From pricing and insurance, to cosmetic and plastic surgery details, board-certified plastic and reconstructive surgeon Dr. Rachel Scott answers your most commonly asked questions below.
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What is the difference between Plastic Surgery, Cosmetic Surgery, and Aesthetic Surgery?
All of these names are often used interchangeably for procedures done by Plastic Surgeons. The second and third may be used to specifically indicate surgeries not paid for by insurance.
Who performs Plastic Surgery?
Plastic Surgery is performed by surgeons who have spent at minimum six years of residency (post medical school) training in care of patients and performing a wide variety of surgical procedures. Some specific surgeries of the head and neck may also be done by Oral & Maxillofacial or Otolaryngology surgeons. Surgery of the hand may be done by Plastic Surgeons, Orthopedic or General surgeons.
How much will my surgery cost?
This will vary depending on the surgery that is best for you. For example, a “tummy tuck” cost will be different for different patients depending on the amount of work that is required. In order to give you a realistic quote, your surgeon needs to be able to speak with and examine you to have an understanding of your particular needs.
Do you offer financing?
Our practice is owned by Hendricks Regional Health and we offer Care Credit as an option to finance cosmetic/non-insurance services. For clients who have other financial questions, our billing department is always willing to work with our patients to help them formulate a plan for payment. Visit this page for information on Hendricks Regional Health’s financial assistance program.
Is cosmetic surgery real surgery?
Despite not being essential for survival or overall physical health, cosmetic surgery procedures are “real” surgeries. Most are performed with anesthesia just as are other necessary surgeries and like any surgical procedure do have an associated set of risks.
How do I choose a plastic surgeon?
We strongly recommend that you select a Plastic Surgeon who is Board Certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. This certification indicates that your surgeon has had many intense years of training experience, and has passed a rigorous certification process to earn this title. Also, as with any important relationship, it is a good idea to have a surgeon whom you feel comfortable with and who you feel understands you and your goals. It does not mean that you will always agree 100%, but they should listen to you, and be able to offer advice and thoughts for discussion.
I am unhappy with my previous plastic surgery. What can I do?
If you have a working relationship with your previous Plastic Surgeon, it may be a good idea to start with a follow up consultation with them—let them know your concerns. If not, most Plastic Surgeons care for patients who have seen other doctors, and they do perform revision surgery. Improvement is not always possible, but it never hurts to get other opinions.
What is the big deal with smoking and having plastic surgery?
Nicotine is the destroyer of good Plastic Surgery. Many patients get tired of hearing “stop smoking” from doctors. For Plastic Surgery, nicotine cessation is a must—not a suggestion. This is due to the impact of all nicotine products on healing. Nicotine compromises blood flow, which can lead to tissue death, wound formation, and failure of your surgery. We do understand that it is hard to stop smoking, and in partnership with your other doctors we will support you as you quit.
How much time will I need to be off work after my surgery?
This will depend on the surgery that you have; however, even for our “big” surgeries most patients are back to work within about two weeks. If you have particular job requirements or restrictions, be sure to go over these details at your consultation visit. We are also always happy to provide documentation to your employer for necessary time away.
If I have surgery with a Plastic Surgeon, will I have scars?
As a Plastic Surgeon, even in non-cosmetic surgeries my goal is always to have the “nicest” scar possible; however, Plastic Surgeons do not have any special magic that allows them to perform completely scar-free surgery.
Is Plastic Surgery expensive?
Plastic Surgery usually costs less than people think. The range for most cosmetic surgeries in our Midwest region is usually from $3000-10,000, and many fall in the middle of that range. Clearly this is not “cheap” for many of our patients, but having a cosmetic surgery is not a privilege reserved for the rich and famous. For those whose insurance is paying for their surgery, you will be responsible for your deductible and portion dictated by your particular plan. Sometimes, this may mean that the out-of-pocket fee is less than that which your total insurance fee would be.
Do I need medical records for my consultation visit?
It is always helpful and may make your visit better-informed and more efficient if you can provide records and information about prior care related to your primary concern. This is particularly true if you are considering revision or re-do surgery.
