What is the difference between cosmetic and reconstructive surgery?
Cosmetic surgery is performed to reshape normal structures, of the body, in order to improve appearance and self-image. Reconstructive surgery is performed on abnormal structures, of the body, that have been caused by congenital defects, developmental abnormalities, trauma, infection, tumors, and/or disease. In general, reconstructive surgery is performed to improve function, but may also be completed to approximate and/or enhance appearance.
Is plastic surgery safe?
All surgical procedures are accompanied by a certain degree of risk. Dr. Melendez will carefully review your medical history, and current health condition, before deciding if it is safe for you to proceed with surgery. It is important that you fully disclose all pertinent information, regarding your personal and family medical history, your general health, your medications and supplements, and your overall lifestyle, so that he is able to make an accurate assessment of the risks, that are involved, and determine if you are a good candidate for surgery.
How do I know if plastic surgery is right for me?
Various factors must be considered when deciding whether plastic surgery is a viable option for you. One of the most important factors, to be discussed, is your overall health. Good health significantly reduces the risk of complications, which may occur during surgery, and accelerates recovery. Motivation to proceed, with surgery, is another significant consideration. Patient expectations also need to be realistic, in order to achieve an optimum outcome. All of these factors will be discussed, with Dr. Melendez, during your initial consultation. Together, you will decide if you are a good candidate for specific surgical procedures.
What happens during my initial consultation?
During your consultation, Dr. Melendez will discuss your desired outcome and expectations, review your medical history and current health, and make an assessment on whether the procedure(s), you desire, are right for you. During this visit, you will have the opportunity to ask questions, about the procedure and its expected outcomes, so that you are fully prepared, mentally and emotionally, for surgery. If a decision is made, to proceed, you will be asked to fill out consent forms and other documents.
Can I have several procedures performed simultaneously?
Yes, it is fairly common for a plastic surgeon to perform multiple procedures during one operation. This allows the surgeon to better “sculpt” your final appearance. In addition, having several procedures, performed simultaneously, can save you both monetary expense and recovery time. However, having too much done, at one time, can lead to complications. The decision to have multiple procedures performed, at one time, depends on which procedures are being performed, the extent of the surgery, the projected operating time, your age, and your overall health. Dr. Melendez will decide, if it is appropriate, to include more than one procedure in your operation.
Does it matter how old I am?
No, there is no hard and fast rule. Due to the variety of procedures, that are available in plastic surgery, your age will be one factor that will be taken into consideration when planning your operation, but it is not the sole determining factor.
How long will it take to recover from my surgery?
The length of recovery time varies, with each procedure, and it is different for each individual patient. Dr. Melendez will discuss your concerns and your projected recovery timeline for your surgery.
Will my insurance cover the surgery?
Most insurance plans include coverage, for costs for reconstructive surgery, but not for cosmetic surgery. Insurance providers will often pay for breast reconstruction following a mastectomy; breast reduction to remedy back pain caused by heavy breasts; eyelid surgery to remove sagging skin that blocks vision; a wide array of reconstructive hand surgery; and nose surgery which allows for a patient to breathe more freely.
Insurance providers are also required, by law, to cover breast reconstruction surgery and any cosmetic operations, which are necessary, to create symmetry in either breast following a mastectomy.
Where will my surgery be performed?
Dr. Melendez has staff privileges at seven area hospitals: Greenwich Hospital, Griffin Hospital, Milford Hospital, Norwalk Hospital, St. Raphael’s Hospital, St. Vincent’s Hospital, and Yale-New Haven Hospital. Depending upon the procedure, you wish to have; he will select the medical center that is best-suited to your needs.
If your surgery is covered by insurance, pre-certification is required, and our staff will assist you in that process.
Sources: Dr. Mark Melendez, American Society of Plastic Surgeons.