Frequently Asked Questions
If you're researching plastic surgery in Corpus Christi or elsewhere, you probably have lots of questions. Whether you're in the early stages of your search for a surgeon or you've undergone plastic surgery in the past, Dr. Max Gouverne believes in your right to be informed and make educated decisions about your care. To help you make the choices that are best for you, he's provided answers to the most common questions he hears in his Corpus Christi plastic surgery office.
Don't see your question answered here? Request a consultation using our handy online form, or call our office directly at (361) 993-2222.
How do I choose the right plastic surgeon for me?
Choosing to have cosmetic surgery is a major decision. Dr. Gouverne believes you should take the time to research both the procedures you're considering as well as potential plastic surgeons in Corpus Christi. You need to make sure your surgeon has the proper credentials. At a minimum, he or she should be certified by The American Board of Plastic Surgery. More importantly, however, you should be comfortable with the doctor and his or her staff. When you go in for your initial consultation, make sure you ask all the questions that are on your mind. The doctor should be willing to spend the time with you to answer each of your questions thoroughly. If you don't have complete confidence in your physician and the answers he or she has given you, you should not go forward with the procedure.
To learn more about deciding between Corpus Chisti-area plastic surgeons, check out our Choosing a Qualified Plastic Surgeon page.
Where can I get some general information on cosmetic procedures?
There are several ways to get some information on the various cosmetic procedures available. In addition to reviewing procedures on our website, another great resource is the website of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons®, which has a helpful Cosmetic Procedures page.
Will I be able to tolerate the postoperative pain?
In our experience, each patient tolerates postoperative pain differently. While some patients may describe the pain as an ache, others may experience greater discomfort. We prescribe appropriate pain medications for postoperative patients to help minimize discomfort. Most facial cosmetic procedures have little discomfort. Liposuction is slightly more uncomfortable, and procedures requiring elevation or tightening of the muscles (such as abdominoplasty or breast augmentation) may have discomfort equal to that of a C-section or other such surgical procedure.
How long is the recuperative period, and when can I return to work?
The length of time it takes to recuperate after plastic surgery varies depending on the procedure performed and the patient. Most patients require assistance for the first 2 days following surgery, and most can care for themselves after that. A few patients may require further assistance if they care for small children. Patients who combine procedures during a single operation, such as for surgery after significant weight loss, have unique recovery considerations that are explained by Dr. Gouverne. The specific lengths of recovery are outlined by procedure:
Eyelid surgery: Patients can typically get around independently by the second day. With the use of sunglasses, they may feel comfortable going to the store or running other light errands by day 3 or 4, and with makeup they may return to work in 5 to 7 days.
Facelift surgery: Patients are usually able to get around independently by the second day. They usually don't feel comfortable going out in public for 5 to 7 days. In many cases, patients require 10 to 14 days before returning to work, especially if they work with the public.
Breast surgery: Patients can usually get around independently by the second day and may return to work after 5 to 7 days if they are not required to lift more than 15 pounds.
Liposuction: Patients can usually get around independently by the second day or perhaps earlier, depending on the number of areas treated. Many patients return to work and normal activities after 5 to 7 days.
Abdominoplasty: Patients may take between 2 and 4 days before getting around independently. The recovery is almost identical to recovery following a C-section. Patients can return to a desk job after 5 to 7 days, while other jobs may require 10 to 14 days.
When can I resume regular exercise?
The time frame in which a patient may resume his or her regular exercise routine varies based on the procedure performed. All patients are encouraged to start a slow walking routine on the second day. We recommend against aerobics and other vigorous activities during the first 2 weeks in order to decrease the risks of bleeding, swelling, and bruising. Weightlifting and contact sports are allowed at 1 month in most cases.
Why do different clinics give me different quotes on the same procedures?
Apples and oranges. The best way to compare prices is to simply ask for the surgeons' fee only and compare that from surgeon to surgeon. You should also ask for the total cost and try to obtain a very specific quote, including the precise hospital charges, operating room charges, recovery room charges, any medication fees, anesthesia charges, consultation fees, and other fees that might apply. This will allow you to accurately compare prices.
How do I find out what a reasonable fee is for a certain procedure?
The American Society of Plastic Surgeons maintains a webpage that can give you this information. Only surgeons' fees are quoted, so it's easy to compare. Remember that there are always additional costs such as hospital fees, facility fees, anesthesia fees, materials, and medications. These fees are so variable that they are not included in the data.
Many of these plastic surgery procedures cost about $5,000. What if I'm not sure if I can afford that?
Plastic surgery is an expensive investment, but you have to compare it relative to some other major purchases you make in your life. A very common purchase most people don't bat an eye at making is of a new car, which may cost at least $20,000. Consider the amount of time you are able to enjoy your car on a day-to-day basis and compare that with the amount of time you are able to enjoy the results of your operation. Perhaps you should consider postponing the purchase of a new car for another half-year to a year so you can afford your surgery. Remember, $5,000 financed over 3 years represents a monthly payment of $142, while $20,000 financed over the same amount of time represents a monthly payment of $500. If you're able to handle both payments in the same month, you can afford a new car and your operation. But if that monthly obligation becomes too much, perhaps you should consider postponing the purchase of a new car so you can enjoy the results of your cosmetic procedure. Carefully consider your overall financial picture, and make a smart decision.
I have heard of your financing program. Could you tell me more about it?
We have a number of different options available for you to finance your surgery. Our cosmetic surgery coordinator will spend time with you during your consultation to see what the best option would be for you. Once you have made a decision to have your surgery, the appropriate methods of financing can usually be worked out.
Will my insurance cover any of the costs?
With the exception of a small number of procedures, cosmetic surgery is considered "elective" and doesn't allow for coverage by most health insurance plans. However, in certain circumstances where a person's ability to function in day-to-day activities is limited by a condition (such as extremely large breasts that impair health, droopy or sagging eyelids, or even difficulty in breathing necessitating rhinoplasty), he or she may qualify for insurance coverage.