Cosmetic, reconstructive, or plastic surgery on the face reshapes or contours the facial structure. It may include surgery on the cheekbones, eyelids, chin, or nose.
Facial plastic surgery can reduce signs of aging, change a feature you were born with, or reconstruct the face after an accident. Common facial plastic surgery procedures include:
- Brow lift.
- Nose job (rhinoplasty).
- Cleft lip or palate repair.
- Eyelid surgery.
Choosing to have surgery is a big decision, so it’s important to make sure you know what to expect. Here are some things to consider before you undergo an operation.
1. Find an Experienced Surgeon
First, make sure anyone performing surgery on your face has experience in the specific procedure you want. Also, ensure your surgeon is board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. This certification means the doctor has undergone additional training in plastic surgery.
Ask how long your surgeon has performed plastic surgery and how often they’ve performed the procedure you want.
2. Set Reasonable Expectations
Thoroughly discuss your expectations with the surgeon early. Make sure they’re confident the procedure you want will accomplish your goals. Ask if they think you need additional services for your desired outcome.
For example, a facelift will tighten the skin to reduce the appearance of aging, but it doesn’t correct sun damage or wrinkles.
For procedures requiring new contouring, such as a nose job, be sure you and the surgeon share a vision for the outcome. Ask to view before and after photos of previous patients or bring images of your end goal to show the surgeon.
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3. Know the Cost
Cosmetic procedures are not often covered under insurance. Make sure your price estimate includes all costs, including:
- The actual procedure cost.
- The surgeon’s time.
- The anesthesia cost.
- The anesthesiologist’s fees.
- Facility fees.
- Fees for follow-up care.
4. Understand Recovery Time
Each procedure has an average length of time you may be in the hospital or outpatient surgery. Your doctor or care team will tell you when you can expect to return to work and resume normal activities.
However, that’s not the only recovery time to estimate. Even when you can return to normal activities, you may have bruising or swelling that lasts for weeks or months. If you have multiple procedures at once, you may have a longer recovery time.
Discuss recovery time and expectations with your care team. Have a friend or family member available to drive you home and stay with you at least the first day after surgery.
5. Know the Expected Preparation
Most surgeries require that you stop smoking two weeks before surgery or avoid certain medications. Ask your care team about these precautions so that you can prepare. Quitting smoking lowers your risk of complications and may reduce recovery time, and improve the result.
6. Know the Risks
Every surgical procedure carries risks. Plastic surgery for the face carries a risk of infection, bleeding, or disappointment with the end results. That’s why properly setting expectations and following all preparation instructions is key.
Be sure you understand all the risks associated with your procedure. Different surgeries can also carry risks, including:
- Unsightly scarring
Before choosing to undergo any procedure, be sure to talk to your doctor carefully. Your doctor will decide whether you’re a candidate for facial plastic surgery. They will also recommend procedures to help you meet your goals.
About Plastic Surgery
Plastic surgery is an option for both cosmetic and reconstructive needs, and the UPMC Department of Plastic Surgery can help with both. Whatever improvement you seek, we can create an individualized treatment plan to help you achieve your desired results. Through our research and clinical trials, we have used cutting-edge techniques in our treatments for more than 70 years. We also have one of the largest academic plastic surgery departments in the United States and operate one of the region’s top centers for restorative medicine.
Plastic surgery is an option for both cosmetic and reconstructive needs. The UPMC Department of Plastic Surgery can help with both. We will work with you to create an individualized treatment plan to help you achieve your desired results. Through our research and clinical trials, we have used cutting-edge techniques in our treatments for more than 70 years. We also have one of the largest academic plastic surgery departments in the United States and operate one of the region’s top centers for restorative medicine. Our goal is to improve your quality of life. Find a provider near you.