spread out 4 weeks apart for great results. Your surgeon will discuss this with you so you know what to expect before starting a treatment regimen.
  3. How long does the treatment take?
    Small areas on the face take just a few minutes. Leg veins may take up to ½ hour per treatment session.

Laser Treatments

  1. Can I be tan during the treatment?
    You must make sure that you have not been exposed to the sun in the last 2 months with tanning or sunburn. Sun exposure increases the risk of blistering of the skin, pigment change and scarring. If you have a tan, you may not be eligible for laser treatment until your tan fades.
  2. How many treatments will I need?
    On average, patients require 4-6 treatments, but this varies with the individual and the area being treated.
  3. How long will the treatments take?
    Treatment time depends on the size of the treatment area. The face may only take 10-15 minutes, while the legs may take up to 30 minutes each. You can tailor the treatment sessions for the amount of time you have in your schedule, and how many areas you would like treated.

Blepharoplasty

  1. How long does the procedure take?
    The surgery itself usually takes one hour for the upper eyelids, and one hour for the lower eyelids. They may be done at the same time.
  2. Where is the procedure done?
    It can be done in an outpatient surgery center with some sedation, or in the office with local anesthesia. Either way you can expect to go home the same day.
  3. What kind of recovery time do I expect?
    People usually feel fine and do not have a lot of pain after the surgery. There will be bruising, however, which may take 7-10 days to resolve.
  4. What kind of scarring is expected?
    For the upper lid blepharoplasty, the scar is hidden in the upper lid crease. Depending on how much skin is removed, the scar may extend out onto the skin around the eye. This may be covered with makeup once the stitches are removed, until the scar fades. For the lower lid blepharoplasty, the scar is hidden just below the eyelashes. Occasionally, the lower lids can be improved without any external incisions or scars. This is usually done in younger patients who don’t have a lot of excess skin, but do have bags under the eyes that can be improved.

Facelifts

  1. I usually color my hair, can I continue to do this? If you color or dye your hair, you should do this immediately before surgery. You will not be able to color your hair again until one month after surgery when your incisions have fully healed.
  2. I am a smoker, will this affect my results?
    If you are a smoker, you should quit at least one month before surgery, and not smoke until at least 2 months after surgery. Smoking causes narrowing of the blood vessels that will decrease blood supply to the skin. This can significantly delay healing and cause complications. If you decide to have surgery, this is an excellent time to stop smoking permanently.
  3. How long does the surgery take?
    This varies depending on how extensive our procedure is, and if you are having other procedures done at that time. On average, a facelift will take 3-4 hours.
  4. Can I have other procedures done at the same time?
    Absolutely. Many patients chose to have eyelid lifts, and forehead lifts at the same time as a facelift. This is a good way to maximize your results while minimizing downtime. Talk to your surgeon about everything you are considering.

Otoplasty

  1. How will I know what part of my ear needs to be fixed?
    The surgeon will examine both ears carefully for symmetry, and any cartilage irregularities, missing cartilage folds, or excess cartilage. We will then discuss with you the best approach for correcting the problem. Each patient has specific needs that should be addressed through an individualized surgical plan. Sometimes, even if only one ear needs “pinning back,” both ears are operated on in order to achieve better symmetry.
  2. My child has protruding ears, when should I think about surgery?
    For children, we usually recommend the procedure to be performed around age 5. At this time, the ears have almost grown to adult size, and are fully developed. The cartilage is still more pliable than an adult, though, facilitating accurate sculpting. In addition, surgery at a young age allows us to correct the appearance of the ears before the child goes to school where he/she may be self-conscious.
  3. Where is this procedure done? 
    All pediatric patients, and most adult patients will require a general anesthesia for this surgery. The surgery is done in an outpatient surgery center, and you will be able to go home later that day.
  4. What is the recovery time? 
    At the end of the surgery, you or your child will have a tight headwrap on in order to protect the newly sculpted ears. It is important to keep this on for the first night. There will be some discomfort, and you will be prescribed pain medicine. You will return the day after surgery for a quick examination. At this visit, the bandage will be removed. For the first week you will be instructed to wear a headband or sweatband covering both ears, and holding both ears close to the head. This is required to be worn all day, every day for the first week after surgery. The headband only needs to be worn at night during the second week to make sure that the ears aren’t inadvertently traumatized during sleep.
  5. Will there be scars?
    Surgery typically involves an incision behind the ear, in the area of the natural fold where the ear joins the head. This allows for a well hidden scar.

