A few words about plastic surgery
The aim of cosmetic surgery is, after all, to make the patient happy. Generally, if the patient is happy, so is the surgeon. Communication is the key to all human intercourse.
For success, the total experience of a cosmetic surgical operation from initial consultation until the final follow-up visit depends on a series of communications between the patient ant the Plastic Surgeon. “It’s distressing how rarely this complete communication occurs”.
You will do yourself a service if you read what follows carefully. Here you will find answers to many questions that are most asked about plastic surgery. Most of these questions are universally asked by patients interested in this type of surgical correction.
The purpose of cosmetic and aesthetic plastic surgery is to make you look as it is possible for you to look. It cannot do more than that. If you are expecting a transforming miracle from surgery, you will unquestionably be disappointed.
Plastic surgery is a combination of art and science. Surgery is altogether not an exact science, and because some of the factors involved in producing the final result (such as the healing process) are not entirely within the control of either the surgeon or the patient, it is impossible to warranty or guarantee results.
Surgical results, however, are more predictable in some patients than in others. This is determined by a number of factors, such as the physical condition of the tissues, the thickness and condition of the skin, the presence or lack of fat in different corporal areas, the relative “age” of the skin, the numbers and types of wrinkles presents, the underlying bone structure, heredity and hormonal influences, and others.
It is not possible, by surgical operation, to make someone who is more than 40 years old look as if he or she is 20 years old or younger! Although this may seem obvious, I mention it because some patients, through misconceptions or misinformation, believe the clock can be turned back in this miraculous fashion. It cannot.
Surgery is intended to improve sagging skin or wrinkles necessarily leaves scars. Despite what you may have heard, all surgical scars are permanent and cannot be erased.
The job of the Plastic Surgeon is to place scars in natural lines of the face and the rest of the body, where they are least noticeable and more easily camouflaged by makeup or hairstyles.
Some areas like the nose have a certain combination of anatomic features that influence the outcome of the surgery and the predictability of the results.
These issues will be discussed with you during our consultation. No two noses are the same; therefore, the results of nasal surgery are never exactly the same.
Although such scars are permanent, they are rarely noticeable or cause any trouble.
Some questions patients may have
Who actually performs the operation?
I perform all surgery on my patients. I do have assistants who play an active role in your operation by assisting me just as another helper surgeon, the anesthetist and nurse do. However, the operation will be done by me.
How long will the surgical results last?
Plastic surgery in general, retards aging process and actually slows it. It “slows down the clock but does not stop it”.
It is not question of sudden “falling down”. How soon you will want or require another operation is highly individualized. I can only speak in averages.
In general, the operation of facial and neck lift for example, which is for the improvement of the jowls along the jaw line and loose skin of the neck, may need to be redone in about 5 or 8 years.
Some very few patients are encountered who, for one reason or another, age more rapidly so that another operation may be desired in a shorter time than 5 years; of course, there are some patients who never require it again.
Can complications occurs from Plastic Surgery?
Complications can occur from any type of surgery; however, they are most often minor in nature.
Complications such hematomas, bleed after surgery, nerve paralysis (rare), infection (uncommon), skin ulceration, scar overgrowth (keloid), pigment irregularities, hair loss, and so forth also can occur, but very uncommonly.
These and other complications can be discussed with you in detail if you desire. It is my duty to inform you of the possibility of these complications, not to alarm or frighten you but as a point of information.
Why are preoperative photographs important?
Just a Chest Surgeon cannot operate in an intelligent way without x-ray films of the chest, the Plastic Surgeon cannot operate on the face, nose, body and so forth, without medical photograph.
These photographs are not meant flatter you. You probably will find it a harsh photograph unsuitable for framing.
The photographs show your face and body in every detail. This aids greatly in the surgical performance or technical variations in the surgery.
What type of anesthesia is used during the operation?
Either local or general anesthesia can be used according to the type of operation and the patient’s preference.
In all cases, anesthesia is administered by a trained anesthesiologist from my work team and you must have a consultation with him or her before the operation, and you let us know your doubts and preferences about the anesthesia.
How long is the operation?
The actual surgical time may vary, depend on the amount of surgery necessary for each patient.
For example, a face lift usually requires about 2 to 3 hours, a Mammary Augmentation operation usually requires about 1 hour and a chin implant adds 20 minutes to that time. Liposculpture for body contouring technique requires about 2 hours.
Where is the operation performed?
Most of the operations are performed in Plastic Surgery Ambulatory Unit (outpatient) located at IEQ Los Mangos Clinic in Valencia-Venezuela, but we also have facilities for overnight.
Usually, you stay only a few hours at the clinic if your surgery was performed on an ambulatory basis. You will be discharged as soon as it is considered safe for you go.
Usually discharge take place in the afternoon of the day of surgery or the following morning depending on your recovery from anesthesia and the type of operation.
The advantages and disadvantages of these choices in your particular case will be discussed with you in my office at the first consultation, if you want.
When do I need to have ready my preoperative test?
All laboratory work, x-rays, electrocardiograms, cardiovascular assessment, breast ecosonograms, and any other required assessment must be performed within 1 or 2 days prior to surgery so as to be current.
