Buglino plastic surgery

Frequently Asked Questions

Making the decision to undergo plastic surgery can be quite the journey. It often involves in-depth internet research followed by several consultations and calls to plastic surgeons. Throughout the process, patients typically have tons of questions they need answered before they proceed. Buglino Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery asked and answered the most frequently asked questions we receive from patients.


General Plastic Surgery

What is the difference between cosmetic and reconstructive surgery?

Cosmetic and reconstructive surgery both lie under the umbrella term, plastic surgery, which attempts to change appearance and maximize function. Cosmetic surgery is performed for purely aesthetic reasons to change the structure of the body and improve appearance. These procedures typically include liposuction, breast augmentation, and arm or thigh lifts. 

Reconstructive surgery differs in that it is performed to treat the body affected by infection, tumors, disease, congenital defects, developmental abnormalities or trauma. This type is also performed to treat areas that cause pain. Surgeries include scar revisions, laceration repairs, revisions or breast implant repairs. 

Typically, reconstructive surgery is covered by most health insurance policies, although the level of coverage often varies. Sometimes, cosmetic surgeries are covered if they also serve a functional benefit. For example, rhinoplasties may be covered if the patient experiences breathing difficulties. A breast reduction may be covered if the patient experiences constant back pain. 

Am I a good candidate for plastic surgery?

Candidacy for plastic surgery procedures depends on a number of factors. To undergo any plastic surgery, you must be in good overall health. Candidates with conditions such as diabetes or high blood pressure will need clearance from their general physician prior to the procedure. If you have serious conditions such as a bleeding disorder or heart disease, you may not be a good candidate. 

All patients must be non-smokers, as smoking can complicate the surgery and recovery process. You should also try to steer clear of secondhand smoke before and after surgery. Some surgeons may ask their patients to quit smoking for four weeks before and after surgery, however this cannot guarantee there won’t be complications. 

Although plastic surgery involves a physical procedure, you must be in good psychological health as well. Plastic surgery often has the capability to boost one’s confidence, however, it should not be used to cure any of your life’s troubles or feelings you have. 

Before deciding to undergo plastic surgery, speak in depth with your plastic surgeon about your health, lifestyle, medical conditions, and supplements you take. These ongoing conversations will help you and your surgeon decide if plastic surgery is right for you. 

What is the right age to get plastic surgery?

There are no age limitations on getting plastic surgery and there’s no best age to have it done. It’s up to you to determine when you need or want to undergo any of the available procedures. 

The most common procedures among those between the ages of 13 and 19 include rhinoplasty, laser skin resurfacing, laser treatment of leg veins, and breast augmentation. Patients over the age of 55 often underwent eyelid surgery, facelifts, Botox, and soft tissue fillers. The most common procedures for ages 20 to 54 are breast augmentation and lift, liposuction, and tummy tucks. 

During your consultation, your plastic surgeon should discuss factors such as age, body type, bone structure, and size, which could all impact your procedure.

Is plastic surgery safe?

Generally, plastic surgery procedures are relatively safe. However, as with any surgical procedure, there are risks involved. Your plastic surgeon should be open to speaking with you about the potential risks associated with your specific operation. Your board-certified plastic surgeon should do everything in their power to minimize complications. 

Your surgeon may also ask you to quit smoking or avoid taking certain supplements or medications prior to the procedure to mitigate risk. Disclose any medical conditions prior to your procedure. Follow all of your surgeon’s pre- and post-operative instructions exactly. 

If you are worried about going under anesthesia, many procedures today can be completed under local anesthesia and sedation. This helps patients avoid the risks of general anesthesia, plus the added costs.

Does it matter where your surgery is performed and who performs it?

Technically, any medical doctor can perform any surgery if they have the proper certification. This means a dermatologist can perform your facelift or a dentist could provide Botox—again, if they are properly certified. 

Prior to engaging a plastic surgeon, you must verify they are board-certified, which is one of the several ways they can show they have the skills and knowledge to perform any procedure. To earn this certification, a plastic surgeon must complete at least four years of residency training in cosmetic surgery procedures. 

To ensure your surgeon is reputable, you should also find trusted references, examine their website, verify they have hospital privileges, and inquire about specific experience.

By verifying your surgeon is board-certified and has a successful track record, you may also be confirming the site of your surgery’s performance. Don’t hesitate to ask your surgeon where your surgery will be performed: In the office or hospital? Ensure the office is an accredited ambulatory facility equipped with emergency equipment and a trained staff. 

Dr. Anthony Buglino completed a highly competitive post-graduate fellowship in plastic and reconstructive surgery at Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. He trained with leading surgeons at Jefferson University Hospital, Hahnemann Hospital, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, Westchester Hospital/New York Medical College, St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children, and The Reading Hospital. The office in which he operates is a state-of-the-art facility outfitted with the necessary equipment and a trained team. 

What questions should I ask my plastic surgeon?