Rhinoplasty

  1. Where is the surgery done?
    The surgery is typically done in an outpatient surgery center while you are asleep. This is the safest and most comfortable for you.
  2. What is the recovery time?
    You will have a cast on your nose after the surgery for approximately one week. You may also have some bruising around the eyes which may take up to 2 weeks to fully resolve. Although you will be feeling well within the first couple of days, you should plan on 10-14 days off work to be on the safe side.

Breast Augmentation

  1. What type of anesthesia is used?
    This procedure always requires general anesthesia
  2. How long does the procedure take?
    Typically from one hour to one and a half hours
  3. Is there a risk of developing breast cancer with breast implants?
    There is no association of breast augmentation and breast cancer. While implants may alter mammograms there is no risk of developing breast cancer. In fact, breast implants are used to reconstruct breasts after breast cancer surgery.
  4. Saline or silicone implants?
    This is a decision which needs to be discussed with your surgeon. Both are proven safe so you and your surgeon render the decision.
  5. What are the advantages of saline implants?
    There are advantages of saline implants. On the rare occasion of an implant rupture, the saline solution is absorbed by the body. Another advantage is the incision is usually shorter since it is initially inserted “deflated” and then inflated once in place.
  6. What are the disadvantages of saline implants?
    Keeping in mind that the implant is filled with water, the breast is not as soft or lifelike as with the silicone implant. In addition, they may tend to leak over time. Saline implants also have a higher tendendancy to appear “rippled” in the upper chest, especially in thin women.
  7. What are the advantages of the silicone implant?
    The major advantage of the silicone implant is that is has a significantly softer feel, thereby resembling natural breast tissue.
  8. What about silicone leaking?
    The present generation of silicone breast implants is semi-solid and cohesive. Therefore even if there should be a tear in the shell, the silicone remains intact. The older generation of implants was, in fact, “gooey” and amorphous and therefore could “leak.” Contrary to myth, silicone cannot travel throughout the body and there has never been any association of autoimmune diseases. Unfortunately this hype was misinformation perpetuated by frivolous, unfounded class-action law suits.
  9. What are the disadvantages?
    Silicone implants are more expensive. In addition, because they are already “filled” the incision tends to be longer.
  10. How long do implants last?
    The implant shell can never dissolve. While both types of implants can last indefinitely, the saline can leak over time. Typically, breast implant manufacturers warranty the implants for the life of the implant.
  11. Where are incisions placed?
    There are a few options for the incision and these need to be discussed with your surgeon since several factors are involved. Typically, the incisions are placed around the areola or at the fold where the breast and chest wall meet.
  12. What about the belly button incision?
    While this may be suitable for some surgeons, this is not generally accepted by most for many reasons. Moreover, certain implant manufacturers will not honor the implant warranty if placed by this technique.
  13. Where can I find more information?
    The American Society of Plastic Surgeons is an excellent resource for information.

Breast Lifts

  1. What Type of anesthesia is required?
    For comfort and safety, a mastopexy is performed under general anesthesia.
  2. Is there significant postoperative pain?
    While each person is different, typically the pain is not incapacitating. The following day daily activities such as brushing teeth, and changing clothes are well tolerated. It may take a few days before feeling comfortable to drive an automobile.
  3. When can I shower?
    This is at the discretion of your surgeon but usually one or two days after surgery is acceptable.
  4. When can I exercise?
    Walking is encouraged as soon as possible but running and weight lifting is discouraged for the first four weeks after surgery.
  5. Will this procedure restore the fullness in my upper chest?
    Probably not. This procedure does not increase the volume of your breast tissue, it only repositions and redistributes the volume. You may need an augmentation to fill the upper portion of your chest.
  6. Where can I read more about this procedure?
    We only suggest The American Society of Plastic Surgeons

Breast Reductions

  1. What type of anesthesia is required?
    This procedure requires general anesthesia.
  2. How long will I be in the hospital?
    This is typically performed as an outpatient procedure.
  3. Will there be much pain?
    While each person is different, the pain is not incapacitating. Typically you can perform normal light daily activities the next day such as brushing your teeth and changing your clothes without significant pain.
  4. When can I shower?
    Usually two days post-op, although this will depend on your surgeon’s recommendation.
  5. When can I drive?
    As long as you are not taking narcotic medication, driving is allowed when you feel it is safe for you to handle the wheel. Each person is unique but allow yourself at least one week post-op before driving.
  6. What size will I be?
    This depends on a number of factors which will be discussed with your surgeon.
  7. Does insurance pay for this procedure?
    Insurance companies vary, but most insurance companies do cover this procedure as long as certain criteria are met. The factors typically considered are your height, weight, breast size, and symptoms.
  8. Where can I learn more about this procedure?
    We only recommend The American Society of Plastic Surgeons as a resource.