cosmetic surgery consultation questions

What should I ask my plastic surgeon at my cosmetic surgery consultation?

When you are planning a cosmetic procedure, it is important to remember that the more you know about what to expect, the smoother and easier the whole process will be. You will no doubt have done plenty of research in the run-up to booking a consultation, but ahead of the consultation is the time to pull out all the stops and think about all the questions you want answers to.

For the more organised amongst us, you’ll probably already be writing these down and that is the first piece of advice here – make a list of all the questions you want to ask. If you don’t, you’ll probably forget something. There is always a lot of information to digest. To give you a helping hand to start that list off, here are some of the common questions you might be wanting answers to at your consultation.

Cosmetic surgery consultation questions: How frequently have you performed the particular operation I am interested in?

This is a good one as it allows you to understand how experienced your surgeon is in a particular procedure. A cosmetic surgeon who has a lot of experience in the area you’re interested in will have had the benefit of working with lots of different body types and shapes, they will also no doubt have an extensive catalogue of before and after imagery that they can show you.

Cosmetic surgery consultation questions: How long will it take to recover?

A very sensible question as this will determine whether or not you need time off work and how much support you will need. It will also help you understand what will be possible in the days/weeks/months following your operation. Depending on the procedure, sometimes recovery is very quick, whereas other operations take months to fully heal from.

Cosmetic surgery consultation questions: What should I expect from the recovery process?

Setting realistic expectations about how quickly you can expect to recover is important, as it helps your mental well-being. If you know what you expect then you can prepare yourself mentally and practically for the recovery process. From a practical perspective, if you are having a large operation then you will want to give some thought to post-operative support from family and/or friends. If you are keen to get back to exercising, this is also something you should talk about so that you understand what limitations there are and how long these will last.

Cosmetic surgery consultation questions: How much will this cost?

Don’t be afraid to ask for a full breakdown of costs upfront; cost is an element of surgery that must be discussed so you shouldn’t feel awkward about asking for clarity upfront. Importantly, if you are being given cost reduction options such as limited-time deals, recommend a friend or buy one procedure and receive a discount on another, these should be warning signs. Cosmetic surgery is an important lifestyle decision involving legitimate medical practices and you should not feel rushed into a decision because of a financial ‘deal’ that is on offer. If a deal sounds too good to be true based on the research you have done into costs, it probably is.

In summary, the more you ask at your consultation, the more you will know about what to expect and ultimately the more satisfied you are likely to be with the whole process. Call 01926 436332 to arrange a consultation plastic surgeon Mr Alan Park at his Warwickshire cosmetic surgery clinic.

upper facelift

What’s the difference between an upper facelift, mid-facelift and lower facelift?

Many people are unaware just how many different cosmetic procedures are available to help reverse the signs of facial ageing or to reshape and enhance facial features, and the humble facelift is no exception to this. The facelift is not a ‘one size fits all’ approach, it is carefully tailored to target the areas you are most concerned about and the look you wish to achieve. There are actually three different areas of the face that can be tackled with facelift procedures, and here we look at the differences between these.

Upper facelift

This type of lift is designed to tackle the area above the eyes. This can include an eyebrow lift which smooths out wrinkled, sagging skin above the eyes, a blepharoplasty – or eyelid lift – which removes excess skin from the eyelids themselves and gives the eyes a fuller appearance again, and also sometimes treatment of dark circles underneath the eyes.

Mid-facelift

This is designed to cover the region from the edge of your eyes down to the edge of your mouth and everything in between. This will include areas such as the cheeks, nose and sometimes directly underneath the eyes. Surgeons operating in this region can make incisions to enable the skin to be tightened around the nose and the cheeks, giving a smoother, firmer appearance.

Lower facelift

Finally, a lower lift focuses attention on everything south of your smile. This can include the lines around your mouth and towards your jaw – many people will also consider having some work done to their neck as well. This often is used to reshape the bottom area of the face, with many patients opting to have excess, sagging skin removed to streamline their jawline.

