Your most common cosmetic surgery questions answered!

We’ve done the work for you.  After scouring the web for all things plastic surgery, we’ve put together a complete list of the most common questions people search for on plastic surgery.  We hope you will find some answers for questions you may have!  We’ve also included photos of different types of plastic surgeries.

Q: Can I die from plastic surgery?

Answer:  There are risks involved with any surgery, whether it’s plastic surgery or heart surgery.  Plastic surgery deaths are rare (about 100 people die per year). The most important factor you can control is finding an experienced doctor for your chosen procedure.  Do your research online and meet with a number of doctors before deciding on your doctor.  Voice any questions or concerns you may have with your doctor about the specific procedure you are interested in.  If you need help finding a doctor, check out our guide for finding the best plastic surgeon doctor for you. 

Facial Reconstruction
Facial Reconstruction

Q: Do I need plastic surgery?

Answer: You don’t need plastic surgery.  The decision to do it is entirely up to you!  My body, my choice!  Some people have felt more confident after a cosmetic procedure.  Others haven’t felt any more confident.  Plastic surgery procedures can correct many bodily features that people feel insecure about.  If you’re feeling insecure about a particular feature on your body, there’s a high chance there’s a procedure that can correct it.  Check out this article showing the most amazing facial and body transformations from plastic surgery.

Rhinoplasty
Rhinoplasty

Q: Does insurance cover plastic surgery?

Answer: Insurance typically does not cover cosmetic surgeries that improve your appearance.  The keyword is improve. If you have bodily damage/scarring from any trauma or accidents, cosmetic reconstructive surgery may be covered by insurance. Before undergoing any treatment, it’s best to consult with your insurance to get an understanding of the kind of coverage you will be getting.  The same rules apply for Medicaid; they don’t cover surgeries improving your appearance, but may cover reconstructive surgery.

Q: How long do plastic surgery treatments last?

Answer: Plastic surgery treatments can last anywhere from a lifetime, to a few months.  Generally, any sort of augmentation surgery involving body parts lasts for a lifetime.  Some examples of augmentation surgery include the nose, the breasts, and buttocks.  Cosmetic surgeries for skin treatments typically last a few months to a few years.  These types of surgeries are not permanent and may require repeat treatments to keep the desired look.  Check out our guides on Sculptra and Fraxel Laser Treatment to see how some of these skin procedures work!

Q: Does plastic surgery hurt?

Answer: Pain is a common concern for anybody interested in surgery.  The good news is, cosmetic surgery is mostly pain-free.  Your doctor will do a thorough job in making sure you are comfortable and pain-free throughout your entire surgery.  This means applying topical numbing creams to the treatment area, or even sedating you for the duration of the surgery.  Afterwards, pain medication may be administered depending on the severity of the surgery.

Maxillofacial Surgery, Mentoplasty
Maxillofacial Surgery, Mentoplasty

Q: What’s the recovery time for plastic surgery?

Answer: Recovery times vary based on the severity of the cosmetic surgery.  Typically, skin treatment surgeries have the shortest recovery times, ranging from no recovery to a few days.  With any augmentation surgery, there may be scarring that will take a few days to weeks to heal.  It’s best to prepare accordingly before your surgery, making sure to take time off from work and responsibilities to ensure you have the best possible recovery.

Q: How much does plastic surgery cost?

A: This varies depending on the surgery you are getting.  Again, insurance rarely covers any procedures that enhance cosmetic appearance.  So most likely, you will be paying out of pocket for your procedure.  Generally, injectables such as Botox cost between 300-500 dollars.  Augmentation surgeries are the most expensive, and can cost thousands of dollars.  Check out our post ranking cosmetic procedures from least expensive to most expensive.

Septorhinoplasty, Chin Implant, Chin Liposuction
Septorhinoplasty, Chin Implant, Chin Liposuction

Q: Is plastic surgery tax deductible?

A: If your cosmetic surgery is done to enhance any bodily features, you cannot deduct these costs from your taxes.  However, if your doctor concludes the surgery is done to correct any problems (i.e nose reconstruction surgery to help resolve breathing problems), then the IRS permits you to deduct these as medical expenses.  Typically, reconstruction surgery is tax deductible.

Q: Why is it called plastic surgery?

