Second Quarter 2008, Volume 22, Number 1

Confused about form or function? Why not do it for both?


Confused about form or function? Why not do it for both?

Improving your looks comes in varying degrees, from non-invasive to surgery

Ask the Surgeon / Health Tip / What’s New

Get ready to expose your neck; first, reduce neckbands and jowls

Today, patients are maximizing their experience by having both reconstructive and cosmetic procedures done at the same time. Whether the reason is to have greater enhancements or to take advantage of already being in the operating room, this option may be right for you.

One of the most popular procedures is rhinoplasty, or surgery of the nose. You may need surgery to alleviate nasal breathing problems or correct deformities from birth or injury. These procedures improve the function of the nose and are considered reconstructive. Many patients considering nose surgery to improve function also take the opportunity to improve the form of their nose (cosmetic), such as adjusting the tip of the nose or reducing a bump. Insurance usually doesnot cover cosmetic surgery; however, surgery to correct or improve breathing function, major deformity, or injury is often covered in whole or in part. Make sure you discuss the surgery with your insurance provider prior to surgery.

Carol hadn’t thought of combining procedures until her facial plastic surgeon discussed it with her at the consultation appointment. “I suffered from ptosis [drooping eyelids] and needed to have reconstruc- tive eyelid surgery. My upper eyelids were hanging over and obstructing my eyesight,” explains Carol. “In addition to explaining the eyelid surgery in detail, my surgeon also presented options for my lower eyelid.” She decided to have corrective surgery on the upper eyelids and also lower blepharoplasty to reduce the sagging skin under her eyes. “I was so happy that I had both upper and lower eyelids done—not only can I see better, but I look so much younger!”

Jared had been in a car accident and planned to have reconstructive surgery of his cheek. He and his wife had both scheduled time off work in anticipation of his surgery. While discussing the proce- dure, his surgeon mentioned that he might also consider a facelift eventually to smooth out the sagging skin in the lower two-thirds of his face. “It struck me that since I already planned to be away from work, there would be no better time than now to have both of the procedures done,” says Jared. “One recovery period for two procedures sounded much better than going through it twice.” And, for Jared, it worked out very well. Jared comments, “I had implants and reconstructive surgery of my cheek and I thought that would be the ‘wow factor.’ Instead, I can’t get over how much better my neck and jawline look.” Jared also states that when he returned to work, not only did he look better, but also he felt much more confident and self-assured.

Talk to your surgeon about the many different combinations of surgery that may meet your needs. Also speak with your insurance provider to ensure you know what is and is not covered under your plan. !