Dr. Bosshardt's Blog

How long is recovery time after cosmetic surgery?

plastic surgery lake countyMany patients ask what typical recovery times are after our most popular plastic surgery procedures. This depends on many things of which the type of surgery is only one. First, what is meant by “recovery time”? Is this when you will look presentable, when you will be able to resume normal day to day activity, or when you can resume all activities, with no restrictions? Is it when you can return to work? This can be very different for a secretary who works at a desk versus, say, someone who does heavy manual labor. Each of this may have a different time frame, from days to weeks. Is it when you will feel back to totally normal in every way? This could be months. Scars can take six months to over a year to fully mature. It is important always to remember that each individual will recover in their own, unique way and so we have to allow some leeway for this in our estimations.

Facial surgery is more difficult to hide than surgery in areas covered by clothes, and this must be taken into account as well.

Most patients can return to full, unrestricted activity after any surgery within 4-6 weeks. Most can look presentable, even after facial surgery (makeup can hide a myriad of things like bruising and redness) within 7-10 days. With the above factors in mind, the following is a list of average recovery times -- when you will look OK and be able to function in normal day to day activities after our most common and popular procedures:


What are the latest information on breast implants and lymphoma?

After the blockbuster success of the movie, Jaws, in driving moviegoers out of the ocean in droves, the tagline for Jaws 2, simply said, “Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the water…..”. This could serve equally well for any number of situations in medicine. One of these is the issue of breast implant safety.

Recent media stories about the possible connection between breast implants and a rare lymphoma of the breast have made it important that women be updated on this issue.

After a decade of some of the most intense media scrutiny, claims and counter claims, and arguably the most concentrated research in the history of any medical device extending over a decade, from 1990 into the new millennium, it seemed that the question of whether or not implants could make women sick or cause cancer had been put to rest. Like a phoenix rising from the ashes, however, the issue won’t stay dead. Concerns have been raised by women’s groups and some medical professionals about possible systemic illnesses, immune disorders, and a slew of ill-defined symptom complexes blamed on implants. Scientifically proven, reproducible proof of causality has been hard to come by. Then it was discovered that there did, indeed, appear to be a true association of breast implants with a rare form of lymphoma, anaplastic large cell lymphoma, in the breast. The association is such that this has now been officially labeled breast implant associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma (BIA-ALCL) to distinguish it from ALCL not associated with implants.


Endoscopic breast surgery - cutting through the hype

One of the most frequently asked questions about cosmetic surgery concerns scarring. The ideal is to have a successful cosmetic procedure and have no scars at all. Unfortunately, we are surgeons, not magicians, and scars are a fact of life. Many techniques have been tried to reduce or eliminate scars. Some have come and gone. Others have stayed. One of these is endoscopic surgery. It has been applied to many procedures, including breast augmentation. On the surface endoscopic breast augmentation through the armpit sounds like a winner. You get breast implants, no scar on your bresats, and only a tiny scar in the armpit. What's not to like? Well, there is more to it than that. There always is.  


Endoscopy, surgery via small incisions using a lighted device called an endoscope, is the proverbial hammer in search of a nail. As with lasers, it has been over-hyped and some practitioners have tried to promote it for procedures where it provides no real advantage and actually creates problems. While it has revolutionized many areas of surgery, it has had limited application for plastic surgery. Much of what plastic surgeons do involves the need for larger incisions and this effectively negates one of the biggest advantages of endoscopic surgery. 


A plastic surgeon's view of transgender surgery

The transgender issue has erupted on the media and social landscape, seemingly out of nowhere. We are told by the media that this is a significant social issue that requires urgent attention, instead of the rare disorder that it really is. Legislators are already passing legislation that forces teenage girls to share their bathrooms with teenage boys who claim to be confused as to their gender. The situation has rapidly escalated to a degree that grotesque solutions are being offered, such as giving confused teens hormones to delay puberty- something that we know stunts skeletal growth and can create other medical issues- in order to facilitate gender reassignment surgery later! What is remarkable and truly worrisome is that these ridiculous "solutions" are being taken seriously. We have truly entered the realm of the absurd. 

Who has not read of the strange journey and transformation of former Olympian, Bruce, now Caitlyn, Jenner? If ever there was a poster child for an issue it would be him/her. I can't speak personally regarding Jenner's situation. He may truly be a woman "trapped" in the body of a man. On the other hand, we know that gender is genetically determined. Yes, errors do occur in a very rare individual who is born with ambiguous genitalia and an abnormal set of sex chromosimes. We are not talking here about such a rare disorder. Transgendered people of the type that have suddenly become almost fashionable, are biologically normal, genetically normal males and females who simply believe that they are really the opposite sex. In medicine, we have a term for a fixed belief that runs counter to reality. We call this a delusion. We see this in anorexia nervosa and body dysmorphic disorder where people hold to a false belief, even to the point of physically harming themselves or seeking inappropriate surgical alteration. In these individuals, we do not encourage the delusion by affirming the false belief. We treat them with psychotherapy and, when appropriate, medications to normalize their thinking processes. Why do we treat transgender differently? While much is made of Jenner's transformation and wonderful life since, the truth is that long term studies clearly suggest that these unfortunate individuals often do not achieve the happiness and contentment they seek and that the incidence of suicide is up to twenty times that of their peers who do not undergo gender reassignment. For more, read my blog at  www.hypeorlando.com/house-calls



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