Is cosmetic facial surgery right for me?
Any cosmetic facial surgery is a highly individualized procedure and you should do it for yourself, not to fulfil someone else's desires or to try to fit any sort of ideal image.
Cosmetic facial surgery is a good option for you if:
- You have good quality skin
- You are physically healthy
- You don't smoke
- You have a positive outlook
- You have specific, but realistic goals in mind for the improvement of your appearance
What to expect during your consultation
The success and safety of your surgery depends very much on your complete candidness during your consultation. You'll be asked a number of questions about your health, desires and lifestyle.
Be prepared to discuss:
- Why you want the surgery, your expectations and desired outcome
- Medical conditions, drug allergies and medical treatments
- Use of current medications, vitamins, herbal supplements, alcohol, tobacco and drugs
- Previous surgeries, especially in the facial and neck areas
Dr Vrtik may also:
- Evaluate your general health status and any pre-existing health conditions or risk factors
- Discuss and recommend appropriate treatment options specific for your facial characteristics and expectations
- Examine and measure your face
- Take photographs for your medical record
- Discuss likely outcomes of your facial surgery and any risks or potential complications
- Show you clinical photographs relevant to the consultation
At the conclusion of your consultation, our staff will prepare a pre-operative pack for you. This will contain:
- A quote and financial consent for your operation
- An information pamphlet specific to your procedure
- Hospital admission information
- Surgical consent forms
This introductory package will either be given to you on the day or sent to you by mail.
The consultation is completely obligation-free. You will not be pressured to proceed with anything you are not comfortable with. Often, if you are unsure, we encourage you to take your time to consider your options; you may want to sought more information and gather a list of specific questions. We may also recommend that you book another appointment to see Dr Vrtik prior to making your final decision. Please do not hesitate to ask our friendly staff for assistance.
If you decide to proceed, bookings for your surgery can be made on the day of your consultation or you could contact us via phone with your decision after you have had a chance to consider your options. Once you have booked in a date, we will help you with your preparations for surgery.
Preparing for surgery
Prior to surgery, you may be asked to:
- Get blood tests or x-rays
- Undergo a medical evaluation by a specialist
- Take certain medications or adjust your current medications
- Stop smoking well in advance of surgery (minimum of 6 weeks +/- urine testing for confirmation)
- Avoid taking aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs and herbal supplements as they can increase bleeding
An individualised consultation will be arranged for you to see our Practice Nurse 1-2 weeks prior to your operation. During this 30-40 minute consultation:
- You will be measured for your face garment if you require one
- You will have the opportunity to ask questions in regards to your procedure or hospital stay
- You will be informed about what to expect during the immediate postoperative period
- You will be given information on your admission and hospital stay
- Clinical photos may be taken
- A deposit or the full payment for your procedure may be required
Dr Vrtik only performs aesthetic facial surgery in accredited private hospitals.
Some procedures require hospital stay, and some are performed as Day-Surgery. If your procedure is performed on an outpatient basis, be sure to arrange for someone to drive you to and from surgery. For those discharged from Day-Surgery after a general anaesthetic, it is essential that you arrange for someone to stay with you for at least the first night following surgery.
For some surgery, minimum stay in hospital is overnight, although it is recommended that you prepare to stay for two nights. The benefit of hospital-stay significantly out-weighs the risks of day-surgery in some patients:
- Allows you to adequately recover from a long anaesthesia
- Prompt effective intravenous treatment for any postoperative nausea and vomiting
- Prompt effective treatment if you have any pain
- Help and supportive nursing during the first 48 hours (especially with swelling or discomfort)
- Monitoring for any complications such as bleeding
Risks and complications of cosmetic facial surgery
The decision to have a cosmetic facial surgery is extremely personal and you'll have to decide if the benefits will achieve your goals and if the risks and potential complications are acceptable.
Dr Vrtik and our staff will explain in detail the risks associated with your surgery. You will be asked to sign consent forms to ensure that you fully understand the procedure you will undergo and any risks and potential complications. Risks specific to each type of procedure will be outlined below.
Most of the risks are very uncommon, and some people (with particular health problems or distinct facial characteristics), may be at higher risk for specific complications. Dr Vrtik will discuss this with you during your consultation if any of these risks are specifically pertinent to you.
Although cosmetic facial surgery can be an effective procedure where the benefits significantly outweigh the risks, like everything in the practice of medicine and surgery, it is not an exact science. The degree of surgical success can be altered by how each individual's body responds to surgery and healing. Although good results are expected, there is no guarantee. In some situations, it may not be possible to achieve optimal results with a single surgical procedure; revision surgery may be necessary.
