Frequently Asked Questions
Do all four doctors perform all procedures or some better at certain procedures than others?
While each of the doctors has his own aesthetic, they all routinely perform the same operations. The field of cosmetic surgery is considered a sub-specialty of plastic surgery and that is all our doctors do. While there are plastic surgeons in the world that market themselves as 'nose job experts' for example, there is no special training or school that allows a surgeon to 'ultra-specialize.' It is physician choice and usually driven by marketing. Each of our surgeons has ample experience in all aspects of cosmetic surgery including the face, breast and body and we have thousands of happy patients and before-and-after results. If you have a certain ‘look’ in mind, it’s ideal to bring in some before/after pics that you like and we can tell you what is needed to achieve that result. During your consult, if one doctor feels like another one would be better suited to your needs or personality, they will recommend them without reservation!
What can I expect at my consultation appointment?
During your private consultation, you will first meet with one of our patient consultants to discuss your goals and receive an overview of what Austin-Weston offers. You will then be greeted by one of our board- certified plastic surgeons so you can be examined, ask questions and determine if cosmetic surgery is right for you. Depending on the procedure you are considering, additional things like imaging may also be performed. At the end of the appointment, which usually lasts 1-2 hours, a detailed invoice will be provided and the surgical calendar can be reviewed to find a time for surgery that works with your schedule.
What medications should I avoid before surgery?
You should avoid aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs, and herbal supplements, especially those containing elements found to increase bleeding during the surgery and recovery (such as ginseng and green tea). These medications should be stopped at least two weeks prior to your scheduled surgery date. To be on the safe side, you should be open and honest with your doctor about all the medications you are currently taking at your initial consultation appointment.
How should I prepare prior to undergoing general anesthesia?
Patients should arrive for surgery having had nothing to eat or drink for at least eight hours. Patients who take certain medicines, such as blood pressure medication, are usually instructed to take their morning dose with a sip of water. Someone must be available to drive you home after the surgery and stay with you at home the day of surgery, unless you are staying in our overnight facility. We always advise all patients who smoke to quit for at least 6 weeks before surgery, since poisonous carbon monoxide gas and many of the chemicals in tobacco smoke, including nicotine, cause circulatory compromise to healing wounds, leading to poor healing and excessive scarring. Additional tests like blood work, EKG tracings or mammogram may be requested depending on your age and risk factors.
What can I expect on the day of surgery?
On the morning of surgery, you will meet with the nurse to go over any specific directions for that day. Your support person will also meet with the nurse to make sure they understand how to best care for you at home, unless you are staying at our overnight facility. The surgeon will answer any further questions you have and perform markings. You will meet with your anesthesia provider and they will examine your heart and lungs and discuss the anesthesia recommended by your plastic surgeon. Once you walk back the operating room, you will lay down on a warm bed, have an IV started and drift off to sleep for the surgery. You will wake up in the same room and once you are feeling up to it, our staff will take you out to your waiting support person in a wheelchair.
What symptoms are normal to experience after surgery?
Swelling, bruising, tenderness, soreness, pain, discomfort and temporary numbness in the treated area are common after surgery. Some patients experience nausea as the anesthesia wears off. Most of these symptoms dissipate after the first week of recovery. In case that there is no improvement within a week, you should immediately visit your plastic surgeon to determine if you are experiencing delayed healing and other complications.
How long will my recovery be after surgery?
The length of your recovery will largely depend on the treated area, extensiveness of the procedure, type of plastic surgery, and your body’s healing capability. An intense pulse light laser for facial age spots has a recovery of a few hours until you feel like yourself, while some of our larger operations come with restrictions of no heavy lifting for 4-6 weeks. Visit the PROCEDURES tab to see how the various procedures vary in terms of recovery.
How soon after my surgery can I travel or fly?
For some minor surgical procedures, patients can travel within days of the operation. Other procedures come with recommendations to wait longer or do frequent standing and walking during the flight. Flying in an airplane increases swelling and increases the chance of having a blood clot, so it is important to talk to your surgeon before surgery if you have any travel plans within the first 1-2 weeks after surgery.
Is there anything to do to minimize swelling or bruising?
Yes. Depending on what the procedure, it might make sense to sleep in a reclining (not horizontal) position for one week following surgery to minimize the collection of fluids in the face and eyelids. Follow the instructions provided by your doctor and nurses regarding administering cold and warm compresses. These will not only reduce bruising and swelling but will also maximize and promote healing.