Plastic surgery has been gaining popularity in recent years and even more so during sheltering in place, as more and more people look for ways to improve their quality of life.
For some patients, plastic surgery offers a way to correct abnormalities that cause difficulties in their day to day life. For others, plastic surgery offers ways to change their appearance.
If you’re considering plastic surgery, you likely have many questions. We’ll briefly explain the basics of plastic surgery and answer the most frequently asked questions.
|In This Article|
|Reconstructive vs. Cosmetic Surgery|
|Different Types of Plastic Surgery|
|Most Common Procedures?|
|Cost and Insurance|
|The Recovery Time|
Understanding Plastic Surgery
Understanding the types of surgery and procedures leads to higher satisfaction.
According to Elite Facial Plastic Surgery, many patients walk into the office knowing what end result they want, but with little idea of what it takes to get there. Patients who have read and understood the basics of plastic surgery are able to get more out of their doctor visits.
What is the Difference Between Reconstructive Surgery and Cosmetic Surgery?
Categorizing plastic surgery into reconstructive or cosmetic surgery depends on the purpose of the surgery.
Reconstructive plastic surgery is intended to correct defects or abnormalities. The defects can be the result of a birth defect, an injury, or a medical condition. The surgery can aim to restore function, appearance or both:
- Correcting a deviated nasal septum to improve breathing without changing the appearance of the nose
- Breast reconstruction for women who underwent a mastectomy to remove a cancerous tumor
- Hand surgery for rheumatoid arthritis to improve grip and appearance of the hands
Reconstructive Surgery is usually considered medically necessary and as such most insurance companies will cover the costs of the procedure.
Cosmetic plastic surgery aims to enhance the appearance of what is otherwise anatomically correct. Because these procedures are not medically necessary, they’re usually not covered by insurance and all costs are entirely out-of-pocket.
Some examples of cosmetic plastic surgery include
- Breast augmentation
What are the Different Types of Procedures?
There are two main types kinds of procedures: invasive and non-invasive.
Invasive surgery is any surgery that requires the skin to be cut open. Some examples of invasive procedures include
- Breast implants
Non-invasive surgery is a procedure that does not require the skin to be broken, and there is no contact with the internal body cavity. Some examples of non-invasive procedures include
- Laser treatments
- Ultherapy; facial and neck tightening treatment
- Coolsculpting; destroying fat cells via cold temperatures
What Are the Most Common Operations?
You’ve probably got a pretty good idea about what plastic surgery is based on the information above, though you may not be familiar with the different kinds of plastic surgery. If you are considering getting plastic surgery, you may already know the procedure you want, however, it may be beneficial to you to know about other options and other kinds of plastic surgeries you may want to consider down the road or surgeries to recommend to family and friends based on their wants and needs. Here is a short guide to the most popular kinds of plastic surgery:
Rhinoplasty, otherwise known as a nose job, rhinoplasty reconstructs the shape of the nose.
Breast Augmentation is the most common “boob job”. Also called augmentation mammoplasty, it is a surgical procedure that is used to increase breast size with artificial or fat implants.
Breast Reconstruction is another “boob job” for women who had their breasts surgically removed in treatment for breast cancer.
Liposuction, also called lipoplasty, removes excess fat through a suctioning process and can be done on the stomach, thighs, underarms, breast areas, and hips to completely reshape the region.
Abdominoplasty, or “tummy tuck” minimizes the abdominal area and removes excess fat and skin. There is also another abdominoplasty procedure called a “mini tummy tuck” that is popular amongst patients who have fat deposits just under the navel. Many women that have had multiple children opt for the mini-tummy tuck.
Botox injections are a minimally invasive procedure that does not require surgery. A chemical solution is injected into a part/parts of the body most famously to reduce wrinkles, but is often used for other medical conditions:
- neck spasms (cervical dystonia)
- excessive sweating (hyperhidrosis)
- an overactive bladder
- lazy eye
- chronic migraines
Vein treatment removes varicose vein symptoms and prevents any complications. Incisions are made over the varicose vein and then the vein is tied off/ligated and removed.
Brachioplasty, arm lift, improves the appearance of the upper/under portion of your arm. Excess fat and skin is removed and the rest of the arm is contoured to create a more toned look.
Facelift, is less commonly known by its medical name rhytidectomy involves the removal of excess facial skin to signs of aging like wrinkles, jowls, or turkey neck, resulting in a more youthful appearance.
Eyelid Lift is the removal of excess fat/sagging skin and muscle from the upper and lower eyelids to return the shape of the eye to its younger form.
Cleft Lip or Cleft Palate Reconstruction corrects facial abnormalities that occur in the early stages of pregnancy when the baby’s mouth and lip do not fuse.
The Cost of Plastic Surgery and What You Need to Know About Insurance
The cost of plastic surgery is completely dependent on the type of procedure you are having done, some surgeries are more pricey than others. Some other factors that determine the cost of plastic surgery include
- Whether or not you will receive anesthesia
- The surgeon’s fees
- Your hospital stay
- The number of procedures your plastic surgery requires
- Whether or not your procedure is done in
- a doctor’s office or in a hospital
Plastic surgery usually costs $2,000+ so it will be worth your while to talk to multiple surgeons to get the best price possible. It will also be beneficial for you to do some prior research to make sure the cost that your doctor is charging is fair and accurate.
Many people ask, “Will my insurance cover my plastic surgery?” The answer is, probably not. Most cosmetic procedures are not covered by insurance companies because they aren’t necessary for one’s health. Unless you can prove that your plastic surgery is a medical necessity, you will likely have to pay out of pocket for your plastic surgery.
However, some reconstructive surgeries will be covered by your insurance because they’re considered a necessary medical procedure. Contact your insurance company upon meeting with your surgeon and finding out the cost of your plastic surgery.
The Recovery Time
Again, the recovery time is completely dependent on the specific plastic procedure. Generally the more invasive the procedure the longer the recovery time will be. Click on the link to learn more about the recovery process for the various procedures within each of these categories:
Learn how you can prepare for a successful recovery.
The term, “plastic surgery,” comes from the Greek word, plastikos, meaning to form or mold which is essentially what a person is doing when he or she gets this kind of cosmetic surgery; forming or molding the body. Many people assume this term comes from the synthetic substance of plastic.
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Author: Jennifer Bell is a freelance writer, blogger, dog-enthusiast, and avid beachgoer operating out of Southern New Jersey.
Medical Review: Dr. Dominic M. Castellano, M.D., is a double board-certified facial plastic surgeon.