Is breast reduction surgery covered by insurance?
Breast reduction surgery can frequently be covered by insurance. There are particular criteria that a patient must usually meet in order to qualify, one of which is often time spent working with a physical therapist, chiropractor or medical massage specialist. Please contact us if you have particular questions, so that we can guide you on the best course.
If I have a problem with my cosmetic breast implants, is surgery to correct it covered by insurance?
Problems related to cosmetic breast implants are not often covered by insurance. They may be covered by your implant warranty. Occasionally insurance may pay for surgeries like ruptured implant removal. Each case is different, and we can offer you the best advice after having a consultation about your particular situation.
Do I have to have my implants “changed out”?
Breast implants are not meant to last forever. Like any artificial device they do “wear out”. Modern day implants (post-2006) are typically meant to last for 12-15 years. If your implants are older than this, you may have no problems at all, but your chances of having an implant-related issue do increase. If you have questions or issues, you may need to have imaging of your breasts, like an ultrasound or MRI, but this can best be guided by your Plastic Surgeon.
Is breast reconstruction surgery covered by insurance?
Breast reconstruction surgery following mastectomy is covered by insurance. This includes the initial reconstruction, as well as any revisions that may be needed, and even extends to procedures such as tattooing of nipples to finalize your reconstruction. This is true under The Women’s Health and Cancer Rights Act of 1998. Reconstruction procedures following lumpectomy surgery is not required to be covered, but typically is.
Do I have to have breast reconstruction?
No person having breast removal surgery is required to have breast reconstruction. The decision to undergo breast reconstruction is a very personal one and is something that we discuss at length with each patient and their family.
I had a lumpectomy instead of mastectomy, and my breasts are different sizes/indented now; is there anything I can do?
Surgeries to return your breasts closer to symmetry as well as improve dents/divots/deformities are possible. This may include reduction or lift of the opposite breast, augmentation of the smaller breast (placement of an implant), fat grafting to the indented area, or others. These are often covered by insurance plans.
If I have breast surgery (reduction/augmentation) can I still breastfeed?
Breast reduction surgery is most often done by techniques which still allow breastfeeding. However, milk production may be reduced because less breast gland tissue is present. There are techniques which remove the nipple and thereby remove the ability to breastfeed, but these are less common. It is important to know that not all women, with or without prior breast surgery, will be able to successfully breastfeed. Breast augmentation surgery does not typically alter the ability to breastfeed.
Do I have to wear a bra after breast surgery?
After you are fully healed, the choice to wear a bra or not is your own. However, you will likely have more lasting results and reduce the long-term effects of gravity better, with consistent supportive bra wear.
Are breast implants safe?
Breast implants, particularly silicone breast implants, have been rigorously and extensively studied by the FDA and many other bodies worldwide. Our current scientific knowledge indicates that they do not cause breast cancer, connective tissue or autoimmune disease. However, there can be mechanical and other issues related to breast implants, which should be thoroughly reviewed with your Plastic Surgeon before having them placed. If you feel that you are having problems related to your implants, consult with a qualified Plastic Surgeon.
What is BIA-ALCL?
This stands for Breast Implant Associated Anaplastic large-cell lymphoma. This is a very rare type of lymphoma (blood cancer) which has been recognized for about the last decade. It is not completely understood, but is felt to be associated with breast implants, particularly textured surface silicone breast implants. There have been less than 500 people ever diagnosed with this disease, and it has been very treatable for most by removal of the implants and implant-related capsule (scar). This condition is NOT “breast cancer” and breast related lymphoma can occur without the presence of implants. Symptoms may be change in the scar capsule around the implant and development of a seroma (fluid collection) around the implant long after surgery. There is NO current recommendation from any scientific or government body for implants to be removed if patients are not having issues. If you have concerns or symptoms, consult with a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon. Read more about BIA-ALCL from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.
I had a friend who said that her breasts regrew after her breast reduction—will this happen to me?