As with most things in life, the more research you do, the more informed you will be and the greater the likelihood that you will make the right choice for you. Once you have researched the type of facelift you believe is right for you, book a consultation with a plastic surgeon to talk through everything thoroughly so you can discuss your choices with an expert. The beauty of this kind of work is that it is completely bespoke, and if you have issues which concern different areas of the face, then the work you can have done will be perfectly tailored to address these individual issues.

For more facelift advice, call 01926 436332 to arrange a consultation with plastic surgeon Mr Alan Park at his Warwickshire cosmetic surgery clinic.

breast augmentation results

Getting the best from your breast augmentation

Once you have chosen to have breast augmentation surgery there are some handy hints and tips that would be sensible to follow, to ensure that your results last as long as possible. Your surgeon will discuss best practice with you during the run up to your operation and in the days afterwards, but this checklist will help manage expectations about what you should be doing to look after your new breasts.

Best breast augmentation results: do your research

Firstly, start with selecting a good surgeon. Your breast augmentation will only ever be as good as the skill of your chosen surgeon, so take your time researching your cosmetic surgeon to ensure you select someone whose style of work you favour and who is a regulated professional. Look for members of professional medical bodies such as the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS) as they ensure their members have all the necessary qualifications and also perform annual safety audits.

Best breast augmentation results: make suitable choices for your size and frame

It is always advisable to talk at length with your breast augmentation surgeon about what you want from the end results and how different this is from your natural look. Your surgeon will need a clear idea of what you are hoping to achieve in order to create a finished look this is satisfactory. Setting realistic expectations upfront is important as it will ensure you know what you are going to look like afterwards.

Best breast augmentation results: follow post-operative advice

You will be given advice on how to help the healing process, including what you put (or not put) on the scars as they are healing. Following this advice is important as it helps minimise how visible scars are once they are fully healed.

Similarly, trust your breast augmentation surgeon when they give you advice on how soon to exercise after your operation – they know best and will guide accordingly. If you push yourself too far too soon then you could risk damaging your new breasts and affecting how quickly you can heal. When recovering from any operation it is important to be patient – you’ll get there, some quicker than others though so don’t hold yourself to a strict healing timeline, just let your body recover at its own pace.

tummy tuck recovery

Tummy tuck recovery – what to expect

If you’re preparing for a tummy tuck, then one of the important things to consider is how you plan to approach the recovery stage. Understanding what to expect from the healing process is very important; if your expectations are aligned with reality then you won’t be in for any unexpected surprises. A tummy tuck is major surgery so the healing process requires some patience, but in time and with the correct approach, you will soon feel and look much better.

One size does not fit all

The first thing to understand is that people heal at different speeds, and the rate at which they heal from surgery like this can depend on lots of different factors. Your age, your weight, your overall health and also the amount you exercise (pre- and post-operatively) all have an impact.

For the first few days after the operation, you will feel very swollen and experience some pain and discomfort, although this should be easily controlled with the medication you’re provided with by Mr Alan Park and his team. Bed rest is recommended for the first few days although you will also be encouraged to start moving around as soon as you feel able as this helps with the healing process.

You should expect to wear an abdominal support for around six weeks after the surgery as this helps reduce the risk of fluids and blood pooling at the midriff. You will also need to take it easy – it is unlikely that you will feel like doing strenuous activity but make sure you don’t really do anything you don’t need to – especially things like lifting as this can put stress on your wounds.

It is helpful to think ahead for practical help that might be available; even if that is a simple as getting supermarket foods delivered so you don’t have to carry heavy shopping bags. Family, friends or others who can help with domestic jobs would also be invaluable if the support is available.

Time is the most important factor when it comes to tummy tuck recovery

You’re nearing the end of your tummy tuck journey, which no doubt has been a long one. From the decision to go ahead with this type of operation, to the research involved in choosing your surgeon and all the pre-operative work you will have put in, it must feel tantalisingly close to being able to see the results for real now.

It won’t be long until that is the case, but be patient, allow your body to heal fully, don’t push yourself too far too soon and make sure you follow the aftercare advice provided by Mr Park to ensure an optimal recovery.

Call 01926 436341 for more tummy tuck recovery advice.

male facelift

Understanding different cosmetic needs – can men have facelifts too?

