Frequently Asked Questions

How long will it take to recover? How long will I be off from work?
Recovery time will depend on the type of surgery you have. Since everyone heals at his or her own pace, time lines given for recovery are rough guides only. Some procedures, such as Botox injections, are done in the office and have essentially no "down time." For a more complex procedure, such as a facelift, patients often elect to take off one to two weeks of work, until the effects from surgery have diminished somewhat. Swelling and bruising, if present, usually fades after 14 days. The initial redness of any incisions can be concealed with makeup beginning one week after surgery. After two weeks, most patients no longer feel like they have just had surgery and can return to work.
Is the surgery painful?
Facial cosmetic surgery is not associated with a lot of pain. Each person is different but most patients are surprised by how little pain is involved. After surgery, your surgeon will prescribe a narcotic-strength pain reliever, but many patients find that plain acetaminophen (e.g., Tylenol) is adequate. It is important not to use blood thinners, aspirin-containing or aspirin-like products, as they can cause bleeding and can worsen bruising.
Will there be scars?
Yes. Any time an incision is made the body will heal that incision with a scar. The key for your surgeon is to make the incision and then close it in such a way that it is nearly invisible when fully healed. This is accomplished through careful placement, tissue handling, closure, and postoperative care. Minimizing the visibility of scars is a priority. While scars generally can be found on close inspection, once fully healed they should not be noticeable and patients should not require any makeup or concealer to hide them.
When do the stitches come out?
A variety of dissolvable and "permanent" stitches, as well as surgical stainless steel staples, are used. Permanent skin sutures will not dissolve and will be removed in your surgeon's office. Most are removed in five to seven days, with remaining sutures removed in a week to 10 days. Staples, if used, generally are removed between 7 and 10 days. Dissolvable sutures come in several varieties and will disappear on their own. Each class of dissolvable suture has a predetermined time that it lasts before it disintegrates.
What if there are complications?
Special care always is taken to avoid complications, but unfortunately they can occur. Your postoperative visits allow your surgeon to detect any problems at a very early stage. Should a complication arise, your surgeon will make every effort to limit and correct its effects.
How do I choose a surgeon?
The surgeon you choose is just as important as knowing about the type of surgery you're considering. Be well informed and don't be afraid to ask questions about your surgeon's certification, operating privileges and training. Eye plastic surgeons are board-certified ophthalmologists with additional training in oculofacial surgery. It takes years of specialized training and extensive knowledge of the delicate tissues around the eyes to safely perform procedures.
What special training does an oculofacial plastic surgeon have?
Oculofacial plastic surgeons perform cosmetic and reconstructive surgery on the eyelids, eyebrows and face. Six years of post-medical degree training is required, including two years of subspecialty training specifically focusing on plastic and reconstructive surgery of the face and how it relates to the eyes.
Is facial cosmetic surgery right for me?
Facial cosmetic surgery is performed on men and women of all ages who want to improve their self-image. Aesthetic surgery will not provide eternal youth, but it can help restore a more youthful and restful image while helping to express a general feeling of well-being.
What should I expect from the consultation?
During your first visit, your surgeon will discuss functional/cosmetic goals, provide education and information as well as discuss different types of procedures. You should feel free to bring a list of questions to the consultation. It is important to establish goals and expectations with your surgeon during your first visit.
Where is the surgery performed?
All surgeries are performed in University of Michigan operating rooms. Botox injections, however, are given in the clinics.
Will my medical insurance cover the procedure?
Functional surgeries normally are covered by insurance. For example, a droopy eyelid may interfere with your vision. Cosmetic surgeries, however, generally are not covered. During your consultation, your surgeon will address questions related to specific costs and payment options.
Last Modified: Friday, 17-Feb-2012 15:27:31 EST