Dr. Edelstein has met with tens of thousands of patients in the 15+ years he has served as a Plastic Surgeon, both at Edelstein Cosmetic and the Humber River Regional Hospital, where he is Head of the Plastic Surgery Division. He understands that for most patients, deciding to undergo surgery is a serious decision. Undoubtedly, you may be worried about particular aspects of the experience.
Dr. Edelstein has compiled a list of the 7 most common worries of cosmetic surgery, and here he provides answers to them, in his own words:
This is one of the most common issues people worry about. Let’s be clear right away: I have NEVER had a patient wake up in the middle of an operation, and have NEVER had a patient not wake up at the end of one. In fact, we wake up our patients right when the surgery is over, before you even leave the operating room.
In general, only elderly patients or those with significant medical problems (like heart, lung, or liver disease) are at increased risk with anaesthesia. Younger, healthy patients virtually never have issues with anaesthesia, so much so that I often do not discuss anaesthesia in-depth during the consultation compared to other risks. It is one of the reasons we always have a trusted anaesthesiologist present, most of whom I have known for years.
Another concern is whether a tube will be put down one’s throat. While this type of tube is commonly used for other types of surgery, many cosmetic surgical procedures can be done using something called a laryngeal mask. This mask covers your windpipe, but doesn’t actually pass through it, decreasing the chance of having a sore throat after the surgery.
While everyone has different levels of pain tolerance, we strive to make everyone’s experience comfortable. This begins even before the surgery itself starts. Everyone gets pain medication pre-op, also known in the medical field as “pre-emptive pain relief”.
During the operation, which is usually performed under general anaesthesia (ie asleep), you will not feel any pain at all. I use a delicate handling technique to minimize tissue bruising, and put in a long-acting local anaesthetic that will allow you to wake up from surgery pain-free and remain that way until later that day, or even into the next. As the freezing wears off, excellent pain medication is prescribed to keep you comfortable.
Most of my patients are pleasantly surprised that they had less pain after their operation than they thought they would have.
Despite the above, if you are still very concerned about the pain, we offer the Pain Pump. This smartphone sized device is worn on a belt, and delivers a long-acting local anaesethetic into the surgical site by a very thin, hair-like tube, for 24 to 48 hours, keeping you pain-free.
Whenever an incision is made on the skin, it will leave a mark, which is a scar. This is unavoidable. I promise, however, to always do the best suture job possible. As a Plastic Surgeon, I employ techniques that leave the least-noticeable scars possible. There are also ways to hide incisions in locations that are difficult to see.
Scars will initially be red and a little raised, but over 3-6 months they usually get lighter in colour and flatten out, becoming a fine white line that is often difficult to see.
After your surgery, you will get an instruction sheet on how to properly look after the incisions in order to get the best-looking scars. You will learn about proper incision care, sun protection, as well as the use of scar gels and / or silicone sheeting.
Fortunately, complications in plastic surgery are not common. At Edelstein Cosmetic, we try to do everything possible to avoid complications in the first place. If a complication does rarely occur, however, rest assured that you are in excellent hands. One of the most important reasons you should choose a board certified plastic surgeon is that they have been specifically trained to deal with problems that may arise.
Many patients want to know what would happen if they need additional surgery to deal with an issue.At Edelstein Cosmetic, if you have a problem that we feel can be repaired with additional surgery, the surgery would be done at no additional cost to you (this does not apply to normal changes that happen with aging, weight changes, and pregnancy, as well as requests to change implant size).
This is something that I understand. I get it. I don’t want you to look fake or unrecognizable either (unless you actually want to, which is rare).
As such, I try to perform procedures so that you will get proportional and / or natural results. For example, I know that 85% of my breast augmentation patients want to be “proportional”, and all of my facelift patients want to look “natural”. These results are achieved by calculating a suitable level of improvement that is based on your pre-operative measurements to maintain overall harmony with your other features.
I understand that your time is valuable. For that reason, any procedure you undergo is designed to minimize the amount of time you’ll need to take off from work.
For surgery, it depends on the type of procedure you are having, as well as what type of work you do.We always think it’s a better idea that you take off more time than you may need and go back to work early, rather than not taking enough time off and going back to work when you don’t feel up to it.
As a result, I usually recommend people take off at least one week. For tummy tucks and most facial procedures (facelift, eyelid surgery, browlift etc.), we recommend two weeks off. Taking two weeks off after a facial procedure is mainly related to swelling and bruising, but you could work from home. I may also recommend two weeks off if you have a particularly strenuous type of job. For non-surgical procedures, no time off work is usually required.
7)I’m worried that I won’t be able to exercise or be physically active for a long time after surgery:
I usually recommend that you stay out of the gym for 2-3 weeks after your surgery to allow everything to settle down. If you start exercising too soon, it will usually aggravate swelling and bruising. For patients having procedures that involve muscle (for example, breast implants placed under the muscle or a tummy tuck), I recommend that those particular muscle groups not be exercised until 6 weeks after the surgery. After 6 weeks, you should be able to get back to your usual exercise routine.