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Plastic Surgery: Frequently Asked Questions

1. Who is a candidate for plastic surgery?
The best plastic surgery candidate is someone with realistic expectations and an understanding of the limitations set by medicine, technology, and each patient's own body. Good candidates have a strong self-image, and well-developed reason for pursuing a plastic surgery procedure. They are looking for improvement of a physical trait, knowing that while this positive change may enhance their self-image, it will not change people's perception of them. Dangerous motivations for plastic surgery would be purely doing it to gain popularity, or attempting to reverse recent life crises.
2. Is there a "right" age to pursue plastic surgery?
There isn't any overarching rule as to the right age for plastic surgery. In fact, the appropriateness of a certain procedure should be determined more on a case by case basis, looking at the individual's unique body type and aging process. Of course, there are age tendencies for certain procedures. Facelifts generally are not performed on patients under 30, as mini-lifts or laser procedures might be suggested instead, but this is not a rule. Otoplasty, on the other hand, is appropriate for adults or patients as young as 5 years old.
3. Is plastic surgery covered by insurance?
When the plastic surgery procedure is being performed for cosmetic reasons, insurance will not be involved. When the surgery is necessary for reconstructive purposes, however, it may be partially or fully covered by insurance.
4. What is the difference between cosmetic and reconstructive surgery?
Cosmetic plastic surgery is performed to enhance or change a healthy, normal, functioning part of the body. Nothing but the patient's desire for physical improvement necessitates cosmetic plastic surgery. Reconstructive surgery, however, is intended to correct a physical abnormality caused by a birth defect, disease or tumor, physical trauma, or infection. The goal of reconstructive surgery may be to restore function or to achieve physical normality.
5. Where is plastic surgery performed?
That can depend on the surgeon. Most plastic surgeons are affiliated with local hospitals and can arrange operating room times as needed. Many carry out a similar procedure at surgical centers, while other surgeons have private surgery suites in their own office space. You'll find that many plastic surgeons fit into all or most of these categories, and offer options to each patient. They would then help you choose your surgery location based on comfort, safety, scheduling issues, and sometimes geography issues (which surgery location is closest to home, etc.).
6. How much pain is involved in plastic surgery?
Each plastic surgery procedure carries a different level of discomfort, and requires different methods of anesthetizing. In most situations, the patient's preferences for safety and comfort, as well as personal pain threshold, can help determine what type of anesthesia will be used. Very minor, non-invasive surgeries might involve a topical anesthetic, while minor invasive surgeries may call for local anesthetic or local combined with sedation. In more involved surgery, general anesthesia is usually used.
7. Is plastic surgery outpatient or inpatient?
Most plastic surgery procedures are performed on an outpatient basis. In some cases, usually when the surgery is very extensive or complications arise, an overnight stay might be required.
8. Can I finance my plastic surgery procedure?
Sure. Most plastic surgeons work with patient financing groups and will provide you with an application to fill out at the consultation. Many banks provide financing for elective procedures as well. Plastic surgery is something that is more and more often financed, which has helped it become more accessible to everyone.

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