Plastic Surgery FAQs
Why it is called plastic surgery?
People often think the term “plastic surgery” somehow means something artificial, as they assume it must have evolved from the term for the manmade synthetic polymer that Americans know as plastic. The term actually is completely different, with its basis in Greek language. It derives from the term “plastikos,” which means to mold or shape something. The actual term “plastic surgery” was first coined in 1818 by German surgeon Carl Ferdinand von Graefe. He used it to describe the process where doctors molded or reshaped body tissues. In those days, these were typically nose surgeries.
What’s the difference between plastic surgeons and cosmetic surgeons?
There is an inherent problem with misinformation concerning these two terms, as studies have shown people don’t understand the difference. There actually is a huge difference between board certified plastic surgeons, such as Dr. Turk, and “cosmetic surgeons” whose certification comes from the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery. Plastic surgeons need at least six years of residency training to be certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS). This compares to only one year for certification by the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery (ABCS). But these are not comparable organizations — the American Board of Medical Specialties does not recognize ABCS certification. Would you rather trust your plastic surgery to a surgeon with six years of residency training or just a single year? That’s the real difference here.
What is the recovery like after cosmetic surgery?
As you would assume, there isn’t a set recovery for various plastic surgeries. Liposuction is a very easy recovery, while a tummy tuck is much more involved. For most procedures it makes sense to have someone at home with you for at least the first day. They can help with stuff like cooking or maybe helping you get to the bathroom and such. Much of your recovery will be dictated by the incision lengths and locations. One of the easier recoveries involves eyelid surgery, which really only requires basically a one-week recovery. There is residual swelling after that, but it’s no big deal. A tummy tuck can take months to fully recover. That’s because the incision stretches from hipbone to hipbone (or longer for extended tucks), and the procedure involves bringing separated muscles back to the center of the abdomen and re-anchoring them. For weeks, the patient cannot lift more than 8 pounds. Initially, even walking about has to be done with a certain hunched over posture, due to the incision. Liposuction involves only tiny incisions that usually don’t even require sutures; they’re just closed with Steri-Strips. Patients who’ve had just a single area treated with liposuction can usually return to work in just a couple days. Any cosmetic surgery involves some amount of recovery but as long as you expect that, you’ll be able to work through it and you’ll soon realize the changes that you’ve desired. During your consultation, Dr. Turk will discuss with you in detail what will be involved in your recovery.
What questions should I ask my plastic surgeon?
When you’re researching who you want to perform a cosmetic surgery, you should ask any and all questions you have both about the procedure and the surgeon. Here are a few things to consider.
Are you board certified? When you’re selecting a cosmetic surgeon, the most important first step is to be sure the doctor is a board-certified plastic surgeon. Make sure the doctor’s training was top notch and at a prestigious school. Make sure the doctor is a fellow of the American College of Surgeons. Certification should come from the American Board of Plastic Surgery.
What’s your experience with this procedure? Check the doctor’s experience. How long has he or she been performing these procedures? Does he or she specialize in the area you’re interested in? Does the doctor also teach at an esteemed university? Check his or her credentials.
What about before and after galleries? And then check out the practice’s before and after galleries. Do you see a face that has similar characteristics to yours? If so, do you like the changes made with the surgery?
What will be involved with the surgery? Ask exactly what will happen during your procedure. Most cosmetic procedure have some variability in methods used. For instance, a facelift isn’t a stock procedure. It could be a full facelift, a mid-face lift, a mini lift, or a lower facelift. Your surgeon should show you exactly what he or she feels is the right method for your unique needs.
What will my recovery be like? You’ll want to know how much time you’ll need to be off work, how much help you’ll need around the house, timeframes for returning to exercise, and the like.
How long will my results last? Procedures such as tummy tucks can deliver results, basically for the rest of your life. Other procedures, such as facelifts, have permanent results in that skin has been removed and such but, in a decade or so, they will be mostly complete. And any other questions or concerns you have.
Where will my surgery be performed?
Dr. Turk has associations for surgical procedures at Physicians Regional Medical Center, Naples North Day Surgery Center, and Physicians Day Surgery Center.
How should I wait between plastic surgeries?
You really want to fully recover from one procedure before you have another. You need to let your body heal and get back to feeling good again before even contemplating another procedure. That said, you can combine procedures at times. This happens with body contouring, where a body lift is combined with possible other procedure such as breast lifts, arm lifts, or other areas. Mommy makeovers combine a breast lift with a tummy tuck and liposuction. Many patients combine a breast lift with augmentation, which is quite easy because Dr. Turk can place the implants through the incisions he made for the lift. Liposuction is usually added to most tummy tucks to remove some of the fat. Eyelid surgery and a brow lift provide rejuvenation to the upper third of the face, extending the benefits of either procedure done singularly.
How should I prepare for my consultation with Dr. Turk?
You need to do research on your own before your consultation. That way, you’ll be versed in the procedure and you can ask the questions that you either couldn’t answer on your own or to get Dr. Turk’s take on them. These would be things such as incision options. You want to have a list of questions prepared.
Is there anything I can do to minimize swelling and bruising?
With most cosmetic procedures that aren’t done on the face, the key to minimizing swelling and bruising is to wear compression garments as we instruct in our recovery information. By doing so, this dramatically reduces swelling and bruising, and it helps your body conform to its new slimmer contours.
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