A: There is a stigma attached to plastic surgery because of the word plastic.  Why is it called plastic surgery?  Do doctors use plastic in plastic surgery?  Never.  There are different materials used for various surgeries (all of them FDA approved), and none of them involve the use of plastic.  Plastic surgery got its name from the Greek word plastikos, meaning to mold.  With that understanding , the name then seems more appropriate.  Almost all plastic surgery is reconstructive, as it changes the appearance of a particular part of the body.  Surgeons are re-molding you to look different than you did before.

Chin and Jowl Liposuction
Chin and Jowl Liposuction

Q: Why is plastic surgery good for you?

A: The benefits of plastic surgery are almost always going to be experienced from your head.  Not physical head, but mentally feeling better.  Some people have felt much more confident after undergoing a cosmetic procedure correcting an insecure bodily feature.  You pay some money, and the insecurity disappears!  Most cosmetic procedures do not have any health benefits.  They are purely done for your own personal confidence.  So, it’s important to weigh the perks and downsides of a potential cosmetic treatment.

Q: Why is plastic surgery harmful?

A: Like any other type of surgery, there are risks involved.  A botched cosmetic procedure can have lifetime complications, and may even result in death.  Normally, cosmetic procedures are considered some of the safest, low-risk procedures in medicine.  It’s important to find a doctor that is experienced, and qualified to perform the procedure you are interested in.

Conclusion

We hope you have found some answers to questions regarding cosmetic surgery!  If you are interested in learning more about different types of cosmetic procedures, please check out our cosmetic surgery page for details on different kinds of cosmetic procedures.  Please leave a comment down below if you have any other questions that we may not have covered in this blog.  Happy holidays, and be safe and healthy!

The Ultimate Sculptra Guide (Help fix loose skin!)

Sculptra Guide

Introduction

There are many reasons why our skin can sag and droop.  You may have loose skin from aging, or loose skin after significant weight loss.  While sagging skin is natural, we may still want to tighten up those areas of loose skin. 

There are many different types of treatments and injectables that are available on the market and in your local dermatologists office. Sculptra is a fairly new brand of injectable that has been gaining popularity and excitement in dermatology offices around the country. We’ve made this ultimate guide for Sculptra to help you gain a better understanding of how the product works.

What is Sculptra?

Sculptra is an FDA approved injectable drug made of an acid called poly-L-lactic.  Sculptra is different from other injectable products such as Botox and Dysport, because it is considered a bio-activator, not a filler.  A bio-activator like Sculptra stimulates collagen growth, whereas a filler (like Botox), injects a substance into the treatment area that fills up the space.

It’s important to understand what collagen does for the skin.  Collagen is the protein that gives your skin a healthy, youthful look.  It plays an important role in strengthening your skin.  As you get older, your body produces less collagen, which is why you get loose skin and more wrinkles.

Sculptra is able to stimulate collagen production, and a round of treatments can last up to two years or more.

How long does a Sculptra treatment last?

Sculptra works differently than other injectables like Botox and Dysport.  Results from a Sculptra treatment are not immediate.  Results typically take between 4-6 months to show, depending on various factors like your age (the younger you are, the quicker results show) and the volume loss (drooping) on your skin.  According to studies, it takes about 9 months for full results to show.

Results take longer to show compared to Botox and Dysport because the drug: poly-L-lactic acid works differently.  Poly-L-lactic acid acts as a collagen growth starter. The drug kick starts the process for your body to self-produce collagen.

Your doctor will determine how many injections you will need to achieve the desired results.  On average, patients receive 3-4 injections spread out over three to four months.

What does Sculptra treat?

Sculptra is popular for treating saggy/droopy skin, wrinkles and lines.  The most common area of treatment is in the face, but the drug has been used to treat other areas of the body such as the chest and the arms.

If you experience hollowness (around the eyes), loss of volume (in the face), droopy/loose skin, laugh-lines, jawline sagging, or chin wrinkles, you may consider getting a Sculptra treatment.

Hollowness around the eyes
Hollowness around the eyes
Loss of volume
Loss of volume

How do Sculptra butt lifts work?

If you are interested in enhancing the shape and curve of your butt, consider doing a Sculptra butt lift.  Compared to other butt lift procedures such as Brazilian butt lifts, silicone injections, and silicone implants, Sculptra patients see a significant, positive change in butt shapes, while undergoing minimally invasive treatments.

Sculptra works similarly on the butt as with other parts of the body.  The drug: poly-L-lactic acid, is injected into the butt and kick starts the collagen building process.  Collagen is the protein that gives your skin structure and shape.  The collagen rebuilding process can take a few months depending on factors such as age and butt drooping.  You may require multiple injections over a period of time, depending on the suggestions of your doctor.  But a round of Sculptra treatments lasts for about two years.

