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Our Location: 2000 Stonegate Trail, Suite 100, Birmingham, AL 35242 - Phone: 205-298-8660

Plastic Surgery Specialists of
Birmingham, Alabama

Dr. Robert Oliver Jr.
Dr. Jason M. Jack

Plastic Surgery FAQs


Plastic Surgery

How can I avoid looking fake after my procedure?

Many men and women are interested in a non-invasive or surgical procedure but are concerned that their results will look unnatural. Plastic surgery techniques have progressed significantly over recent decades, and this is allowing patients to achieve the highest quality of natural-looking results. Potential patients can assure quality results by choosing the right surgeon.

How do I know if I’m choosing the right surgeon?

There are multiple plastic surgeons in any given area. While all surgeons may be able to perform the surgery of your choice, they do not all have the same qualifications, certifications, training, experience, or skills. The American Board of Plastic Surgery certifies plastic surgeons. This certification is critical, as it ensures that the surgeon is trained, skilled, experienced, and adheres to a strict code of ethics. Both Dr. Oliver and Dr. Jack are certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and the American Board of Surgery.

Will I become addicted to plastic surgery?

There is a common misconception that plastic surgery is addictive. While many patients who undergo one plastic surgery consider another, it is not because of an addiction. There is always a fear of the unknown, and before your initial surgical procedure, that fear is expected. After the first procedure, patients know what to expect from the surgical process as well as the recovery. This often makes them more open to undergoing a second or third cosmetic procedure.

How do I know if I’m paying the right amount for plastic surgery?

Plastic surgery prices can vary by thousands of dollars for any given procedure. Far too often, potential patients choose the least expensive option even if that surgeon is not the most trained or experienced. Many factors contribute to plastic surgery costs. These include the techniques used for the operation, anesthesia fees, facility fees, surgeon’s fees, pre-surgical tests, and post-surgical medications and dressings.


Breast Augmentation

Which types of implants look the most natural?

Both silicone and saline implants can provide natural-looking results. Since the texture and feel of silicone implants are more akin to natural breast tissue, some patients feel as though they give a more natural look. That being said, saline implants can look natural, and silicone implants can look fake. More important than the implant material is the size of the implant in relation to your body frame. If you choose an overly large implant that overwhelms your body, it will likely look unnatural, regardless of filling material.

What if I do not like the appearance of my implants?

Many women remain pleased with their implant aesthetics for many years. Unfortunately, dissatisfaction can occur either initially or years down the line. Even with detailed before and after images and mock-ups, there is no way for patients to completely understand how their implant choice will look or feel. Breast revision is available as a secondary operation for women who regret the specifics of their implants.

How durable are my implants?

Many women are surprised to learn how tough and durable breast implants are. Implants can withstand an enormous amount of pressure and will not be damaged by normal day-to-day wear-and-tear, breast exams, or moderate trauma. Significant trauma (such as that of a car accident) or damage experienced during the augmentation surgery may weaken the implant and make it more prone to rupture.


Breast Revision

Can I change my implant size significantly?

Breast revision is performed to remove a damaged or unwanted implant and replace it with another. The new implant can be the same, or it can be a different size, shape, texture, or material. If there is a significant change, either way, the breast pocket may require tightening or expansion.

What is capsular contracture?

Capsular contracture is the most complication experienced with breast implants and a reason to undergo breast revision. Capsular contracture occurs when the scar tissue surrounding the implant starts to tighten and squeeze the implant. The exact reasons for this condition are unknown, and this can only be repaired through the removal of the implant and the scar tissue.

Do ruptured implants cause breast cancer?

Breast implants—ruptured or healthy—are not now, nor have they ever been, linked to breast cancer.

How much scarring will I have after breast revision?

When possible, breast revision is performed using the initial breast augmentation incision to reduce the amount of post-surgical scarring. All scars can be minimized by reducing tension on the healing incisions, keeping them out of the sun, and applying silicone strips or gel. All scarring will fade with time.


Breast Lift

How important is bra choice after a breast lift?

The reason for a breast lift is to tighten the breast tissues and skin that have sagged due to time, weight fluctuations, or pregnancy. While many factors contribute to breast sagging, lack of support is one of them. When the breasts are not adequately supported, the tissues weaken and stretch, and gravity does the rest. Choosing a supportive, well-fitting bra will help prolong the quality of your results and enhance your physical comfort.

What can affect the results of my breast lift?

While breast lift surgery will provide long-lasting results, the results are not permanent. Weight fluctuations, pregnancy, lack of breast support, and age will result in additional breast sagging.

Will I lose nipple or breast sensitivity?

When performing a breast lift, some of the nerves may be severed or damaged. This can result in a temporary or permanent loss of sensation in the nipples or breast skin. While this is not guaranteed, it is a risk that must be accepted before the procedure. Most women regain feeling as long as the nipples are not removed during the operation.