Men and women differ in many ways, both in terms of their physiology and in some of their needs and wants. What is interesting in the cosmetic surgery world at the moment is the overlap between what women are looking for and what men are now looking for as well when it comes to the male facelift.

Women have typically been the more common consumer of facial surgery, particularly the facelift. This has been for a number of reasons but the marked drop in oestrogen that occurs during the menopause can cause women to appear to age faster than men at this time of their lives. The facelift can reverse skin sagging and restore the fuller, rounder contours of youth. This, in turn, makes the patient look and feel more youthful. However, we are now seeing an increase year on year of male patients who are keen to have the same kind of work done, although there are subtle differences in what men are hoping to achieve versus women.

Male facelift vs female facial surgery

Men do not want the softer, fuller appearance desired by women, but typically wish to restore a more chiselled look to the jawline. By comparison, women often ask for more definition around the jaw, but in a softer way. Women often combine facelift surgery with other procedures such as dermal fillers to areas such as their lips or cheekbones.

A facelift is often combined with other facial rejuvenation procedures, particularly a blepharoplasty or eyelid lift and this can transform the appearance of the ageing eye in both men and women. Brow lifts are also popular with women, but men typically have lower brows so your cosmetic surgeon must be careful not to feminise the brow by raising it to an unnatural position.

The placement of incisions also differs slightly between men and women. Mr Alan Park always aims to place the incisions where they will be least visible after surgery and it is usually easier to conceal these in a female hairline as the hair tends to be longer and fuller. A male hairline can change over time due to male pattern baldness. Facial hair is also a consideration – during a male facelift, the skin is lifted and it is important to be aware of where the follicle-bearing skin is moved to.

The bottom line is that both sexes are choosing his kind of procedure as it helps them look and feel younger. It is a clever way of turning back the clock and removing some of the telltale signs of ageing skin. To find out if you’re suitable for a male facelift, call 01926 436341 to arrange a consultation with Mr Alan Park.

anti-ageing cosmetic surgery

Cosmetic surgery demand driven by age discrimination?

It’s long been considered that a desire to look younger and more dynamic, particularly in an increasingly challenging employment market, is a driver for men and women seeking cosmetic surgery such as the facelift or eyelid lift. Now, research has been carried out that proves that the boom in anti-ageing cosmetic surgery in recent years has been fuelled by age discrimination.

A new study has recently been published in the Aesthetic Surgery Journal that found that a significant proportion of patients report age discrimination – or the fear of it occurring – as the reason for undergoing anti-ageing procedures.

Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania in the US surveyed 50 cosmetic surgery patients over a one-year period. The participants were mainly women with an average age of 50.

More than 30% of participants surveyed said they had experienced age-based discrimination and reported lower self-esteem as a result. They also were concerned about the possibility of age discrimination in the future. Twenty per cent had experienced age discrimination in the workplace and believed this was the reason for losing employment or being denied a promotion.

Anti-ageing cosmetic surgery

The main reasons given in the survey for undergoing cosmetic surgery and aesthetic treatments were to ‘look younger’ or wish to look ‘as young as I feel’. There are a number of facial rejuvenation procedures that can be performed as a standalone procedure or combined with or without adjunctive aesthetic treatments. Warwickshire cosmetic surgeon Mr Alan Park’s aim is always to restore are more youthful appearance without the patient looking drastically different or for surgery to be obvious.

The two most popular anti-ageing cosmetic surgery procedures are the facelift and eyelid lift. The latter because the eyes are often the first area to show the signs of ageing, with wrinkling and sagging skin on the upper lid and eye bags appearing below the eye. An upper or lower lid eyelid lift, known as a blepharoplasty, can either be performed separately or together to restore a more youthful appearance to the eye.

Results of an eyelid lift can be dramatic and scarring is usually well hidden, either in the natural contours of the eye or, in the case of the lower eyelid lift, by accessing the tissue and muscle structure from inside the eyelid, which is known as a transconjunctival approach.

