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Mrs. Beautiful Skin 2016/17 Blogger Mom of 2 Beautiful Angels Wifey Fitness Instructor Happy & Contented

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Plastic/Cosmetic Surgery FAQs/ Commonly Asked Questions

It's been a little over 6 months since my last op and I still get lots of questions about plastic/ cosmetic surgery in general, as well as about my experience in this department. I've also had requests to come up with a longer list of FAQs or commonly asked questions about plastic/ cosmetic procedures in general. So here's one, hopefully enough to answer all your questions.

Is Plastic Surgery Safe?
All surgeries/procedures carry some sort of uncertainties and/or risks. However, plastic surgery procedures are normally safe when they're performed by a qualified, experienced board-certified physician. Find out what the risks are, how often they occur and how they will be handled if they do occur. If the doctor does not openly discuss the risks or admit that there are always risks, seek another opinion - just to be safe. Not everyone is a good candidate for every procedure, and the only way to find out what is right for you is to discuss your options with your plastic surgeon. Being transparent by disclosing all medical histories and/or past surgeries to the surgeon is very important, so that a true assessment of any surgical risks as well as expectations can be made. 

Am I a Suitable Candidate For Plastic Surgery?
If you are considering plastic surgery, you must be honest with yourself. Exactly why do you want surgery? What you would like to achieve? And, what do you expect plastic surgery to do for you? You need to really discuss with your doctor to find out if your goals are realistic. I've heard that some patients get disappointed just because the results of the surgery turned out different from what they had in mind. Sometimes taking a picture to the surgeon just gives him/her the idea of what you want, but he/she may/may not be able to give you 100% to what you have in mind. Managing your expectations is very important!!
Plastic surgery can create both physical changes and also changes within (i.e. self-esteem). If you are seeking surgery with the hope of influencing a change in someone other than yourself, you might end up disappointed. It is possible that friends and loved ones will respond positively to your change in appearance and self-confidence, also possible that the same group of people respond to the new you in a negative way - however understand and accept that plastic surgery will not cause dramatic changes in people other than you.
How Can I Determine If A Plastic Surgeon Is Right For Me?
A visit to the surgeon's clinic for consultation gives you an opportunity to meet the surgeon in person, where you'd be able to gauge their personality and behavior. It is also important to evaluate their credentials and experience, which could be done during the visit. Before and after pictures of their patients are also another way that allows you to assess the skills and quality of their work. Sometimes, referrals or word-of-mouth reviews are a good way to bring up the surgeon's rep. But be mindful that reviews, especially sponsored ones, may or may not be true to the patient's experience.
Is Plastic Surgery Painful?
To me its not. The procedures are normally done under anaesthetic, depending on the type of surgery it may be local or general anaesthesia so you don't feel anything. However there may be slight discomforts during recovery.

On the other hand for aesthetic procedures like botox or fillers, anaesthetic cream is applied to minimize the sensation but sometimes may not be 100% painless (well also different for everyone since different people have different tolerance level for pain).

How Long Does It Take To Get Over Plastic Surgery?
There is a difference between being back on your feet and complete recovery.
  • Quoted from Dailymail UK, 'With make-up, you'll be presentable two weeks after a facial surgery, but full recovery can take six months'.
  • 'Most of the swelling with breast reduction disappears within two weeks, but it'll be up to nine months before you're back to normal.'
  • After liposuction, you have to spend three weeks wearing very tight bandages over the areas treated. This can be hot, uncomfortable and embarrassing - it may even affect everyday activities (such as going to the loo).

Can you become addicted to plastic surgery?
Yes, totally possible. I can relate to it - once you start enhancing your features, you would want to "perfect" your look. Some days I look into the mirror and find little flaws which I want to fix just b'cuz it just seemed too easy to "fix" the flaws. Then again I would need to remind myself of my goal, which was to enhance the features I was not happy about, be happy for already becoming prettier than before, and (ironically) to remain as natural-looking as I can. 

On the other hand I feel for some patients who "tries" out plastic surgery to change one area at a time, end up getting more surgeries done - this (IMO) is b'cuz when you enhance one feature on your face, this one feature becomes very defined and does not match well with the other "flatter" features. This especially is true for Asians since we have less defined features altogether. That is how actually some people get more and more procedures done just to get the entire look right - if that makes sense.

What Factors Impact The Success Of Plastic Surgery?
patient's age, general health, genetic background, skin type, and the nature of his/her procedure can affect any final result. Patients who smoke may also affect his/her recovery which in turn affects the final result. Lifestyle and habits of patients can also affect the success of the surgery result. Though there is no way to exactly predict a surgical outcome, the surgeon will examine patient before surgery begins and can project an estimate of the surgical result.
What Is The Recovery Process Like?
Threshold for pain is different for everyone, and each patient tolerates pain after surgery in different ways. Your surgeon will prescribe appropriate pain medications to help relief discomfort post-op. Depending on the procedures done, there would be different ways to care for the surgery site of each types of surgery done.
How Soon Can I Return To Work?
Duration for downtime is not the same for different procedures and different people. Typically for simple surgeries like rhinoplasty & blepharoplasty, a few days to a week for patients to return to their normal activities is common. Patients often return to work 1 week post-op because stitches would be removed after a week or so.

