Frequently Asked Questions
- Am I a candidate for cosmetic surgery?
- Where is the surgery performed?
- Who will perform my surgery?
- What are the risks involved with cosmetic surgery?
- What type of anesthesia will be used?
- What is the recovery period?
- How much does cosmetic surgery cost?
- Is cosmetic surgery covered by insurance?
Simply put, cosmetic surgery is intended to make you feel better about your appearance. The best candidate for cosmetic surgery is someone who fully understands the available treatment options and is realistic about the potential benefits that can be achieved. Ultimately, the most satisfied patients are those who decide to undergo cosmetic procedures primarily to please themselves and not others. During your consultation, your surgeon will review a variety of treatment options with you. Then, through a shared-decision making process, he or she will strive to come up with a plan that feels right for you in terms of potential for improvement, expected recovery process, level of risk and budget.
Cosmetic surgery procedures may be performed in our office (when using a local anesthetic), in our main operating room at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, or at the Outpatient Surgery Center located near DHMC on Lahaye Drive. Most procedures are considered “same day surgery” with no overnight stay required. Your surgeon will discuss with you whether or not hospitalization is required.
Your surgeon will be the physician you consulted with during your pre-operative office visit and who designed the treatment plan with you. Because we are an academic medical center, a surgical resident or medical student might also be part of the team that assists your surgeon. The surgical team might also include a registered nurse or a physician assistant.
As with any surgery, there are some risks involved with cosmetic procedures. While complications seldom occur, it is important that you discuss all risks thoroughly with your surgeon. Complications vary with each procedure and may include bleeding, infection, wound separation and loss of skin. A major contributor to increasing your risk of complications with wound healing is smoking. Due to the overwhelming evidence of the impact of smoking on recovery, we have instituted a no-smoking policy for some of our cosmetic surgery patients. Also, please be aware that no smoking is allowed on the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center campus.
A variety of anesthetic options are available to ensure your comfort during surgery. Many cosmetic procedures can be performed with only an application of a topical anesthetic (“numbing medicine”) cream, or with a local injection of anesthetic in the office. For larger procedures, and for patients who prefer not to be awake during surgery, our team of anesthesiologists will provide their expertise. In the main operating room or at the Outpatient Surgery Center, our anesthesiologists offer intravenous sedation (also called “conscious sedation” or “twilight sedation”) or general anesthetic (“fully asleep” with the use of a breathing tube) depending on the extent of the procedure and on your health circumstances. If your procedure involves the use of intravenous sedation or a general anesthetic, you will require a general medical evaluation and possible additional testing in advance of your surgery. You will also have an opportunity to meet with the anesthesiology team prior to your surgery.
The recovery period varies broadly between patients and depends on the procedure performed. Please read the detailed information about recovery in the procedure brochure we will give you at your office consultation, or talk with your surgeon for more information. Visit this page for more information about things you should know before and after your surgery.
There is a charge for your initial consultation with the surgeon, which is not included in the cost of the surgery. This consultation is very important for allowing you and your surgeon to determine your objectives and come to a decision on a treatment plan. There are many possible cosmetic surgery options that may be right for you; therefore, it is difficult to provide accurate prices prior to your consultation. Following your office visit with the surgeon, we will be better able to discuss the details of pricing with you.
All patients are required to pay for their procedure in full prior to surgery (usually 21 days in advance). After your surgery, if you and your surgeon both agree that a revision is required, the surgeon’s fee will be waived for up to one year from the date of the original surgery (fees for anesthesia, technical fees and operating room fees are the responsibility of the patient).
Cosmetic surgery is rarely covered by insurance. Sometimes, however, an insurance company may pay for a procedure. Generally, if your surgeon believes it may be a covered service, he or she would be pleased to forward information to your insurance carrier. The insurance company will review your case and make a determination based on this information.
Each patient is responsible for the full payment of services rendered, regardless of coverage by insurance. We also accept CareCredit℠ for those who qualify. You can apply for two-year, interest-free financing at carecredit.com.
If you have any questions concerning our procedures, pricing or financing information, please feel free to call our office at (603) 650-5148.