What is the difference between cosmetic and plastic surgery?
Plastic and reconstructive surgery is a specialty dedicated to the improvement of function, and treatment of disfigurement, resulting from birth defects, injury, and disease. Cosmetic surgery reshapes features of the body or face to improve appearance, body image and self esteem. Cosmetic surgery may:
- Change a feature that has always been present, but disliked e.g. nose or ear correction, enlargement of small breasts, breast reduction.
- Restore the appearance of an area that has changed, to “make me look like I used to” e.g. breast lift or reduction after pregnancy and breast feeding, abdominal reshaping after pregnancy.
- Rejuvenate the effects of aging.
Do I need referral to make an appointment?
Appointments for cosmetic surgery can be made directly with Mr Glasson. However, for plastic and reconstructive problems e.g. skin cancer, breast reconstruction, a GP referral is advised, as it may be required by your medical insurance company. Also, if there are other health issues which require medication, information from your GP can assist in the safe planning of your surgery.
Privacy and confidentiality
There will be respect for your privacy, and the protection of your medical file. The practice staff is committed to your confidential treatment from beginning to end. Your medical records will only be released with your consent.
What happens at a consultation?
You will meet with David Glasson and explain the issues that concern you, your goals, and expectations. He needs to know your past medical and surgical history, current medications and allergies. A physical examination will follow.
Your surgeon can then outline what procedure may be appropriate, and the expected outcome and limitations. He will explain the technical aspects, expected post-operative course, recovery time, and potential complications.
You may be advised against having surgery, or another procedure may be recommended to meet your needs and goals. There may be non-surgical options to explore.
Written information will be given and an estimate of costs. Sometimes a second consultation will be advised before making a definite decision to proceed. It is important to take the time to make correct decisions and to have realistic expectations.
Will I be told about risks and complications
Yes, both general risks common to all surgery, and complications specific to your operation. The majority of operations are free of problems. However complications may occur, and are usually minor and easily managed. Rarely, complications may lead to further surgery and more expense.
Is harmful to your health generally, and also causes specific problems with surgery. Smoking impairs the blood supply of skin and can result in areas of skin dieing, causing scars and possibly needing remedial surgery. Smokers have more problems with slow healing, wound infection, poor scarring, and haematoma. The anaesthetic can be more difficult, and the recovery period is more painful because of coughing. You are investing in a good long term result, and it is vital to make the best preparation possible to maximize the outcome. It is strongly recommended that you cease smoking for at least 1 month before surgery, and during the healing stages.
What about scars?
Whenever skin is cut, healing occurs with scar tissue. The quality and appearance of scars varies widely between individuals, and with other variables such as site, tension, age, skin type, family history. While the surgeon makes every effort to minimize scarring, the final scar appearance cannot be guaranteed. For most patients scars eventually fade to their satisfaction and become discreet. Scars are located whenever possible in creases and natural lines and junctions.
Will the surgery be painful?
Local anaesthetic surgery allows surgery to be done without pain and in comfort, while you are awake. When surgery is done under general anaesthetic, you are asleep for the entire operation. Afterwards, pain can be well controlled with medication. Facial procedures cause mild discomfort only, while breast and abdominal surgery are more painful.
How long will I require off work?
This varies with the type of operation, and your occupation. Some patients are anxious that all evidence of surgery has resolved before “going public”. After facial surgery, there may still be visible swelling and bruising, or redness, which persists after 2 weeks or more. However, after most cosmetic surgery, it is possible to return to work after 1-2 weeks. Minor operations may need no time off work.
When can I return to exercising?
This varies with the operation performed. Everyone will mobilize early after their surgery, to reduce the risk of blood clots in the legs. In the recovery period, there is no advantage exercising for fitness. Exercising may actually be harmful to the healing process e.g. more bleeding, bruising, swelling, disruption of internal stitches etc.. Ask your surgeon for specific advice.
What about costs?
Total costs include the surgeon’s fee, anaesthetist’s fee, and the hospital charges. These can be estimated once the procedure has been decided. For cosmetic surgery, the surgeon’s fee is paid prior to surgery : this fee also covers the cost of post operative visits until the early recovery phase is complete – usually 2 – 3 months. Long term follow up appointments are charged for.
What is plastic surgery?
The word plastic is derived from the Greek word meaning to shape or mould. Plastic materials are not used!
Plastic and Reconstructive surgery?
Plastic and reconstructive surgery is a specialty dedicated to the improvement of function, and treatment of disfigurement, resulting from birth defects, injury, and disease.