Are bandages applied?
Bandages are applied to the head and neck after a face-lift; they are removed 48 hours after surgery.
In breast augmentation surgery, you will need to use a tape stabilizer mammary implant and orthopedic post-surgery bra, which are removed 15 days after surgery.
In case of Liposculpture, you will need to use an elastopresotherapy strip and get lymph drainage massage for 15 days after the operation.
In nasal surgery, you need an anatomical splint, which is applied over your nose and remains for approximately 1 or 2 weeks, light packs may or may not be inserted in your nostrils, packs are removed in my office 1 or 2 days after the operation and this maneuver is absolutely painless.
Ice compress (Cold-pack) are usually applied to the eyes for several hours; they are thought to help minimize swelling and bruising. In this regard, it is also important that telephone calls and visitors be kept to a minimum for the first 48 hours after the operation.
Usually, the post-operative pain is rare and whatever discomfort there may be is usually mild, short-lived and easy handled with routine medication.
All bandages will be removed in the office about 1 week after operation.
When are the stitches or staples removed?
Everything will depend of the type of surgery that you have.
After Blepharoplasty, the stitches are removed on second or third day after surgery.
In face-lift surgery, some stitches or staples in front the ears are removed on the sixth or seventh postoperative day.
In most instances, all remaining stitches or staples are removes by the 10th day. Removing stitches is quick and uncomplicated.
Stitches could be removed by my nurses, residents or my surgical assistant, but I’d rather removed them by myself.
When can make-up be applied?
In case of patients undergoing face-lift, blepharoplasty or rhinoplasty, facial makeup can usually be applied about the 10th postoperative day.
At this time, you may have to use some type of covering cream if there are still bruises present.
It is important to remove all makeup very thoroughly, using upward motion, at the end of the day. Oiled eyepads are recommended for the removal of eye makeup.
y office staff will provide detailed instructions on makeup application and removal during the postoperative period.
Who takes care of me after surgery?
Except over the weekends, you will be visited every day in the IPLASMED Ambulatory Surgery Unit by me.
If for unforeseen reasons, I am unable to visit you, you will be seen by someone from my staff.
They are an expert team of associates and assistants (Dr. Oswaldo Torres: Plastic Surgeon, Drs. Jorge García Campos, Joamelia Da Silva, Andrés Reyes: medical specialist in Anesthesiology, Dr. Rodolfo Mota: medical specialist in Anesthesiology and intensive care unit expert, Dr. Julio Ubieta: Medical and Administrative´s Director, medical specialist in Hospital Management, Dr. José Luis Grillet: General Surgeon and Mastology specialist, Dra. Leslie Marín Montes de Oca: medical specialist in Internal Medicine, Dr. Ybrahim Rodríguez: medical specialist in Cardiology, Dr. Gerardo Salas: surgical and medical specialist in ORL, Dr. Antonio Gómez: medical specialist in Physiotherapy, Dra. Florángel Sánchez: medical nutritionist-nutrition and dietetics, Lic. Lic. Rita Vargas and Karin Sánchez: physiotherapists and beautician therapists, among others), always in attendance who are continuously in touch with me.
I always try to visit you the day of admission to IPLASMED. Therefore, it is important that any unresolved questions be discussed prior to admission, if necessary, by a further visit to the office.
Are private nurses available?
Although not a necessity, some patients feel happier knowing that someone will be with them after surgery. IPLASMED will ask the patient if book private nurses will be required at the time of admission.
IPLASMED is also able to arrange for nurses in advance. In spite of booking well in advance of surgery, there is no guarantee that nurses will be available because of the critical shortage of such expert help.
What happen in the postoperative period?
You must remember that before you see the improvement you are expecting, you may go through a typical postoperative period in which you can look quite battered and bruised, followed by another temporary period when you look some “strange” to bruised, followed by another temporary period when you look some “strange” to yourself.
This varies considerably from one individual to another. When both facial and eyelid surgeries are performed together, you should set aside 3 weeks for recovery. At the end of this time, most patients are able to appear in public, although the scars may need camouflaging with makeup.
In some patients, this time may be shortened by a few days, and in others a slightly longer period is required.
I think you should keep in mind that in some patients undergoing Plastic Surgery, there is a temporary period of slight emotional depression immediately following the surgery, during the period when you can look your worst, this is quite normal and should not alarm you.
It is not easy to look bruised and swollen, particularly when natural expectations are toward improving your appearance. Fortunately, this period usually passes rather quickly.
Do not take aspirin-containing drugs 2 weeks before and after surgery, as it may increase bleeding tendency. Exposure to the sun and athletic exercise is permitted in moderation 6 weeks after the operation. Avoid sunburn.
Mainly common sense is required in regulating your activities after surgery.
If you have any other questions, be sure to get them answered in advance by me or my office staff. You can ask whatever you want to know from here, using the contact form.
Most members of my staff have been with me for years and are thoroughly informed, trained, and able to answer questions that may occur to you.
Well-meaning friends are not a good source of information. With us, find out everything you want to know. A well-informed patient is a happy one.
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