Deciding On An Operation

Anyone interested in cosmetic surgery of the face, nose, neck, eyelids, eyebrows, or forehead should consult a competent facial plastic surgeon.  Only Head and Neck (Ear, Nose and Throat) or General Plastic Surgeons are qualified to do the entire realm of facial plastic surgery.  Dermatologists and Ophthalmologists are also trained to do some cosmetic  procedures.  During the initial visit, the surgeon makes a thorough evaluation of the facial features to determine whether surgery is indicated.  The surgeon will then discuss any questions and concerns related to the surgery.

In addition to the skill of the surgeon, the patient's realistic expectations about the results of the surgery, his or her skin type and bone structure, and his or her general emotional and physical state are important considerations.  Mental attitude is as important as the ability to heal in evaluating candidates for facial plastic surgery. 

Once surgery is agreed upon, pre-operative photographs are taken to help the surgeon plan the operation.  These photographs are compared with similar ones taken sometime after surgery and serve as a confidential, permanent before-and-after record of the results.

The Surgery

The operation casn be performed in a hospital, an ambulatory surgical care center or an office surgery center, depending on the patient's and the physician's preference.  Surgery can be performed safely on an out-patient surgical basis.

Pre-operative medications to relieve tension and local anesthetics to numb the facial area during the surgery commonly are administered.  These should keep the patient comfortable and free of pain during the operation.  Sedation allows the patient to sleep through much of the procedure.

After the operation, some swelling and bruising can be expected.  These usually subside within two to three weeks.  There may be mild discomfort for a short time after the surgery, but this usually is controlled easily with medication.  Significant pain is quite rare.

The Risks

The risks are minimal.  There are inherent risks in any surgical undertaking, however, and these should be discussed thoroughly with your facial plasics surgeon.  Many thousands of successful facial cosmetic oprerations are performed each year.