While there isn’t a lot of clinical data for Sculptra butt lifts (because it is not FDA approved), patients in general have submitted positive feedback of their results.

Sculptra butt treatment
Sculptra butt treatment

Sculptra butt treatment
Sculptra butt treatment

What happens pre-treatment?

It’s important to find a dermatologist that you can trust to do Sculptra treatment.

Your dermatologist should be board certified by the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery or the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery.

Here’s are some questions you may ask to find the best dermatologist for you:

  • How much experience do you have with Sculptra treatments?
  • What is your experience with my condition; have you treated my condition before?
  • Do you have before and after pictures of clients for the procedure I am interested in getting?
  • What are possible side effects?
  • What does the recovery process look like?
  • How many sessions will I need for this treatment?

There is no specific pre-treatment care required for Sculptra.  During your initial consultation, you will be asked to provide a complete medical history that includes information such as medical conditions and allergies.

Following your consultation your doctor will provide you with any specific instructions before your Sculptra treatment.

What happens during your Sculptra treatment?

During the treatment, your doctor will first locate the injection sites on your skin.  They will then cleanse the area, and possibly apply a topical numbing ointment to reduce any discomfort from the injection.

The Sculptra filler will then be injected beneath the skin, and then the doctor will massage the injection site to make sure the Poly-L-Lactic acid is properly distributed across the treatment area.  

Following the injection, you should be able to resume all normal activities.  If needed, your doctor will provide you with specific post-care instructions.

Sculptra injection demonstration
Pre Sculptra Injection
Sculptra injection

What are the risks and side effects for Sculptra treatment?

The most common side effects following a Sculptra injection are:

  • Bruising
  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Redness
  • Itching
  • Bumps

Side effects typically last anywhere from one to two weeks.  

Some patients may develop small lumps (granulomas) under the skin following the treatment that may become permanent.  However, the risk of developing lumps are small (7 to 9 percent according to a 2015 study).

Risks of lumps are typically related to the accuracy of the injection, which is why it is important to find a trusted professional.

What’s the recovery time for Sculptra?

You can resume almost all normal activities following your Sculptra treatment.  There may be some mild side effects such as swelling, redness, and bruising, but these effects should disappear within a few days.  You may apply a cold pack to the treated area to reduce swelling.

It is important to massage the treated area 5 times a day, for 5 minutes, for 5 days after your injection.  The purpose of this is to properly disperse the drug throughout the treated area to prevent nodules from forming.

Results may take a few weeks to show.  This is because the collagen building process takes time.  You may feel frustrated, but be patient.  Once the full effects of the drug take place, results can last up to two years.

Sculptra full treatment results
Sculptra full treatment results

Conclusion

Sculptra is a promising option for people with saggy and droopy skin.  The drug works differently than other injectables, like Botox, because it kick starts a natural healing process for your body to self-heal aged skin.

Treatment can be on the expensive side ($1,500 – $3,500 for an average round of treatments), but results last for up to two years.

Sculptra can be used to treat skin throughout the body, as it adds definition to areas that have lost its volume (such as the face and the butt).

If you are interested in Sculptra, find a trusted dermatologist and schedule a consultation to determine if the drug is right for you.

The Ultimate Fraxel Laser Treatment Guide

Fraxel laser treatment

We all have insecurities about our skin, whether it’s hyper pigmentation from sun damage, facial scarring from acne breakouts, or wrinkles and fine lines from aging.  Fraxel laser resurfacing is an exciting method that can renew and rejuvenate damaged skin.

Fraxel laser treatment
Example of fraxel laser treatment results

What exactly does a fraxel laser do?

A fraxel laser procedure works by penetrating internal layers of skin.  The body’s natural collagen (the protein that gives your skin a healthy, youthful look) is triggered and starts to repair the targeted area of treatment. A single session of fraxel laser treatment will jumpstart the skin to repair itself on its own. There are two types of fraxel lasers, a non-ablative laser, which will not wound the skin, and an ablative laser, which wounds the skin.  We will further discuss the pros and cons of using each laser later.

How do I know if fraxel laser treatment is for me?

Fraxel Laser Therapy is most commonly used for three types of skin conditions: hyper pigmentation from sun damage, wrinkles, and acne scarring.  Some examples of hyper pigmentation are sunspots and age spots. Fraxel lasers have also gained popularity from its effective treatment of acne scarring and wrinkles (fine lines, creases, folds, or ridges on skin).

