If you’ve been exploring plastic surgery options or if you’re investigating for the first time, you probably have a number of questions. We’ve assembled brief answers to the most common ones below, in order to help you make a sound decision that’s right for you.
Of course, if you have additional questions, we’ll be glad to answer those as well — either over the phone or in-person. Please don’t hesitate to contact us and let us know how we can best help you get the answers you need.
- What should I consider before making a decision to have surgery?
- What’s the difference between cosmetic and reconstructive surgery?
- How can I best prepare for surgery?
- What can I expect after surgery?
- How safe is plastic surgery?
- Where can my surgery be performed?
- How can I pay for my surgery?
- Will my insurance cover the expense of plastic surgery?
Specific to plastic surgery, though, there are a couple of things to think about as you determine whether plastic surgery is an option for you: expectations and risk.
Expectations Very often, plastic surgery CAN enhance your appearance and boost your self-confidence. But it won’t necessarily change your looks to match your ideal or cause others to treat you differently. Take some time and think carefully about your expectations…understanding that the circumstances and experience of every individual will be unique. Once you have, be sure to discuss it in detail with your doctor, who can best help you to understand the particular procedure you’re interested in and what you can reasonably expect from it.
Uncertainty and Risk All surgery carries some degree of uncertainty and risk, including the possibility of infection, bleeding, blood clots and adverse reactions to the anesthesia. When performed by a qualified plastic surgeon, however, complications will naturally be more infrequent and usually minor. Nevertheless, you can reduce your risks by closely following your surgeon’s advice, both before and after surgery. Back to top
Q: What’s the difference between cosmetic and reconstructive surgery?
Cosmetic Surgery is performed in order to reshape normal structures of the body. The goal of such a procedure is to improve the patient’s appearance and self-esteem. Most often, it is not covered by health insurance as it’s an elective procedure.
Reconstructive Surgery is performed to correct abnormal structures of the body, caused by birth defects, developmental abnormalities, trauma or injury, infections, tumors or disease. It is most often done to improve function ability, but may also be done to approximate a normal appearance. Unlike cosmetic surgery, it is typically covered by most health insurance policies, although coverage levels will, of course, vary. Back to top
- eating and drinking
- taking or avoiding certain vitamins and medications
- how to wash the area of your body to be operated on
Carefully following these instructions will help your surgery go more smoothly. In addition, we’ll also be available to answer any questions you might have or any concerns that arise. Towards that end, please don’t hesitate to call us. Back to top
Q: What can I expect after surgery?
The First 24 Hours Immediately following your surgery, we can have one of our caring staff accompany you home and spend the first night with you, tending to your needs and making sure that the healing process is well underway. This is a service we’re glad to offer all of our patients, as it helps you to be as comfortable as possible, while ensuring a smooth transition from surgery to recovery.
Recovery In the first few weeks after surgery, you’ll see Dr. Pielet for follow-up visits (which will taper off in frequency over time) in order to check on the progress of your healing. Meanwhile, it’s important for you to keep in mind that healing — of any form — is a gradual process.
During the initial phases of recovery, you’ll experience pain and discomfort along with swelling and bruising around the operative areas. This is normal. You’ll be given medications to handle the pain, and in time, the swelling and bruising will disappear. It’s also not unusual to feel depressed in the days or weeks following surgery. Again, keep in mind that this is normal and will subside as you begin to look and feel better.
Of course, if you have any unusual symptoms between visits, or questions about your recovery, don’t hesitate to call us. While some questions will need to be handled with a one-on-one visit, most often they can be properly addressed through a brief telephone call. Back to top
Q: How safe is plastic surgery?
Although thousands of people have plastic surgery every year without complications, no surgical procedure is completely risk-free. Frankly, there is always risk associated with any surgical procedure. However, as a patient, you can play an important role in reducing that risk by ensuring the following:
- Choose a board-certified plastic surgeon, one who’s accredited by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS). In addition, that surgeon should — at minimum — also be a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS). It’s even better if he/she is also a member of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (ASAPS). While such good credentials can’t guarantee a successful outcome, they do significantly increase the likelihood of it.
- Make sure that the facility conforms to strict safety standards, such as those of the American Association for Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgical Facilities (AAAASF), or the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC). Studies have shown that plastic surgery procedures performed in accredited surgical facilities by board-certified surgeons have an excellent safety record.
- Inform your doctor of any drugs you’re taking and your full medical history, so that he can properly evaluate your medical condition and prepare for any potential complications, especially those related to blood clotting.
- Make sure you’ll receive proper anesthesia care, by verifying that the facility will use skilled, licensed personnel who will individually monitor you before, during and after the procedure.
In relation to these guidelines, Dr. Pielet is proud to be accredited by ABPS (and members of both ASPS and ASAPS), have licensed, professional anesthesiologists on staff, and perform surgery out of accredited surgical facilities, ensuring that you receive the safest care possible. The kind of expert care you deserve. Back to top
Q: Where can my surgery be performed?
In almost all cases, you’ll have a choice: your surgery can be performed at either one of our locations — which have accredited surgical suites — or at one of the many Chicago-area hospitals where we currently enjoy operating privileges. Whether you choose to have your procedure done in the peaceful seclusion of our state-of-the-art facilities or an area hospital, rest assured that you’ll receive the finest care available. Back to top
- Pre-Authorized Insurance Coverage
- Cash/Check/Credit Card
In the case of insurance coverage, you simply need to contact your insurance carrier and have them pre-authorize your procedure. From there, we’ll work with them to arrange payment, billing you directly for the balance, if any.
In the case of financing, we offer a number of different options to help you spread payments out over a number of installments, with a small finance fee. If you’d like more information on financing options, please contact Caryle at our offices or please click here or the link below to review more information and apply.
Finally, you can always pay by cash, personal check or a major credit card — VISA, Mastercard, American Express, Discover Card, Diner’s Club — whichever is most convenient for you. Back to top
Q: Will my insurance cover the expense of plastic surgery?
Most insurance policies do not cover the costs of purely cosmetic surgery. However, if the procedure is performed for reconstructive purposes, either to correct a health-related problem or a marked deformity following injury, the procedure may be covered. In any case, it’s best to check with your insurer/provider and obtain pre-authorization for your surgery. Back to top