Breast Reduction

How do I know which incision is right for my reduction?

Breast reduction can be performed using one of three incisions: a short-scar, an anchor incision, and no vertical scar. These options result in different degrees of post-surgical scarring, and while women would prefer the choice with the least amount of scarring, they may not always be a candidate. Larger breasts will require a more invasive approach. These women usually benefit from an anchor incision that runs around the areola, down the lower pole of the breast, and across the inframammary fold.

Can I breastfeed after breast reduction?

The ability to breastfeed after breast reduction will depend on the patient. In certain circumstances, the removal of excess breast tissue damages or severs the connection between the milk ducts and nipples. This may result in the ability to produce as much or any milk. If you are undergoing breast reduction before having children, inform your surgeon if breastfeeding is a concern of yours.

Will breast reduction increase my comfort?

Breast reduction is performed to increase physical and emotional comfort. Overly large breasts put more strain on the body and can lead to chest, back, neck, or shoulder pain. A bustier chest can also result in unwanted attention that results in emotional discomfort. Breast reduction minimizes both of these concerns so that women can feel more comfortable in their bodies.


Breast Reconstruction

How soon after my mastectomy can I undergo breast reconstruction?

Breast reconstruction can be performed immediately or years after mastectomy. Patients who undergo immediate reconstruction have usually completed all of their cancer treatment. Radiation and/or chemotherapy can interfere with your implants and vice-versa.

The timeframe of your breast reconstruction is mostly a personal decision. Some women find it difficult to see themselves without their breasts; other women wish to heal from their mastectomy and cancer treatment before deciding on reconstruction.

Which reconstruction method is better for me?

Breasts are reconstructed using implants or tissue flaps (most commonly the TRAM flap, which is taken from the abdomen). Both options have benefits. Implants allow women to rebuild their breasts to a more specific size and shape. Implants are also less invasive because they do not require tissue to be moved from another region of the body. Some women, however, are wary about placing a foreign object into their body right after undergoing cancer treatment. You will be able to discuss all of your options during your consultation.

Do I need to undergo nipple reconstruction?

While it is not required to undergo nipple reconstruction with your breast reconstruction, many women choose to in order to restore natural breast aesthetics. Nipple reconstruction can be accomplished through tattooing or tissue grafting.


Breast Implant Removal

Do I need to remove my textured implants?

The FDA recently released a report linking Allergan textured implants to breast implant-associated anaplastic large-cell lymphoma, a rare immune system cancer that develops in the scar tissue surrounding the breast implants. This report is causing many women with these implants to fear that they will also eventually get the disease. This cancer is extremely rare, with occurrences developing in less than one out of every 25,000 women. The current recommendation is to keep the implants in place unless you are experiencing complications. If, however, the concern is too significant for you, you can consider removing your implants permanently or can switch the textured implant for a smooth implant.

Will I require a breast lift if I choose to remove my implants permanently?

Many women who choose to remove their implants permanently benefit from a breast lift. Breast implants add extra volume and weight to the breasts, and this weight places extra pressure on the breast tissues. Once the additional weight is gone, premature breast sagging may occur. Breast lift surgery restores a natural, uplifted breast appearance.

What are the most common reasons to choose implant removal?

Implant complications or changes in aesthetic desire are the two most common reasons to undergo breast implant removal.

Implant complications can include capsular contracture, implant rupture, or implant displacement.


Gynecomastia Surgery

Can gynecomastia resolve on its own?

Hormonal changes and weight gain are two of the potential causes of gynecomastia. These may resolve on their own, or they may not, and unfortunately, there is no way to predict whether or not they will. If the reason for gynecomastia is excess fat, losing weight may be able to eliminate the problem; however, if the concern is excess tissue, a surgical option may be required.

Will I have to worry about scarring?

Gynecomastia may result in some scarring, but the incisions are kept as small as possible and are placed in inconspicuous places. Liposuction incisions are placed in the natural creases of the skin and are almost invisible once they have healed. Scars can be reduced by keeping them out of the sun, reducing tension, and applying silicone strips and gel. All scars fade with time.

Is it true that medication and drugs cause gynecomastia?

There are many reasons for gynecomastia. While this condition may occur in response to hormones and weight gain, it can also be caused by steroid use, marijuana, heroin, and medications for depression, prostate cancer, or HIV.


Mommy Makeover

Do I need to augment my breasts with implants?

While some women experience volume loss or wish to have fuller, more voluptuous breasts after pregnancy, breast augmentation with implants is not a requirement. Women can choose to undergo a breast lift to restore breast elevation and shape or can choose to enhance their breast volume naturally with fat transfer.