Dermatologists have found that laser treatments are more effective than topical treatments for more serious skin conditions.  This is because lasers deeper layers of the skin, allowing newer, healthier looking skin to develop.

Hyper pigmentation face from sun damage.
Hyper pigmentation face from sun damage.
Acne scarring.
Acne Scarring
Wrinkles and fine lines.
Wrinkles and fine lines.

How many types of fraxel lasers are there?

There are two different types of fraxel lasers.  Often, a dermatologist’s office will carry both options, and they will decide on the appropriate laser for your condition. 

The first type of fraxel laser, Fraxel Dual, is a non-ablative laser that is commonly used to treat mild skin conditions.  A non-ablative laser does not wound the surface of the skin, unlike an ablative laser.  There are two wavelength options in the Fraxel Dual: a 1927 wavelength that targets skin conditions such as hyper pigmentation, dark spots, and sun damage, and a 1550 wavelength, that targets skin textures such as fine lines, wrinkles, and acne scarring. If you choose to undergo treatment with the Fraxel Dual laser, your dermatologist will determine the best wavelength for your specific condition.

The second type of fraxel laser, Fraxel Repair, is a more powerful, ablative laser, meaning it removes outer layers of skin to stimulate fresh skin growth underneath.  Ablative laser treatments require more healing time and care.  Fraxel Repair can be used to treat similar skin conditions that a non-ablative laser treats, but it is best used to treat more severe skin damage from hyper pigmentation, wrinkles, and acne scars.

Fraxel Dual laser
Fraxel Duel laser
Fraxel laser treatment
Fraxel laser treatment

What first steps should I take if I’m interested in getting fraxel laser treatment?

The first step if you are interested in fraxel laser treatment is to consult with a trusted dermatologist or physician to see if you are a good candidate.

Here are a few points to keep in mind as you are making your decision:

  • Fraxel laser treatment is considered a cosmetic procedure, so it is not covered by medical insurance.
  • Costs for treatment vary from the types of lasers used, and the amount of sessions needed for effective treatment.
  • A typical single fraxel laser treatment costs around $1,500 dollars.

How do I find the best dermatologist near me for fraxel laser treatment?

It’s important to work with a trusted doctor who is board certified by the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery or the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery for fraxel laser treatment.

Here’s are some possible questions you may to find the best dermatologist for you:

  • How much experience do you have with fraxel laser treatment?
  • What is your experience with my skin tone, and have you treated my condition before?
  • Do you have before and after pictures of clients for the procedure I am interested in getting?
  • What are possible side effects?
  • What does the recovery process look like?
  • How many sessions will I need for this treatment?
Find the best dermatologist for you.
Find the best dermatologist for you.

How do I prepare for the treatment?

Your dermatologist will give you detailed instructions on how to prepare for your fraxel laser treatment, and it will vary from skin type to skin type.

Typically, a week before your treatment, you will need to stop using any products that can cause skin sensitivities.  This can include retinoids, retinols, exfoliants, and acids like glycolic acid or salicylic acid.

It’s important to not have any active acne breakouts or open wounds on your skin the day of the treatment. If you do end up breaking out or have wounds, your dermatologist may want to postpone the treatment until your conditions have healed.

What happens during the fraxel laser procedure?

It takes about 20-30 minutes to complete a session of fraxel laser treatment. 

Before the procedure begins, your dermatologist will treat the targeted area with a topical numbing cream.  During the procedure, you will feel a mild-tingling, prickling sensation on the areas being treated.  It may feel slightly uncomfortable, but the numbing anesthetic makes the procedure very tolerable.

What happens after your fraxel laser treatment?

The recovery time of fraxel laser treatment varies depending on the type of laser used.  If an ablative laser is used (Fraxel Repair) the typical healing time is a week, and you can expect some redness and swelling (similar to that of a sunburn) the first few days after treatment.  Afterwards, some roughness and peeling will occur.  Resist the temptation to peel flakes, as this can lengthen recovery time or cause permanent scarring.

If a non-ablative laser is used (Fraxel Dual), there are minimal side effects and the recovery time is shorter. You may experience slight redness, swelling, and peeling, but the effects typically resolve themselves within a week.

It’s important to use plenty of sunscreen after treatment.  Follow the instructions from your dermatologist.  Some examples of instructions may be: avoiding harsh skin products for a period of time, and using mild cleansers and moisturizers during the healing process. It’s important to consult with your dermatologist for proper post-procedure care.

