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Plastic or Reconstructive Surgery Explained: Facts, Recovery Time, What to Expect About Your Plastic or Cosmetic Surgery.

There are two kinds of plastic surgery: reconstructive surgery and cosmetic surgery. Reconstructive plastic surgery’s primary function is to help an injured, scarred or damaged area improve or restore its prime function.  Reconstructive surgery, may in the process of trying to restore someone’s function, restore that area cosmetically. Whereas cosmetic surgery’s main goal is to restore, reshape or improve the patient’s aesthetic appearance. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, in 2012 there were over 14 million plastic surgery procedures performed on men and women.

Reconstructive Surgery

Usually covered by medical insurance, these surgeries reconstruct abnormal defects and damage caused by trauma from disease, tumors, birth defects, burns and other kinds of maladies.

Common types of surgeries include breast reductions and reconstruction, such as in the case where a patient’s breasts are so large that it causes skeletal issues or back pain. It includes scar reduction, skin graphing, surgeries to restore areas from skin cancer, hand or foot reconstruction, cleft lip and palettes and other facial surgeries that might improve breathing or function.  Reconstructive surgery is usually covered by insurance . An example of this would be the case of an older person’s droopy eyelids that hamper the patient’s vision and ability to drive a car.


Cosmetic or Plastic Surgery

Many forms of cosmetic or plastic surgery are not covered by insurance unless the surgery is necessary to restore function. Most cosmetic or plastic surgery is by the patient’s choice, is sought to improve self-esteem and appearance. There are both surgical and non-surgical methods to do so. Examples of cosmetic surgery are facelifts, tummy tucks, arm and thigh lifts, breast implants/augmentation, chin, ear and nose surgeries to enhance one’s appearance.

Some less invasive techniques include using fillers, chemical peels, dermabrasion and laser treatments.


Alternatives to Cosmetic Plastic Surgery: Injectable Treatments

Some people opt to not undergo surgery but opt for getting a series of injections that can temporarily reduce wrinkles and lines on the face and neck. The most common injectable treatments are BoTox and Fillers.


BoTox (Botulinum toxin)

Botulinum toxin type A and botulinum toxin type B are neurtoxins derived from a bacteria.  These injections cancel or impede the muscular nerve signals. This then renders the muscles weaker and unable to contract as normal. The result is that it reduces wrinkles. Treatments may last up to six months. BoTox may be used with other skin treatments such as dermal fillers and peels. Combining these treatments may hinder the development of new lines.



Fillers can efficiently reduce lines, wrinkles without causing the swelling associated with facelifts and other surgical treatments.  Fillers are derived from either  biologic or more natural components or synthetic.  Biologic fillers use animal hyaluronic acid or bovine collagen. Synthetic fillers are derived from Calcium hydroxylapatite or polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) microspheres. Depending on the kind of filler results can last from three months to three years.


Who Is Getting Cosmetic or Plastic Surgery?

According to The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) in 2012, over 14 million cosmetic surgical and nonsurgical procedures were performed by board certified physicians in the United States alone.

The most frequently performed surgical procedure was breast augmentation. Cosmetic surgical procedures increased more than 3% in the past year, with almost 1.7 million procedures in 2012. Surgery accounted for 17% of all procedures performed representing 61% of total patient expenditures.  The top five surgical procedures were:

  • Breast Augmentation: 330,631

  • Liposuction: 313,011

  • Abdominoplasty: 156,508

  • Eyelid surgery: 153,171

  • Rhinoplasty: 143,801 

Women had more than 9.1 million cosmetic procedures, 90% of the total. The number of cosmetic procedures for women increased over 252% from 1997. The top five surgical procedures for women were: breast augmentation, liposuction, tummy tuck, eyelid surgery, and breast lift.

Men had almost 1 million cosmetic procedures, 10% of the total. The number of cosmetic procedures for men increased over 106% from 1997. The top five surgical procedures for men were: liposuction, rhinoplasty, eyelid surgery, breast reduction to treat enlarged male breast, and ear shaping.