What if I want other procedures included in my Mommy Makeover?

Mommy Makeover surgery usually consists of liposuction, tummy tuck surgery, and breast lift/augmentation; however, this procedure is tailored to your body. You can choose any combination of surgeries for your Mommy Makeover.

Can I have children after a Mommy Makeover?

This surgery will not prevent you from having children in the future, but additional pregnancies will negatively impact the quality of your results. It is recommended to wait for your Mommy Makeover until you have finished having your children.


Tummy Tuck

Is liposuction an alternative to a tummy tuck?

Liposuction removes excess, unwanted fat from the abdominal area; however, it does not remove excess skin and will not repair separated abdominal muscles. If you wish for firmer abdominal skin and/or tighter muscles, a tummy tuck is required.

What is diastasis recti?

Diastasis recti is the term used for separated abdominal muscles that can occur after pregnancy. Your muscles are divided into two sides that are usually spaced one finger’s width apart. During pregnancy, your growing uterus pushes the abdominal muscles outward, which can result in an increase in the space between the muscles. Following pregnancy, diastasis recti results in a lower stomach pooch that can only be repaired with a tummy tuck.

How can I speed up my recovery process?

Tummy tuck surgery cuts through the skin and tissues of your abdomen. Since core strength is essential to all of your movements, tummy tuck recovery can be difficult. Patients can help their recovery by staying hydrated, following a healthy diet, refraining from any activity that could damage their healing incisions, and getting on their feet to promote blood circulation.


Liposuction

How much weight will I lose with liposuction?

Even though liposuction removes fat cells, it is not a weight-loss procedure and should not be thought of as such. Liposuction patients will experience tighter contours and a thinner silhouette. Patients can expect that their clothes will fit better, but they may not be purchasing an entirely new wardrobe.

Does liposuction tighten loose skin?

Liposuction only targets localized pockets of fat. It will not tighten loose skin and may highlight skin laxity that is already present.

Is liposuction that much better than non-surgical body contouring?

Non-surgical body contouring procedures like Emsculpt® have been gaining popularity because they can improve body shape without requiring incisions or downtime. While these procedures can slim and tone an area, they cannot achieve the same amount of fat removal as liposuction.


Fat Transfer

Can fat transfer to the breasts mimic breast augmentation with implants?

Fat transfer is a natural alternative to implants. While fat transfer will add volume and shape, it cannot add as much volume as implants can. This technique is ideal for women who are only interested in a small to moderate increase in size.

Is fat transfer to the face better than dermal fillers?

Both fat transfer and dermal fillers restore lost volume to the face. Fat transfer is more beneficial for some patients because fat is not absorbed by the body as quickly as dermal fillers are. And, since fat is taken from another region, body contouring is combined with facial rejuvenation.

Am I a candidate for fat transfer?

Candidates for fat transfer must have an adequate amount of fat to harvest. This fat can come from the abdomen, hips, thighs, or buttocks. Very thin or petite patients may not qualify for fat transfer.


Body Lift

What is the difference between a body lift and a tummy tuck?

A tummy tuck addresses the lower abdomen; a body lift addresses the abdomen, waist, thighs, and buttocks.

Why should I consider a body lift?

A body lift is a comprehensive procedure that addresses the circumference of your body. If you have multiple concerns, combining techniques into a body lift can help reduce cost and recovery time.

Will a body lift include the breasts?

A body lift does not include lifting the breasts. If your breasts require attention, a breast lift can be performed in combination with a body lift.


Post-weight Loss Surgery

Why does weight loss result in excess skin?

Your skin stretches to accommodate additional weight. With time, the proteins in your skin start to break down, making them unable to bounce back when the weight is lost.

Will all of my surgeries be performed at the same time?

Post-weight loss surgeries can be performed simultaneously if they address similar body areas. Procedures on the abdomen and breasts can be performed together, but facial procedures will be performed at a separate time.

What if I lose more weight after my post-weight loss surgery?

Patients should be at a stable weight and as close to their ideal weight as possible before undergoing skin removal surgeries. Losing additional weight may result in further skin laxity.


Facelift

Why should the neck be addressed in a facelift?

The goal during your facelift is to create natural-looking, youthful contours. If you experience noticeable aging on both the face and neck but only address the face, you will look out of balance, which is a tell-tale sign that work has been done.

How can I extend the results of my facelift?

Facelift surgery removes years from your appearance, but it will not prevent additional aging from developing. Patients should maintain their results by staying out of the sun, wearing a broad-spectrum SPF, keeping their skin hydrated, not smoking, and following a healthy lifestyle.

Will I have facelift scars?

Incisions are made discreetly in the hairline and natural creases around the ear so that there is no visible scarring. Any resulting scars in the hairline will fade with time.


