What is plastic surgery?
Plastic surgery encompasses a vast array of services which focus on both the form and function of patients. Reconstructive surgery involves restoring function to physical defects, such as in breast or other cancer reconstruction, burn care, congenital abnormalities, skin cancer procedures, scar revisions, and certain traumatic injuries and other wounds. Aesthetic, or cosmetic, surgery serves to sculpt or reshape a variety of physical features so as to improve upon facial or body features.
Am I a candidate for cosmetic plastic surgery?
The ideal candidates for plastic surgery are those with realistic expectations and goals, and those with a well-developed, strong self-image who are mentally and physically in good health. Those who wish to improve upon their natural beauty but realize that surgery should not be utilized to change lives or relationships are the best candidates for elective cosmetic surgery.
How does one select a qualified plastic surgeon? What is a Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon?
The first step in selecting the appropriate plastic surgeon for your care is to ensure that the surgeon is board-certified by The American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS). Despite the confusion that can ensue when attempting to decipher through the many certifying bodies in medicine and surgery, the ABPS is the only plastic surgery board recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties. Many “board-certified cosmetic surgeons” may not, in fact, be certified by the ABPS, but rather by an institution not recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties. To become certified by the ABPS as a Diplomate, rigorous training in an accredited plastic surgical program is required following prior training in a surgical field after medical school. To become certified by the ABPS, a plastic surgeon must demonstrate not only the necessary training and expertise in the entire breadth of plastic surgery, but also the ethical integrity to be certified by the board with its exclusive requirements. To confirm that your plastic surgeon is certified by the ABPS, please click here or call the ABPS at 215-587-9322. Dr. Pathy is board-certified by both The American Board of Plastic Surgery and The American Board of Surgery. You may also inquire whether your plastic surgeon is a Member Surgeon of The American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the largest plastic surgery specialty organization in the world, whose criteria for membership include board-certification as well as additional rigorous responsibilities.
Additional factors, such as experience, results, prior patient recommendations, and personal traits further assist in helping solidify your decision in selecting your plastic surgeon.
Where will my surgery be performed?
Dr. Pathy performs all of his operative procedures in accredited facilities. It is of the utmost importance that your health is the primary concern with elective operative procedures, and thus surgery should be performed in a sterile and safe environment. If anesthesia is required, you should be adequately monitored before, during, and following your procedure. Having your surgery performed in a certified facility ensures that you will be cared for in an appropriate fashion.
Does my surgeon have authorization to perform my procedures in local hospitals?
When determining the qualifications of your surgeon and the safety of your procedure environment, ensure that your surgeon has privileges to perform any office-based surgical procedures at an accredited hospital as well. Hospitals thoroughly verify training and education, and only permit surgeons adequately trained for specific procedures to perform them at their hospitals.
Is plastic surgery safe?
No matter what type of surgery you undergo, there is always some degree of risk associated with your procedure. To limit the risk of any unforeseen complications, your history is thoroughly reviewed and discussed with medical and anesthesia staff as necessary prior to proceeding with your surgery. Any co-morbidities, such as hypertension or diabetes, are optimized and controlled prior to consideration of surgery. In addition, Dr. Pathy requires smoking cessation for at least four weeks prior to certain operative procedure, as impaired wound healing and an increased rate of wound infection is seen in smokers. It is therefore imperative to disclose all pertinent information during your consultation so that appropriate measures may be taken to limit these risks.
What occurs during my initial consultation?
For many elective plastic surgical procedures, both reconstructive and cosmetic, plan for an initial office visit of approximately one hour, though certain consultations may require additional time. This time frame allows for our team to get to know you, review your medical history, and perform a pertinent physical examination. Following your examination, we will describe your available surgical and non-surgical options so that you may best understand the procedures and techniques used in your care. Both pre-operative and post-operative instructions will be explained to you during your visit. Of course, you will be afforded every opportunity to ask questions during and after your consultation, and Dr. Pathy and our staff will attempt to answer them to the best of their abilities.
How long following my consultation can surgery be scheduled?
Provided that no medical issues need further investigation, your surgery may often be scheduled within 4 weeks, although relatively short procedures may potentially be scheduled in special circumstances earlier, if possible.
Can I have multiple procedures performed simultaneously?
It is not uncommon to have multiple plastic surgical procedures performed during one operating room visit. Having more than one procedure performed simultaneously allows for an overall cost reduction to you and the necessity of recovery or downtime only once. However, these benefits must be weighed against the potential for an increased rate of complication. If multiple procedures are being considered, the decision to go forward will be dependent upon which procedures are being performed, the extent of surgery, the operating time, and your overall health. Dr. Pathy will determine if multiple simultaneous procedures are appropriate in your individual situation.
What type of anesthesia will be used?
Various types of anesthesia are utilized in plastic surgical procedures. Local anesthesia involves topical or injectable anesthetic into the localized area being operated upon or near the nerve supplying sensation to the surgical site. Intravenous sedation may be added to the local anesthetic to make patients more comfortable if a larger or more sensitive area is being addressed. General anesthesia involves the temporary use of a ventilator to assist in the patient’s breathing, so that a still larger and often more complex surgery can be performed. The form of anesthesia utilized in your surgical procedure will be dependent upon the extent of the procedure being performed, patient preference, and surgeon preference.
Is plastic surgery covered by insurance?
Cosmetic surgical procedures are generally not covered by insurance, although reconstructive procedures and specific aesthetic procedures may qualify for coverage based upon functional deficits. The surgical fees are based upon the type and extent of treatment that you require.
What are the cosmetic surgery fees?
We do not charge a fee for our initial cosmetic personal consultation with Dr. Pathy. Should you be a candidate for surgery, an estimate will be given to you based upon the particular procedure desired and your examination.
For cosmetic surgical operations, your total charge can be subdivided into several components: the hospital or facility fee, the anesthesia fee, the surgeon’s fee, the assistant’s fee (if any) and the costs for any implantable devices that may be required for your surgery, such as breast implants. If laboratory tests and radiographic examinations, such as x-rays, are required, you may be responsible for these charges as well.
The facility fee, the fee for anesthesia services fee, the surgeon’s fee, the assistant’s fee, and the fee for any applicable accessories necessary for the surgery are due no less than 1 week prior to services being rendered.
All regular post-operative visits are included within the cost of your cosmetic surgery.
If Northeast Plastic Surgery Center determines that revision surgery related to your initial cosmetic procedure is appropriate, the surgeon’s fee will be waived. However, you will remain financially responsible for ancillary fees, such as the facility, anesthesia, laboratory, and accessory fees.
How long will it take to recover from my surgery? When can I return to work?
Recovery time is dependent upon a variety of variables, including the type and extent of surgery as well as the specific individual. Dr. Pathy will discuss your expected recovery time and post-operative instructions during your initial consultation based upon your unique situation.
How long will my results last?
Because of the variety of the procedures within the scope of plastic surgery and the individual variability amongst all patients, no definitive guarantee can be given as to the longevity of a patient’s results. Some results may be permanent, while others may progressively change with age as well as other factors. Dr. Pathy will discuss the duration of your results during your consultation based upon your particular procedure and individual characteristics.
Will I have a scar after my surgery?
Any time the skin is broken, whether from a traumatic laceration or a surgical incision, a scar will form. Some patients are more prone to excessive scarring than others, and the location of the scar also plays a role in the extent of scar formation. However, there are a number of techniques that may be employed post-operatively to minimize the visibility of the scar and expedite the healing process.