Cosmetic Surgery Tip #4: Understand the risks

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There are risks associated with every cosmetic procedure, however non-invasive they may be. During the consultation stage your plastic surgeon should be open and honest with you about the potential risks or dangers involved. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, particularly if there is something that concerns you or that you do not understand.  Any practitioner who claims there are no risks involved in the procedure is not to be trusted.

Photo Credit: Saul Steinberg “Masquerade”

Can you achieve the perfect nose?

Rhinoplasty or nose surgery is one of the most common cosmetic procedures. You only notice the nose if it’s too big, too wide, or seems to be misshapen. In these type of cases, most people would want to have a rhinoplasty, also known as a nose job, to make an improvement in their appearance and thereby, increase their self-confidence and quality of life. Rhinoplasty are also performed to correct an accidental fracture or to improve chronic nasal congestion. In such cases, the surgery falls under functional surgery.

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Who Are Good Candidates for Rhinoplasty?

Rhinoplasty is suitable for anyone in good health. It is advisable that the procedure be done on a fully developed nose. Complete maturation of the nose is developed by the age of 16 for girls and 18 for boys. The commonest age group for a rhinoplasty are the late teens and early twenties. Adolescence and early adulthood exposes individuals to great pressure from their peers and society with regards to the way they look. Having a nose that is unappealing places enormous stress on one’s self-esteem and can cause severe effects on a teenager’s confidence.
Fixing bumps or making the nose smaller usually gives the face better proportion, leading to an improved appearance that will give teens and early adults the confidence they need to tackle  life and their foray into the real world. Older individuals who have rhinoplasty done either do it for cosmetic or for functional reasons, the latter usually to correct difficulty in breathing caused by chronic nasal congestion and other conditions.  For many, a drooping and sagging nose caused by ageing makes them look a lot older and having rhinoplasty can rejuvenate them again.

Insurance Issues

Cosmetic surgery is generally not covered by health funds. However, when a rhinoplasty is needed to correct an injury like a fracture, nasal obstruction, or to correct a congenital nasal deformity, then it can fall under functional surgery and therefore be covered. It all depends on the reason behind the nose job. Make sure you know what your medical insurance covers so you know how to proceed with your planned surgery.

The Steps to Having a Rhinoplasty

Before you consider a nose job, make sure you know where to have it done. Do your research and choose the best clinic or plastic surgeon who will help you achieve the look you want for your nose.  Set an appointment with the plastic surgeon and gauge whether or not you are comfortable and confident with the professional who will be doing the procedure. If everything is in place, such as the look you are going for, the budget, and the schedule, then it’s time you make the appointment for your rhinoplasty. Advanced technology like the VECTRA 3D Imaging System is available in certain clinics, which provide you with computer simulations of your before and after pictures. If you don’t like what you see, you can discuss further with your plastic surgeon about how you want the structure of your nose to look like.

What to Expect with the Rhinoplasty

Rhinoplasty is an outpatient procedure performed under general anaesthesia. The entire procedure takes about 1 to 3 hours or longer for complicated cases. Most plastic surgeons today perform an open rhinoplasty where the the incisions are made just under the nose, as well as,  inside the nose so the scars are inconspicuous once the nose heals. Depending on what needs to be done, plastic surgeons either remove bone and cartilage to make the nose smaller, or add tissue to make it bigger especially in Asians and African-Americans. Once this is done and the structure of teh nose is in place, the skin is re-draped and the incisions closed with fine sutures. A splint is then placed on-top of the nose to provide support to the new shape until it heals.

Recovery

Patients can go home after a rhinoplasty but for more complicated surgeries, patients would need to stay overnight at the hospital. Splints are usually taken off after 7 days. Many patients get to return to work after 1 week but swelling and bruising will still be present. Expect your face to feel puffy, especially on the areas around your eyes and nose. Swelling usually improves after 10-14 days.

Risks

The risks involved with rhinoplasty include infection, bleeding, nasal blockage due to swelling, and asymmetry. It is best to consult with your plastic surgeon should there be any unexpected side effects of the procedure.

Question: What do you think are the  main benefits of rhinoplasty? You can leave a comment below. 

Cosmetic Surgery Tip #17: Reconsider having breast augmentation with a strong family history of breast cancer, are obese, or smoke

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All these factors increase risks and complications during and after surgery. If you have any significant medical issues, you need to be evaluated by your GP or specialist and cleared before having cosmetic breast surgery.

Photo Credit: Saul Steinberg “Masquerade”

Should Nurse Injectors Perform Cosmetic Procedures?