The breast gland tissue that is removed during a breast reduction does not ever regrow. However, your body will still deposit fat within the breasts if you have significant weight gain, and this can cause the breasts to grow in size. With major weight gain, they can even become larger than before surgery. The opposite can also happen with dramatic weight loss. However, if you maintain a fairly steady weight, your breast reduction results should be stable over many years.
I’ve lost weight and now have hanging skin. Will insurance pay to have it removed?
This is a tough question. There are very specific requirements that most insurance companies use to determine whether they will pay for abdominal skin removal. The best answer is to consult with a Plastic Surgeon so that we can give you a more informed opinion.
Can I have a tummy tuck when I deliver my baby/have my c-section?
Most certified Plastic Surgeons strongly recommend against having a tummy tuck at the time of your delivery. While it may seem convenient to do at the same time, the abdominal tissues stretch with pregnancy, and so you will have the best result if they are allowed to recover and “snap back” as much as possible. Typically we recommend waiting at least six months after delivery.
How long is the recovery from tummy tuck surgery?
This can be as short as two weeks or as long as eight to ten weeks. It largely depends on what needs to be done to get your particular abdomen looking as good as possible. Dr. Scott will go over all this in detail and provide you a better estimate at your consultation.
Can I have liposuction to lose weight?
Liposuction is not a weight loss procedure. It is used to “sculpt” the fat layers and contours of the body for fine-tuning, not for larger scale change or fat removal.
I’m a man, can I have a tummy tuck?
Definitely! More and more men are having Plastic Surgery, including tummy tucks.
Do liposuction results last?
If your weight stays stable, the results of your liposuction or any body contouring procedure should last for many years. With large weight shifts in either direction, they will change.
Can I have a baby after a liposuction or tummy tuck surgery?
Having abdominal procedures like liposuction or tummy tuck does not mean that you should not or cannot have future pregnancies. However, with the changes that the body experiences in pregnancy, we do recommend if possible that you hold off on cosmetic abdominal surgeries until you are done in order to maintain your best result, but it is not mandatory.
I have several moles that bother me, should I see a Plastic Surgeon or a Dermatologist?
If you have areas of concern, Dermatologists are best for skin screening—they are the “skin experts” of the medical world. That said, if you have one or two areas that you know need to be removed, particularly in areas that are cosmetically sensitive (like the face, upper chest, etc.) it may be better to start with a call to your Plastic Surgeon. If you have doubts or questions, just call us at (317) 718-7980 and we can help guide you.
What is the difference between a Plastic Surgeon and a Dermatologist?
Plastic Surgeons have undergone a wide spectrum of surgical training, both for small and very large procedures. They are trained in surgery performed on all body parts from the top of the head to the sole of the foot and everywhere in-between. Dermatologists do not go through the same surgical training process, but are skin-experts in a very wide variety of skin conditions— including things like rashes, acne, skin cancers and many other conditions. Dermatologists often perform biopsies or smaller procedures in their offices, but typically refer patients who need larger surgery or procedures in cosmetically sensitive areas to a Plastic Surgeon.
What is Botox versus filler—aren’t they the same thing?
Botox and filler are two very different things. Botox is a brand name for a drug which is injected into muscle in order to temporarily paralyze the treated area. This is useful in Plastic Surgery for softening the appearance of age-lines and also for preventing their formation or worsening. Filler products are used much like spackle for a wall—they are injected under the skin to take up space where there are depressions or lines. Each product can be very useful on its own, or sometimes they work together in combination to help decrease the appearance of skin aging.
How long does Botox last, and can it become permanent?
Botox and the other drugs in this family are not permanent. Their action lasts for about three months when used in cosmetic applications, but they do require repeated treatments to maintain the desired effect.
What can I do to make my scars better?
Scars are a permanent change to the skin. In Plastic Surgery, we strive to have the “best” scars possible, but there are no truly “scarless” techniques if the skin is cut. Strategies to improve the appearance of scars may include scar massage, protection from UV (sun) exposure, use of scar management products like silicone gels/sheets, steroid injection, treatment with lasers and even radiation in rare cases.