We offer a complimentary physician consultation for all major procedures, and there are no charges for office visits. We will need to collect information about your medical history and current health. It is crucial that you be forthcoming with the doctor and, and that you provide all information requested, as this is necessary to ensure your safety during treatment. We will need to know about any medications or supplements that you take, including doctor prescriptions, over the counter medicine, vitamins, and herbal formulas. It is important that you also disclose any use of alcohol, tobacco, or street drugs, because these substances can affect your body's reaction to treatment, as well as your capacity to heal, dramatically. We will also need to know about current and past medical conditions, and previous procedures.
After a thorough review of your medical history, the next step is an in-depth discussion of your goals, desires, priorities, and expectations. Do not be shy about describing exactly what you dislike about your face and body, and what look you would like to achieve. Everyone has a different opinion of ideal aesthetics, and the doctor needs to understand your vision, to devise a treatment plan accordingly. The doctor will also explain what can, and cannot, be achieved. Although modern cosmetic surgery, in the right hands, can deliver amazing results, it is still a medical procedure, and therefore it has limitations. We believe in being open and honest with our patients, because realistic expectations are vital to satisfaction with results.
You will be presented with a written price quote for the procedure or procedures recommended. At this time, you can schedule an appointment if you wish. However, we will not pressure you to make a decision before you are ready. We encourage you to bring a friend or family member to your consultation.
Preparing for surgery
The state of your health when the surgery is performed will have a significant impact of your recovery and results. During your initial consultation, you will be given instructions and advice for optimizing your health in advance of surgery. This will include medications that should be stopped or avoided, as well as any testing that is required. Do not smoke or take products containing aspirin for at least two weeks before surgery. If you have existing health conditions, or you are over the age of 45, you will need clearance from your primary care physician. If you do not currently have a regular doctor, we recommend seeing Dr. Chi Phan, located in Irvine. Dr. Phan's practice accepts most medical insurance, and surgical clearance is approximately $120.00 for uninsured patients. You can reach Dr. Phan's office at 949-654-7833.
The day of your surgery
As part of your preparation for surgery, you will need to arrange transportation home after your appointment. You will also need to have a responsible adult (besides yourself) in the home overnight. This is necessary because it usually takes about 24 hours to fully recover from anesthesia. Your procedure will be performed at our outpatient surgical center, which is located in Fountain Valley. You will find us in suite 400 at 11190 Warner Ave.
You may eat and drink as usual on the morning of your appointment if local anesthesia is to be used. However, if your surgery will be performed under general anesthesia, you will not be able to eat after 9:00 pm the evening before. Additionally, you will not be able to drink after midnight. Wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing.
Your skin should be clean and free of reside. Shower on the morning of your appointment, but do not apply any lotion, perfume, or cosmetic products. You will need to arrive at the surgery center one hour before the procedure for local anesthesia, or two hours for general anesthesia.
Depending of the location of the surgery, you may need help with wound care, or with tasks such as preparing meals or going to the bathroom. Your doctor will discuss this with you in advance. Be sure that you arrange assistance as needed. You will be given prescriptions for antibiotics and pain medication. They should be taken according to your doctor's instructions. It is advisable to have a snack with the pain medicine, because it can cause stomach irritation.
Stomach sensitivity is normal during the first one or two days after a surgical procedure. We recommend mild food, such as crackers or soups. Just think of the gentle, nutritious things you would eat if you were recovering from the flu. We also highly recommend drinking Gatorade to rehydrate your body.
If an ice pack or cold compress has been recommended, you can use a bag of frozen vegetable, such as peas or corn, wrapped in a towel. Do not apply ice or extreme heat directly to a surgery site during healing, because there may be a temporary loss of sensation around the incision.
You will need to rest for several days. You should position yourself so that you can get in and out of bed easily, without creating stress on the incisions. For most facial, abdominal, and upper body surgeries, we recommend arranging pillows so that you are at a 45-degree angle. If you are having butt augmentation surgery, you will need to lay on your stomach and avoid sitting. If you are having a thigh lift, or another procedure involving the legs, a certain amount of walking will be recommended for the prevention of blood clots.
With most procedures, you will be able to shower as soon as you feel comfortable standing for that long, and you are not experiencing light-headedness. However, if you have drain tubes you will not be able to shower until at least 24 hours after they have been removed. If there is surgical tape over the incisions, be careful not to disturb it. Pat the area dry very gently after showering. Typically, the tape will begin falling off during the second week, and it can be removed at the end of that week.
The amount of downtime will vary depending on your health, and the procedure. Liposuction patients can usually return to work and resume normal activities after just a few days. With most surgeries, office workers are able to resume duties after a week or two. Individuals with physically demanding occupations may need to take leave for up to eight weeks. Our receptionist can provide you with a certifying letter for your employer if you wish.
If you have been provided with a compression garment, you will probably need to wear it for several weeks. Depending on the area of your body, you may need someone to assist you in taking it off, putting it on, or both. This helps to facilitate proper healing and minimize swelling. Breast augmentation patients will need a supportive bra with no underwire. If you wish, you can replace the garment we provide with a soft sports bra or something similar.
A certain amount of post-surgical swelling is normal, and it is not cause for alarm. Your surgeon will give you guidelines of exactly what is "normal" for your procedure, and you should call our office if your swelling is excessive by these guidelines. Usually, the swelling will reach its peak within the first week. It may take several weeks for swelling to go down completely. As swelling subsides, bruising also fades. With some procedures, such as a thigh lift, there may also be fluid retention for several months. Your appearance will continue evolving and improving as the swelling goes down, and the incisions heal.
When surgical incisions begin to heal, they often appear red, bright pink, lumpy, or swollen. This is normal, and it should subside as the healing process continues. Once all sutures are gone, and surgical wounds have healed and no scabs remain, you should begin using a scar prevention ointment. We recommend Neosporin Scar Solution® or Scar Guard®, both of which are available at the pharmacy in our building. The appearance of surgical scars will continue improving for about a year, as they become flatter, smoother, and lighter in color.