Prior to your consultation, you should research the practice, procedure, any preparation it requires, and the recovery. This can prepare you with questions to ask during your consultation. This is your opportunity to get answers and get comfortable with your surgeon. 

Before you ask anything else, verify your surgeon is board certified, that your surgeon has operating privileges, they use a certified anesthetist, and that the surgery is done in an accredited ambulatory facility. 

Ask your surgeon about his or her experience: How many years of residency did they complete? What fellowships did they undergo? Are they continuing their education every year? How many of these surgeries have they performed and how often? Ask to review any before and after photographs—reputable surgeons should have a plethora of images from patients either in-office, on their website or on their social media accounts. This will give you an idea of what kind of work they do, if their results are natural or not. 

Other questions to ask include:

  • Am I a good candidate for this procedure?
  • What are the benefits for this surgery?
  • How do I prepare for this procedure?
  • How will you perform this surgery?
  • What are the risks and complications associated with my surgery?
  • How are complications handled?
  • How long will recovery take?
  • What will recovery be like?
How should I prepare for plastic surgery?

When prepping for surgery, the most important step is talking with your plastic surgeon. Discuss your medical history and overall health, as well as your needs and wants, with your doctor in detail during your consultation and at follow-up visits. Inform your physician if you’ve made any changes to your medications or if you’re taking new supplements. Fill any prescriptions you may need after surgery and arrange for someone to drive you home as your movement may be limited. Quit smoking at least four weeks before surgery to lessen any risk. On the day of your surgery, your doctor may ask you not to eat at least 12 hours prior. 

Ensure you have all the necessary information such as an insurance card or filled-out forms. Arrive early to fill out additional information if necessary. 

You should also be prepared for the recovery. Ask questions about recovery, how long it will take, and when you can return to normal activities, such as exercise. Prepare your home for your life after surgery. This may include getting a hospital bed, a recliner, starting a pre-cooked meals service or hiring a caretaker.

Is plastic surgery covered by insurance?

The short answer is, it depends. 

Reconstructive surgery, which includes revisions, scar corrections, laceration repairs, and breast implant repairs, is generally covered by insurance because it addresses functional issues. This type of surgery involves adjusting areas of the body affected by infection, tumors, disease, congenital defects, developmental abnormalities, and trauma.

Unlike reconstructive surgery, cosmetic surgery focuses on aesthetics. However, there are some exceptions. For example, abdominal surgery or breast reduction may be covered if they are performed to reduce back pain. Insurance may cover eyelid surgery if it’s performed to correct drooping lids that cause vision problems. Hand surgery used to treat carpal tunnel syndrome or nerve injury can also be covered. Whether or not your insurance will cover a procedure depends on how it’s defined. 

To find out if your surgery is covered by insurance, you must contact your provider. For those who cannot get insurance coverage, Buglino Plastic Surgery offers solutions including CareCredit, a credit card for health expenses; United Medical Credit, payment plans for medical expenses; and Prosper Healthcare Lending, the premier financing company in the industry. 

Are there less invasive alternatives?

Maybe you’re not ready to undergo surgery just yet. If this is the case, there are a number of noninvasive alternatives you can choose instead of a surgical procedure or prior to undergoing surgery.

Platelet-rich plasma skin rejuvenation is widely known as the non-surgical facelift. A patient’s platelet-rich plasma is injected into areas of the face to create a youthful appearance. It can address volume loss and collagen breakdown, firming and smoothing skin for a glowing complexion. 

Ultherapy has a similar effect. It can tighten and lift sagging skin, reduce wrinkles, and provide a brighter appearance on the neck, chin, brow, and decolletage. 

Instead of hand surgery, patients can undergo Radiesse Hand Rejuvenation. This injection increases the firmness and fullness of hands, reducing vein and joint protrusion. Radiesse raises the skin, so tendons, joints, and veins are diminished, restoring smooth hands. 

You can also try fillers and injectables to rejuvenate areas of the face and body, adding volume and definition.

How long will my results last?

The lifespan of each surgery typically depends on your age and health. If you undergo certain procedures in your 20s or 30s, your skin and body will naturally change as you age, thereby modifying the results of your procedure. For example, upper eyelid surgery results should last about 10 years because as you get older, your eyelids may begin to droop. Brow lifts, facelifts, and neck lifts last for approximately the same amount of time. Breast augmentations also have a lifespan of eight to 10 years due to the natural aging process. You may need to enhance these results over the years with a breast lift, which can last forever.

With a healthy lifestyle, body contouring procedures can last a lifetime. Tummy tucks, Brazilian butt lifts, breast surgeries (lifts and reductions), and liposuction can have long-lasting results if the patient keeps up a healthy diet and commits to regular exercise. Most of these surgeries involve getting rid of excess fat or tightening areas of the body. Although fat cells are removed, the remaining cells can still expand or shrink based on how you treat your body. So, the results of plastic surgery truly depend on you.