Americans spent almost $11 billion on cosmetic procedures in 2012. Of that total $6.7 billion was spent on surgical procedures; $2 billion was spent on injectable procedures; $1.8 billion was spent on skin rejuvenation procedures; and over $483 million was spent on other nonsurgical procedures, including laser hair removal and laser treatment of leg veins.

The most popular nonsurgical procedure was injections of Botulinum Toxin Type A (including Botox and Dysport). Cosmetic minimally-invasive procedures increased over 10 percent in the past year, with almost 8.5 million procedures in 2012. 1


How To Choose the Best Plastic Surgeon: Key Points

First, make sure that you choose a surgeon who is a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon by American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS), the only Board that can certify these kind of surgeons. They will receive additional training and will have to meet additional educational and clinical requirements. You can verify their membership by visiting their website.


Tips for choosing the right surgeon for your cosmetic or reconstructive surgery:

Ask your family physician or a medical professional for referrals in your area.

Make sure that the surgeon operates only out of a hospital or a facility that is Medicare and state licensed.

Make sure they do a thorough review of your entire medical history and explain the risks of surgery to you.

Make sure you review the costs with them and compare them with at least one other plastic surgeon.

You will want to feel comfortable and safe with the surgeon.  Make sure that you like the physician’s overall demeanor, bedside manner and the way you both interact together.

If appropriate, perhaps you can meet other patients who have experienced surgery with this surgeon or view photos before and after.


Preparing for Cosmetic Plastic Surgery

Many top surgeons are recognizing the positive results for preparing to recover from plastic surgery with supplementation and an anti-inflammatory lifestyle. Several important supplements are proving to greatly enhance results. The essential guide, Recover Quickly From Surgery was written to assist you in your preparations in the weeks prior to your surgery.  The guide directs you through specific diet and nutritional protocols, and an increased fitness regime  (if possible), how to reduce pain and swelling. The book’s protocols can enhance a speedy and thorough recovery.

Because the surgery usually takes one to three hours, patients often note side-effects from the anesthesia, including fatigue and malaise. Tips on how to ameliorate these symptoms are also found in the Guide.

Ask your surgeon about what to expect for your specific surgery. Inquire about the amount of pain, the recovery time, pain medication. For tips on optimum questions for your surgeon, click here.

Post Operation Recover: What to Expect After Cosmetic Plastic Surgery

You will experience pain after the surgery that will require medication. Ice and topical agents may be prescribed post procedure. However, those patients who utilized simple pre-surgical preparations outlined in the Guide often reduced the amount of pain medication. There are several integrative medicine procedures that enhance results, such as laser treatments  and acupuncture.

Your Preparation For Surgery Begins Now

The best thing you can do is start preparing now for your approaching surgery

is to educate yourself on the crucial things you can do to reduce your pain,

swelling, scarring as well as decrease your risk for infection. Recover Quickly

From Surgery is the essential, easy-to-read guide that best prepares your for

your operation.  Backed by clinical research, if you follow its easy protocols,

you may experience less pain and a faster, easier recovery.

Those patients who followed a preparatory regime of weight loss,

anti-inflammatory diet, strengthening exercise and proper supplementation

recovered quickly with less pain medication and increased range of motion.

Although it may take weeks or months to completely recover, most patients,

now pain free, are very pleased with their results. If you are well educated

and well prepared, you too can plan to recover quickly and thoroughly.



This information presented on this website and in the book is not intended to treat, diagnose, cure or prevent any disease, illness or injury and has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and. Rather, it is provided for educational purposes only. Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment, nor is it meant to discourage the reader or user from obtaining advice from his or her physician. Any dietary or lifestyle change should be undertaken only occur with the approval and supervision of your physician. If you have any questions regarding the information contained in this book or website, please review and discuss the options herein with your surgeon and primary physician, especially if you have an unusual medical condition or other constraint that might conflict with some or all of the information presented. If you are pregnant, nursing, have cancer or currently are using prescription medications, you should also consult with your physician before making any dietary or lifestyle changes proposed herein.

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