FIRST QUARTER 2002, VOLUME 16, NO 1

Get your facts straight about facial plastic surgery

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Ask the Surgeon / Health Tip / What’s New

Get your facts straight about facial plastic surgery

When considering facial plastic surgery, it is important that you understand the basic facts about this specialty of the head and neck. Disbar the misconceptions by checking the following fallacies and the facts.

Fallacy: All surgeons are qualified to perform facial plastic surgery.
Facts: Not all surgeons possess the education and experience to perform surgery of the face, head and neck. Check a physician’s credentials before scheduling an appointment. A surgeon should have specialty training in facial plastic and reconstructive surgery; should state what hospitals he or she has operating privileges; should provide what medical societies where he or she is active; and should be board certified. Board certification is a benchmark of excellence that indicates extensive training in a specialty and completion of written and oral examinations.

Fallacy: Only the rich have facial plastic surgery.
Facts: This is untrue; facial plastic and reconstructive surgery is affordable. Procedures that are deemed medically necessary (e.g., correcting nasal obstruction or drooping eyelid surgery) might be covered by insurance companies. If you are considering a cosmetic procedure, there may be a patient financing program available. Ask your physician for details.

Fallacy: All procedures are invasive.
Facts: Not all procedures are invasive. Minimally invasive techniques are popular with patients because they require little time to perform and little time to recover. These quick fix procedures include chemical peels, dermabrasion, injectable fillers, and Botox injections.

Fallacy: All procedures are performed under general anaesthetic.
Facts: Wrong. Non-invasive procedures may require little or no anesthetic at all. Some procedures require a local anesthetic with light sedation; it depends on the extent of the surgery. Your physician will discuss with you what is recom- mended.

Fallacy: All procedures are performed in a hospital setting.
Facts: Procedures can be performed in the doctor’s office, an out-patient facility, or in a hospital setting. Your physician will explain which setting will best suit your needs for the particular procedure you are having.

Fallacy: You can find all the information you need on facial plastic surgery from the Internet.
Facts: Education is powerful. When you visit various Web sites, you can be inundated with a lot information. It is important to take this information, make a list of questions, then seek the advice from your facial plastic surgeon; he or she can educate you on the particular procedures you are considering.

Fallacy: You cannot combine facial plastic surgery procedures.
Facts: Your facial plastic surgeon will explain what procedure or combination of procedures will give you the optimal results you deserve. Each person is unique and the combination of procedures varies from one person to another. Rhinoplasty (nose surgery) is sometimes combined with a chin implant. A facelift may be combined with blepharoplasty (eye surgery).