Popular Plastic Surgery Questions

Terms like Botox, fillers, liposuction, facelift, breast implants, and rhinoplasty have become such a common part of our lexicon. Plastic surgery is no longer a mystery shrouded behind an operating room or spoken of only in hushed tones. Even though we all seem to have a familiarity with cosmetic surgery, or have undergone procedures ourselves, there are still so many lingering questions. John Zannis, M.D., is a New Bern, NC, board certified plastic surgeon highlights and answers some of the most common questions clients ask.


Is there a non-surgical option to a nose job?

Rhinoplasty is nose shaping surgery commonly performed for patients who want to improve the appearance of their nose for cosmetic reasons, after accidents or to improve the airways or nostrils of the nose for better breathing.  Sometimes injectable fillers such as collagen or calcium hydroxyapatite or fat taken from another part of the body can be used to enhance the look of the nose.  This is called “injection rhinoplasty” and an alternate option to surgery when appropriate.


If I have fat removed through liposuction, will it reappear elsewhere?

Liposuction completely removes fat cells from a specific area of the body. However, if you gain weight, fat cells in other parts of your body will expand. This means areas that are not normally fat, such as your wrists, may gain weight. Liposuction isn't about weight loss—you're usually just taking off a couple of pounds — but about contouring. So if you're bothered by having hips that are out of balance with the rest of your body, liposuction will in all likelihood work for you even if the pounds return. Your body will be more symmetrical.


After repeated Botox injections, will facial muscles ever lose the ability to frown?

No. You may need less Botox over the years, but if you stop having injections, frown lines will return. Regularly paralyzed muscles don't forget how to frown, unless they lose their nerve supply altogether. The habit may be modified if it is difficult for the brain to activate these muscles and gradually habitual frowning may diminish simply through lack of use.




How long does it take to recover from cosmetic surgery?

There is a difference between being back on your feet and complete recovery. 'With makeup, you'll be presentable two weeks after a face-lift, but full recovery can take six months. Most of the swelling with breast reduction disappears within two weeks, but it will be up to nine months before you're back to normal. After liposuction, you have to spend three weeks wearing very tight bandages over the areas treated. This can be hot, uncomfortable and embarrassing - it may even affect everyday activities (such as using the lavatory). He adds that, Laser peels require the most dedication. Your face will have been stripped of its top layers of skin and you will be left with a bright red, oozing face. You have to clean the skin to remove any scabs and re-apply special burn cream many times during the day and night.


Is it always possible to change something about your body?

As a plastic surgeon who has operated on thousands of patients, I honestly try to do anything reasonable to make it better, if it's possible to improve it. The problem comes when it's not possible to improve it. Sometimes you can't take away scars.  Areas of the body could be botched beyond repair from previous plastic surgery. You can't always change what genetics gave you. Sometimes people have Body Dysmorphic Disorder and have a skewed, unrealistic view of how they look. These are the most difficult cases.


Should I Place My Implant Over or Under the Muscle?

Breast implants can be placed over or under the muscle on the chest. There are advantages to both. During your consultation, we’ll explain your options and make some recommendations for your lifestyle, body type, and desired results.


Does Botox prevent wrinkles?

Absolutely. Botox and competitors like Dysport and Xeomin are highly purified toxins that can temporarily erase or reduce horizontal forehead lines, vertical frown lines, and crow's-feet. The injections slow muscles that contract hundreds of times a day, eventually etching lines in the skin. Botox can also lift the corners of the mouth that sag with age, smooth out the "pin cushion" look in some chins, soften smoker's lines around the mouth, and soften vertical neck cords.


How long do the results of a facelift last?

Some women believe that if they have a facelift, they are doomed to repeat the operation in a few years. In fact, a lift lasts between five and ten years, with seven years being the average. By then some of the changes of aging will have returned. Surgery for facial rejuvenation is an ongoing process, with periodic maintenance. And ten years later a woman who has had a facelift will be better off than if she had not.


What is the optimal age for a first facelift?

Facial aging changes start to become noticeable in the late 30s for most people. As these changes progress through the 40s and 50s, deep facial lines caused by skin folds and loss of facial volume from fat loss create permanent skin changes that are difficult to correct with a facelift alone. Taking action early, in your 40s or 50s by having a facelift or volume enhancement by fillers or fat will help prevent these permanent changes. Generally speaking, people in their 40s and 50s are more  healthy with fewer medical issues than people over 60, and younger people are generally better candidates for elective surgery such as a facelift and recover more easily.