Be sure to ask questions: It's very important to ask questions about your procedure. It's natural to feel some anxiety, whether it's excitement for your anticipated new look or a bit of preoperative stress. Don't be shy about discussing these feelings and any specific concerns with Dr Vrtik or any of our staff members.
During my recovery and after hospital discharge
You will be given detailed instructions on how to care for yourself prior to leaving the hospital. You will also go home with a postoperative pack including detailed postoperative brochures specific to your procedure. These will include information on:
- How to care for the surgical site
- Medications to apply or take orally to aid healing and reduce the potential for infection
- Specific concerns to look for at the surgical site or in overall health
- How to and when to arrange follow up with our nurse and Dr Vrtik
- Contact numbers in case of concerns or after-hour emergencies
Be sure to ask Dr Vrtik and our nurse specific questions about what you can expect during your individual recovery period:
- Where will I be taken after my surgery is complete?
- What medication will I be given or prescribed after surgery?
- Will I have dressings/bandages after surgery? When will they be removed?
- Are stitches removed? When?
- When can I resume normal activity and exercise?
- When do I return for follow-up a follow-up appointment?
- Following your surgeon's instructions is the key to the success of your surgery. It is important that the surgical incisions are not subjected to excessive force, abrasion, or motion during the time of healing. Avoid wearing any clothing that must go over your head.
Once you are at home, please seek medical attention if:
- You experience shortness of breath, chest pains, or unusual heart beats, seek medical attention immediately.
- Notice unusual swelling, bleeding, redness, pain, or persistent discharge from your wound
- Become ill, unwell or feverish
- Break out in a persistent rash
Should any of the above occur, you may require hospitalization and additional treatment.
Your first postoperative appointment is usually with our nurse within 5-7 days of discharge from hospital. At this appointment, your sutures will be removed; your wounds will be checked and cleaned thoroughly. Further instructions on wound care will be discussed with you. Nursing review may vary from twice weekly to fortnightly after your procedure depending on the type of surgery and progress of your wounds.
Your first routine review appointment with Dr Vrtik is usually at 4-6 weeks. At this appointment, your scars and swelling is assessed. Your final review with Dr Vrtik is at 3-6 months, at which time, more clinical photos may be taken, and further follow-up appointments may be offered as appropriate.
Your postoperative period will be fully supported by Dr Vrtik and our staff. If you have any concerns or queries during this period, please do not hesitate to ring our office. If necessary, our Practice Nurse may ask you to come into the office for an assessment earlier than your planned review appointment.
How much does cosmetic facial surgery cost?
Cost is always a consideration in elective surgery. Prices can vary widely. A surgeon's cost for cosmetic facial surgery may vary based on his or her experience, geographic office location and inclusive services.
We have simplified your costs into three components, these are:
- Surgeon's fee (which is inclusive of surgical assistant fee, your garment if you require one, routine follow-up appointments, postoperative dressings and GST)
- Hospital fees or Outpatient Surgery Facility Fee
- Anaesthesia fees if you require a general anaesthetic or intravenous sedation
Your Quote from our Practice will only specify the Surgeon's fee (with above-specified inclusions). We provide you with contact numbers of the hospital and anaesthetist for your procedure it is your responsibility to check and confirm an agreement on these costs with the relevant parties prior to your booking.
Other costs which are not included in the above may be:
- Prescriptions for medications
- Blood Tests and X-rays as required before or after the operation
- Any revision or emergent surgery required secondary to an unexpected complication
Private health insurance does not cover any component of cosmetic surgery. However, if your facial surgery was recommended to you by Dr Vrtik for a medicare-approved indication, you will be provided with a medicare item number on your quote, which should also specify the possible rebate you may receive from your private health fund. You should then contact both the hospital and anaesthetist to find out their overall cost and possible rebates you may be eligible for.
Don't forget: Your satisfaction involves more than a fee. When choosing a surgeon for cosmetic facial surgery, remember that the surgeon's experience and your comfort with him or her are just as important as the final cost of the surgery.
Questions to ask my plastic surgeon:
Use this checklist as a guide during your consultation
- Are you a member of the Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons?
- Were you specifically trained in the field of plastic surgery?
- Do you have hospital privileges to perform this procedure? If so, at which hospitals?
- Am I a good candidate for this procedure?
- What will be expected of me to get the best results?
- Would I need to stop any medications or herbal supplements prior to my operation, if so, for how long?
- What surgical technique is recommended for me?
- Where and how will you perform my procedure?
- What should I expect during my recovery and how long would my recovery take?
- What kind of help will I need during my recovery?
- What are the risks and complications associated with my procedure?
- How are complications handled and what additional costs should I expect?
- What are the results I can expect and how can I expect my face to look over time?
- What are my options if I am dissatisfied with the cosmetic outcome of my surgery?