Rhinoplasty

What if I have breathing issues but do not want a significant change in aesthetics?

Rhinoplasty corrects both aesthetic and functional concerns. The extent of correction is up to you and your surgeon and will be discussed during your consultation. It is possible to correct functional concerns like a deviated septum without causing significant aesthetic changes.

What if my results do not turn out the way I want?

Rhinoplasty is a complicated procedure, and every patient heals differently. If your results are not what you desired, revision surgery can be performed to correct an aesthetic or functional concern further. Patients must wait at least one year before undergoing a revision procedure.

How significant is the open rhinoplasty scar?

There is no external scarring with closed rhinoplasty. Open rhinoplasty includes a “Z” shaped incision across the columella (the skin and tissue between the nostrils). This incision heals well and will not be noticeable to anyone that is not staring directly up your nose.


Eyelid Surgery

Will eyelid surgery address the eyebrows?

Eyelid surgery addresses the upper eyelids, the lower eyelids, and the adjacent areas. Eyelid surgery will not lift sagging or heavy brows.

How can I extend my results?

Since the skin on the eyelids is thin, it is more susceptible to the aging process. Eyelid surgery results can be extended by protecting your eyes from sun damage, keeping your skin hydrated, not smoking, and undergoing non-surgical procedures like injectable treatments or facials.

How is eyelid surgery different than BOTOX® Cosmetic?

BOTOX® Cosmetic smooths wrinkles like crow’s feet and frown lines. Eyelid surgery addresses crow’s feet as well as heavy upper eyelids and puffy lower eyelids.


Ear Surgery

How old do you have to be to undergo otoplasty?

Otoplasty is one of the few cosmetic procedures that can be performed on children. Otoplasty, or ear pinning, can be completed as soon as a child’s ears are fully developed. This usually happens around the age of five.

Can you still have ear surgery as an adult?

While many otoplasty procedures are performed on children, adults can still have the procedure. Adults may experience a more extended recovery period, since their ears are not as malleable, but they will heal very well.

Will my results change down the line?

Otoplasty is considered permanent and will not change down the line.


Medical Spa

Will non-surgical treatments work as well as surgery?

Non-surgical facial procedures can improve skin texture and tone better than any surgical procedure can. That being said, skin laxity and more extensive aging cannot be corrected as much through non-invasive options.

What is the best treatment for acne scars?

Acne scars can be treated through laser resurfacing, microneedling, or chemical peels.

Why should I consider laser hair removal?

Laser hair removal with the ProWave™ allows patients to put down their razors, tweezers, and waxing appointment cards. This treatment is painless, safe for many skin types, and a convenient way to maintain smooth, hair-free skin.


Chemical Peels

How long will I peel after my treatment?

Chemical peels are available in different strengths. The strength of your treatment will determine how long you will peel. Mild peels may cause zero to minimal peeling, whereas deeper peels may flake for up to 10 days.

How often can I undergo a chemical peel?

Mild chemical peels can be done every four to six weeks. Deeper peels may require months in between treatments, or no repeated treatments at all.

Is a chemical peel better than a facial?

Chemical peels usually address fine lines, wrinkles, pigmentation issues, and acne scars at a deeper level than traditional facials.


Microneedling

How does microneedling work?

Microneedling makes hundred of micro-wounds in the skin that promote an immediate healing response. This response is beneficial for fine lines, wrinkles, acne scars, and pigmentation irregularities.

Is microneedling dangerous?

Even though microneedling damages your skin initially, it is improving and strengthening it in the long-term. Microneedling stimulates collagen production to create thicker and stronger skin.

Why is collagen so important?

Collagen is an essential protein found in the skin that is responsible for its strength and structure. While this protein is produced naturally, the level of production decreases with age. This decrease results in thinner skin and fine lines. Restoring collagen strengthens the skin.


Injectables and Fillers

What is the difference between a filler and BOTOX® Cosmetic?

Dermal fillers restore lost facial volume. BOTOX® Cosmetic is a neuromodulator that interferes with muscle contraction. Dermal fillers are beneficial for age-related lines and volume loss. BOTOX® Cosmetic is ideal for expression lines like crow’s feet and frown lines.

Will my results look natural?

Injectable treatments and dermal fillers can provide subtle or dramatic enhancement. The amount of additional volume will depend on the amount of filler injected, which will be discussed during your consultation.

How long will my results last?

Dermal fillers and injectable treatments provide temporary results. BOTOX® Cosmetic will usually provide results for three to four months. Dermal fillers typically last around one year.

We at Plastic Surgery Specialists would like to hear from you. Feel free to contact us if you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment.

Plastic Surgery Specialists of
Birmingham, Alabama

2000 Stonegate Trail, Suite 100, Birmingham, AL 35242

Phone: 205-298-8660

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