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I’m constantly asked by patents whether nurse injectors are truly qualified to perform cosmetic injections. For me, the most important factor for any nurse injector is their relationship with an appropriately trained, supervising doctor, and how closely the nurse and doctor work together. That doctor can either be a plastic surgeon, dermatologist, facial plastic surgeon, or ophthalmic plastic surgeon who has prescribed the injectable treatment appropriate for the patient. Remember–50 % of complications resulting from cosmetic injections are reported to result from unqualified providers, and that –33 % result from injections administered in a non-medical setting, such as a hair salon or private home.

Patients always have the option to request the doctor perform cosmetic injections, but not infrequently, specifically ask for experienced nurse injectors. In the later case, there are a few guidelines which I think are important for nurse injectors to adhere to:

  1. Nurse injectors are under the supervision of a qualified doctor who has prescribed the injectable treatment appropriate for you.
  2. Nurse injectors should demonstrate appropriate medical education and training specific to the delivery of cosmetic injections.
  3. Perform injections in a medical setting supervised by the prescribing doctor. Patients should not accept treatment from nurses or any other doctor in private homes, hair salons, hotels, bars or any other non-medical setting.
  4. Nurse injectors should follow all of the appropriate steps in performing cosmetic injections, and that all patients are given informed consent documents that clearly define the risks and benefits of the procedure.
  5. You have the option to request the doctor perform your injections.
  6. Nurse injectors should also have recent continuing medical education (CME) to be abreast of the latest injectable techniques, and should inject patients just like you on a regular basis (several patients weekly).
  7. Your doctor should also have recent continuing medical education (CME) to be abreast of the latest injectable techniques, and should inject patents just like you on a regular basis (several patients weekly). No matter what, regardless of who delivers the injection, if I as the doctor prescribe the treatment, inevitably the patient outcome is my responsibility. Therefore, it’s incumbent on me to have well trained and expert nurse injectors, someone that I can trust to inject my family members and friends. And that is exactly what I do.

The Physicians Coalition for Injectable Safety in the US state that before you undergo any injectable treatment, ask your doctor these key questions. A qualified doctor will not hesitate to provide you direct answers:

Doctor

1. What is your board certification?

2. How were you trained to do injectable treatments?

3. Do you regularly provide injectable treatments?

4. How many people have you treated with a condition similar to mine?

5. Will you personally inject me? If not, what are the qualifications of the person who will?

Brand

1. Exactly what brand of injectable do you recommend for me?

2. Is it FDA-approved (in Australia that should be TGA-approved) specifically for cosmetic purposes?

3. May I see the packaging to verify the brand name?

Safety

1. Are there any precautions I should take before my injectable treatment?

2. Will anaesthetic be necessary? Is it available?

3. What can I expect to experience after my treatment?

4. What are the potential risks of treatment?

5. How long will my results last?

Question: Do you think that there is much of a difference between a doctor or a nurse performing cosmetic injectables? You can leave a comment below.

Cosmetic Surgery Tip #25: Schedule cosmetic surgery when you’re healthy

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If you are planning cosmetic surgery, try to schedule it during a period of relatively good health.  This will give your immune system the best chance toward a speedy recovery.  Many patients find scheduling their surgery at the year-end ideal when they can bridge a few days off with paid vacation time.

Photo Credit: Saul Steinberg “Masquerade”

Cosmetic Surgery tip #28: Do not drink alcohol 72 hours prior/after cosmetic surgery

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Alcohol suppresses the immune system and should be avoided around the time of cosmetic surgery.

Photo Credit: Saul Steinberg “Masquerade”

3 Tips to Consider Before Body Lift Surgery

Body lift surgery is a complex operation that requires a lot of information to be processed and considered. There are 3 main points that people interested in this procedure should keep in mind especially that this involved both a major physical and psychological recovery period.

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1. Make Sure You Have Appropriate Motivation & Realistic Expectations

Make sure you are doing the body lift surgery for yourself and for the right reasons and that you have realistic expectations.  Be aware that an improvement in the problem area may not necessarily translate to an overall improvement in your life or home situation.  You are bound to be disappointed with results of body lift surgery if your motivation is not intrinsic.
 Timing of your body lift surgery is crucial. Generally, it is not a good idea to have body lift surgery done during or immediately after a stressful period in your life e.g. divorce or death of a loved one. The additional stress of body lift surgery will undoubtedly be  more challenging to deal with if your emotional reserves are already exhausted. Take note that an improvement in your physical appearance will not necessarily translate to an improvement in your life situation.
 Lastly, keep in mind the end results as you go through the sometimes tough, emotional times after your body lift surgery.