The facelift remains an ever-popular cosmetic surgery procedure as it addresses the ageing changes that occur in the mid and lower face. As we age, we lose facial volume and the skin, tissue and muscles start to sag. As a result, the cheeks become flatter and folds appear around the nose and mouth and the jawline begins to lose definition; during a facelift, Mr Alan Park will lift and reposition tissue and muscles and then removing any excess skin, to produce a subtle and natural facial rejuvenation.

For more advice on what can be achieved with facial rejuvenation surgery, call 01926 436341 to arrange a consultation with Mr Alan Park.

capsular contracture

Understanding capsular contracture

Your plastic surgeon will work meticulously and diligently to avoid potential risks following cosmetic surgery but sometimes complications are unavoidable. While there are many factors that can be studied and analysed to ensure that patients get the right treatment and recovery plan for them, there are some things which are out of surgeons’ control.

One of these is a condition called capsular contracture which can occur following breast augmentation surgery. Capsular contracture is an autoimmune condition that affects the body’s ability to create scar tissue.

The body’s natural response is to create a film of scar tissue around a foreign body such as an implant, but it becomes a problem if too much scar tissue is formed and it hardens, constricting the implant. This is not something that can be predicted unless the patient has suffered from this before.

Scar tissue is created by the body in response to an incision or wound. The cells create new tissue to fuse the gap, but this is always courser than the original tissue and has slightly different properties. For many of us, scar tissue will form and then the scar will fade over time. Depending on the depth of the incision, some will fade entirely.

When breast implants are inserted, the normal development of scar tissue actually helps keep the implants in the right location within the chest. For people who develop capsular contracture, however, the scar tissue is created in abundance and this can cause problems for implants. Problems can include:

  • Discomfort in the breasts
  • Pressure on the implants which can push them higher up the chest than is desired
  • Uneven look and feel to the skin

If you have had breast implants and believe you are experiencing capsular contracture as you heal then consult your plastic surgeon for an assessment. In some cases, revision surgery is required to address the problem.

How likely am I to develop capsular contracture?

This condition is quite common and varies from being so mild that patients are completely unaware of it, to other cases where the symptoms above are discovered. The risk of serious capsular contracture is low and Mr Alan Park will do everything he can in the pre-operative planning to reduce the risk.

breast augmentation timing

Breast augmentation timing

For women who are planning a breast augmentation, the decision to book the procedures typically comes months (if not years) after they begin thinking about it and researching exactly what they want.

It is not a decision to be rushed, but when you are ready to go ahead with it, understanding the timeline for the consultation, operation and recovery will help set expectations about when your new breasts will be ready to show off. If you’ve decided this summer that you are finally going to make the decision to go ahead with breast augmentation surgery, then it is worth considering this rough timeline so you can work around it effectively and manage expectations accordingly.

It is always sensible to work backwards from key dates and to allow yourself more time than you think you might need to heal. Everyone heals at different speeds and you won’t know until you have had the operation how you will feel afterwards and how quickly you will start to feel back to normal.

Practical considerations after a breast augmentation

If you are hoping to show off your new breasts on holiday, consider the kind of holiday you are planning on taking. Will it be a relaxing beach holiday or will it be a more active vacation? A month to six weeks after your operation you should be able to undertake gentle exercise such as swimming, but more vigorous sports and activities which involve lifting should be left for longer until your breasts have had more of a chance to heal.

When healing from a breast augmentation it is important not to rush things. Allowing your body sufficient time to heal and not pushing it too far too soon will help the healing process and aid the overall results.

Sunbathing and cosmetic surgery scarring

If you’re a bit of a sun seeker then this is also something that needs to be factored in. Direct sunlight is not recommended for fresh scars as it can impact on how long they take to heal and fade.

If you are planning a beach or pool holiday then choosing swimwear that covers your scars is a sensible idea, as is ensuring that you are applying a minimum of SPF 30 to the area to keep it protected from UV rays.

All things considered, allowing a good lead time before any holiday is sensible. Six months between operation and holiday would be generous, but practical, just to ensure that you are healed nicely and your breasts have had time to settle before your holidays.

breast reduction benefits

Breast reduction benefits: Simona Halep’s sacrifice for her Wimbledon dreams

If you were glued to Wimbledon this year then you were probably gripped by the journey of Romanian Simona Halep, who faced Serena Williams in the ladies’ final and was crowned this year’s Wimbledon champion. Like many tennis players, she has been open about her successes and challenges and has shared her experience of choosing to have a breast reduction in her teens.