How Soon Can I Start My Workout?
Light exercises like walking should be fine after you are able to return to you normal activities. For other activities that involve jumping movements like jogging, or workouts that involve applying pressure like weight lifting or even swimming (b'cuz of the wet workout environment) should be waited out for at least 1-2 months post-op. Best is if you could wait out a little longer just to be safe, you wouldn't want to mess up your costly procedures right away yea?

Is There Any Way To Minimize Swelling/Bruising?
Yes. Depending on the procedure, it might make sense to sleep in a reclining (slightly elevated) position for a week after surgery to minimize the collection of fluids in the face and eyelids - though for me I did not change my sleeping position bcuz I was not afraid of looking puffy, lol. The nurses or surgeon will give specific instructions about making and administering your cold and warm compresses. Do follow those instructions (best as you can) as it will not only reduce bruising and swelling, but they will also maximize and promote healing.

Will My Diet/Lifestyle Affect My Healing?
I would say yes. As usual after a surgery, there will be a diet to follow thru - i.e. no seafood, spicy food, chicken, eggs, and heaty food like nuts. Alcohol and smoking should also be refrained during this period. Eating the right foods after surgery can help decrease risk of infection and promote faster healing. Avoiding dusty places is also best for proper recovery.

To aid in the healing process, eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and fish. Follow these steps to a healthy diet: 

  • Eat foods with healthy fats and eliminate unhealthy fat intake
    Healthy: Omega-3 fats such as extra-virgin olive oil, fatty fish (salmon/sardine), fish oil, nuts (walnut/almond), seeds (chia), avocado, cheese, and coconut oil - healthy fat improves immune response and aid the body's absorption of vitamins.
    Unhealthy: Deep-fried foods and foods with saturated fats like butter, cream, lard, etc.
  • Eat whole foods and limit intake of processed & refined foods
    Healthy: whole grains (carbs are important to keep fatigue at bay!), beans, fruits, veggies (generally foods that are unprocessed).
    Unhealthy: titbits, canned food, processed meats (sausage, bacon), soft drinks, etc.
  • Eat lots of fruits (especially those high in anti-oxidants) & vegetables (esp. dark leafy green ones and orange ones)
    Healthy: blueberries, strawberries, cherries, pineapple, apples, citrus fruits, beetroot, carrot, sweet potato, broccoli, spinach, capsicum (any colour).
  • Eat lean protein, or protein-sourced foods, and reduce intake of red meats and full fat dairy products
    Healthy: tofu, beans/legumes, fish, I suppose chicken is safe in westernised culture but not for our local culture. So it will be up to you to decide whether you prefer to include chicken as part of your recovery diet.
  • Reduce intake of salt/salty foods - sodium/salt is know to cause water retention
    Healthy: try anti-inflammatory herbs/spices in cooking like garlic, onions, ginger, etc.
  • Avoid alcohol - alcohol increases swelling, boosts bleeding, may make your medications dangerous, dries out your skin.
  • Avoid smoking - smoking increases risks of developing blood clots, infection, and also hinders proper healing.

Will Others Be Able To Tell I Had Plastic Surgery?
Yes or no, this depends on the type of procedure taken. Well if you undergo a surgery for an obvious change, e.g. increase your breast size from A to D, then obviously people around you would be able to tell for sure. But in most regular cases if the changes to your face/body are not greatly exaggerated, people knowing you probably will not know if you had anything done. They will just notice that you look 'different', but can't pinpoint what it is. With that saying, the effects of plastic surgery is the most obvious during the recovery period as that area may be swollen, red, and uncomfortable. So its up to you if you need to "hide" during this period or be open about it.

Should I Have My Surgeries Separately Or Combined?
Both has its own advantages and disadvantages. To have your surgeries combined means to save on money (for travelling & accommodation), time and recovery downtime. Most surgeons offer some discounts for patients who go for multiple procedures at once. Some times also when combining multiple surgeries, you could possibly have a better outcome for your "make over". This also depends on your overall health, ability to recover, your surgeon will advise you whether to go for combined or separate surgeries in a staged manner. 

Hope I've answered most questions you had in mind. The answers given were mainly based on my personal experience on this topic I've collected the last few years; from the web or from my surgeons. Feel free to leave comments in the comment box below should you have more to ask pertaining this topic. 

P.s. if you'd like to know more about FAQs pertaining to my previous eyelid & nose surgeries, please refer to my previous blog post here.

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Thank you for reading my blog. Cheers and stay tuned for more posts. ; )

6 Months Post Op

5 Months Post Op

Sources from the web:

  1. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-87569/The-20-cosmetic-surgery-questions.html#ixzz499iOTRje
  2. http://www.westlakedermatology.com/blog/the-effects-of-smoking-and-plastic-surgery/
  3. https://www.realself.com/blog/reasons-alcohol-plastic-surgery-don-t-mix#.V0JyAOd95FQ
  4. http://www.northcentralsurgical.com/best-foods-to-eat-after-surgery/
  5. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-tornambe-md/weight-loss_b_3146106.html
  6. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-87569/The-20-cosmetic-surgery-questions.html#ixzz499ia7A8Y


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