Do I need multiple fraxel laser treatments?

Depending on the severity of your skin condition, you may benefit from a series of fraxel laser treatments.  Some people with severe acne scars and wrinkles may seek multiple treatments spread out over a few months.  Less severe conditions may require only one or two sessions.

The amount of sessions needed also depends on the type of fraxel laser used.  A stronger laser may be more effective in treating the skin condition, but can require a longer healing time.  A weaker laser will not cause wounding, but may require multiple sessions to achieve the desired aesthetic.

It is important to note that fraxel laser treatments are not permanent.  According to dermatologists, a successful fraxel laser treatment can last for a year or more.  It’s recommended that you do a round of treatment once a year to maintain your skin.

Conclusion

Fraxel laser treatment can be a useful tool in treating skin conditions, however, it’s important to find the right treatment and doctor for your condition.  If used properly, a round of fraxel laser treatment may help diminish unappealing skin conditions and provide you with more confidence and better looking skin.

Laser Skin Resurfacing

Is botox safe?

What is laser skin resurfacing?

Laser skin resurfacing is a skin care procedure performed by dermatologists and physicians to help your skin look younger and healthier. 

The procedure removes skin layers using precise lasers. The new skin that forms under has better texture and appearance, giving a more youthful appearance.

There are many different types of lasers, and each have their specialties.  For example, CO2 lasers are used to get rid of deep wrinkles, scars, and warts.  Erbium lasers are used to treat wrinkles and finer lines.

Other types of lasers such as pulsed light, pulsed-dye lasers, and fractional lasers are used to treat skin conditions such as rosacea, spider veins, and acne scars.

Who should get laser skin resurfacing?

Laser skin resurfacing should be considered if you have skin care concerns that are not treatable with over the counter medication.

Laser skin resurfacing can be used to treat conditions such as:

  • Scars
  • Acne scars
  • Fine lines and wrinkles
  • Warts
  • Age spots
  • Sagging skin
  • Crow’s feet

It is important to consider skin tone when deciding whether to use laser skin resurfacing.  Lighter skin tones often work well because there is a reduced risk of hyperpigmentation.

You are still able to use laser skin resurfacing even if you have a darker skin tone.  It is important to work with a trusted dermatologist or physician to determine the best laser to use for your skin tone.

It also best to have any laser resurfacing procedures done during the fall or winter, where there is a less of a change of prolonged sun exposure.

What first steps should I take if I’m interested in laser skin resurfacing?

The first step is to consult with a trusted dermatologist or physician to see if you are a good candidate.

Laser skin resurfacing is considered a cosmetic procedure, so it’s not covered by medical insurance.

Costs vary between the types of lasers used, and the amount of sessions needed for effective treatment.

Costs can vary anywhere from hundreds of dollars to thousands.

Possible side effects and risks

Like many procedures, laser skin resurfacing does pose side effects.

Some effects include:

  • scars
  • redness
  • infection
  • bumps
  • rash
  • hyperpigmentation

It’s important to follow instructions from your doctor regarding pre and post treatment care.  This will help reduce the chances of side effects occurring.

What happens after the procedure?

You can leave your doctor’s office immediately following the laser skin resurfacing.

However, there is still a recovery period.  As mentioned it’s important to follow instructions from your doctor post treatment to avoid the risk of side effects.

Scars usually take a week or more to heal.  Generally, the more intense the laser treatment, the longer the recovery time. 

It may take up to three weeks for scars to heal from treatments involving erbium or CO2 lasers.

Once the scar has healed, it’s important to maintain a regular habit of sun protection.  Your doctor will provide you with specific information, but as a general rule, wear a minimum of SPF 30 sunscreen whenever going out to reduce the risk of sun damage.

What kind of results should I expect?

Results will vary based on a number of factors.  Typically, a successful treatment will last for several years.  However, results are not permanent.  You may need to receive another treatment.

How to find the right dermatologist/plastic surgeon

It’s important to work with a trusted doctor who is board certified by the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery or the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery for laser skin resurfacing.

Here’s are some possible questions you may ask your doctor:

  • How much experience do you have with laser skin resurfacing?
  • What is your experience with my skin tone, and have you treated my condition before?
  • Do you have before and after pictures of clients for the procedure I am interested in getting?
  • What are possible side effects?
  • What does the recovery process look like?
  • How many sessions will I need for this treatment?

Laser skin resurfacing can be a useful tool in treating skin conditions, however, it’s important to find the right treatment and doctor for your condition.