At the very young age of just 17, Halep made the decision to undergo breast reduction surgery to help her fulfil her tennis dreams. Her chest was a 34DD and she is reported to have said “It’s the weight that troubles me. My ability to react quickly, my breasts make me uncomfortable when I play.

Now, ten years on, there is no looking back for her. Since her operation she has made stride after stride in her professional career, climbing the world tennis rankings and securing some impressive victories in tough competitions. She says that even if they weren’t causing her issues in her career, she wasn’t very keen on her natural size and shape; “I didn’t like them in my everyday life, either. I would have gone for surgery even if I hadn’t been a sportswoman.”

Halep has her 34DD chest reduced to 34C, which she felt was much better suited to her frame and her sporting ambitions.

Breast reduction benefits

Although large breasts are something that very many women wish for, for others it is more of a curse than a blessing. Breasts that are too large for a woman’s frame can cause back, neck or shoulder ache can cause discomfort from bra straps and can affect self-confidence.

The operation itself is quite long, ranging from around 90 minutes up to a few hours. It is complicated and involves repositioning the nipple, removing excess fat, skin and tissues from the breasts and then reshaping them afterwards.

It takes around six weeks to heal from this type of operation, sometimes longer, and you need to give your body ample time to heal before pushing it too far. For women who are regularly engaging in energetic sports such as tennis, it is also critical not to rush back into sports before your breasts have fully healed. The implications are not just discomfort, but could also result in an infection or greater levels of scarring.

To arrange a consultation and discover more breast reduction benefits, call 01926 436341.

The male facelift can make you appear more likeable and trustworthy

The demand for male cosmetic surgery has seen rapid growth in recent years, but men who might be contemplating facial rejuvenation to appear younger and more dynamic can often be concerned that they risk looking drastically different or even more feminine.

The good news is that a recent study has found that men who undergo a facelift or other facial rejuvenation procedures look more trustworthy and likeable to respondents – and, in even better news, there was no impact on how masculine they appeared post-procedure.

A male facelift might not differ greatly from female facial aesthetic surgery in terms of the general approach, but there are some distinctions that must be made and an experienced surgeon such as Mr Alan Park will take these into account in the pre-operative planning stage.

Male facelift results analysed

The research was recently published in the JAMA Facial Plastic Surgery journal and was a small-scale study. It involved 24 men, with an average of 49, that had undergone a facelift and other procedures. Conducted by professors at Georgetown University in the US, their before and after photos were shown to 145 respondents, aged between 25 and 34 years old.

These respondents were asked to rate the men’s appearance in terms of how attractive, sociable, masculine, trust-worthy, extroverted and even aggressive they appeared. They weren’t told that the men had undergone surgery, or the purpose of the study, and the respondents didn’t see both before and after photos. Some were shown the before images and the other cohort reviewed the after pictures and then the results were compared.

In the after pictures, the men were rated more attractive, likeable, trustworthy and there was no difference seemingly in how masculine they were rated.

The difference between the male facelift and female facial rejuvenation

Mr Alan Park’s approach to the facelift is always to enhance and rejuvenate the patient’s natural appearance, so they look younger and more refreshed but not different and this is the same for both men and women. However, there are certain differences between the male and female physiology that have to be taken into account.

Facial hair, for example, can affect incision placement to ensure no follicles are being damaged. Men tend to have stronger ligaments, more prominent muscle mass and skeletal structure, with a larger, squarer jawline and lower face. The cheek area is flatter with less subcutaneous fat. Their skin is thicker with larger hair follicles and seborrheic glands.

In terms of the final result, women wish to retain their delicate facial features, while restoring the softer, more rounded contours of youth. Men, on the other hand, wish to appear more masculine and defined.

Choosing an experienced plastic surgeon that fully understands the subtle differences between male and female facial rejuvenation surgery is a must. To find out more about the male facelift, call 01926 436341 to arrange a consultation.