FAQ

In-Office Procedures:

If you are scheduled for an in-office procedure, it will involve local anesthetic only and does not require fasting.  You are encouraged to eat before your appointment.

Blood-thinners (e.g., Coumadin/Warfarin©, Plavix©, Pletal©, Ticlid©) and over the counter medications/supplements (i.e., Aspirin, Ibuprofen, Vitamin E, St. John’s Wort) can increase bleeding during surgery and may cause bleeding or worse bruising after the surgery.  These medications should be discontinued 5 days before your appointment.

All other medications should be taken as prescribed by your primary physician.

This depends on what procedure you are having done. If you are having a lesion or skin cancer removed there are typically stitches.  Depending on the location, these stitches are typically removed 5 – 14 days after your procedure by a medical assistant.

All surgeries regardless of technique leave some type of scar. Every effort will be made to optimize the aesthetic outcome of your scar (i.e., hide along natural skin lines, minimize scar length).

The local anesthetic used during your procedure will last between 4 – 6 hours following your procedure.  Beyond this point, you may experience some mild soreness along your incision; this soreness is typically well-controlled with ibuprofen or acetaminophen.  You can also ice the area to help alleviate swelling.

No, not immediately. As a general rule, you should not exercise until your sutures are removed at the earliest.  Areas of the skin that are under ‘higher tension’ may require a longer break from working out to heal properly.

Tummy Tuck and Liposuction:

This depends on what type of surgery you have had.
For mini-tummy tuck (lower abdomen +/- liposuction) the first phase of recovery lasts 3 weeks. Most people will take a few days off work. Pain and soreness typically last for 1 week and is managed with narcotic pain medications for the first 3 days, then over the counter Motrin and Tylenol following that. You will be restricted from exercise for 2 weeks and then you can slowly return to low impact cardio workouts. Do not perform any abdomen strengthening exercises until instructed to do so. At 6 weeks most patients are able to return to full activities.

For abdominoplasty (upper and lower abdomen, +/- liposuction and muscle repair) the first phase of recovery lasts 3 weeks. Most people will take a few days off work. Pain and soreness typically lasts for 1-2 weeks and is managed with narcotic pain medications for the first 3 days. Then over the counter Motrin or Tylenol can be used. You will be restricted from exercise for 3 week and then you can slowly return to low impact cardio workouts. Do not perform any abdomen strengthening exercises until instructed to do so. At 8 weeks most patients are able to return to full activities.

For liposuction the first phase of recovery last 2-3 weeks. Most people take a few days off work. Pain and soreness typically lasts for 1 week and is managed with narcotic pain medications for the first 3 days. Then over the counter Motrin or Tylenol can be used. You will be restricted from exercise for 2 weeks and then you can slowly return to low impact cardio workouts. At 4 weeks most patients are able to return to full activities.

For any surgery there will be ongoing changes after the initial phase of recovery. This includes progressive reduction in swelling. Return to normal sensation, scar maturation and fading. These changes can take months to fully complete and this is normal for all surgeries.

In most cases patients can shower the very next day. You will have operative dressings in place, which includes gauze padding and a compression garment. Remove these prior to showering. Steri-strips will be over the incisions. Those stay ON to shower. Warm soapy water can run over the incisions. Any blood on the skin can be gently cleansed away. Do not scrub any area with an incision. Gently pat dry the Steri-strips with a clean towel. Reapply gauze padding, bra or ACE wrap as instructed.

Some patients may require drains after tummy tuck. Dr. Dickie and the nurse at your surgery will review the care of your drains with you. It is ok to shower with drains. Do not allow them to hang from your skin. It is recommended that you secure the drains to a cloth belt (like a bathrobe sash) that can get wet. Drape the sash over your shoulders and secure the drains to either end with safety pins.

For mini-tummy tuck the scar is placed along the lower abdomen between your hips. It should hide easily below or just at the underwear line.

For a full abdominoplasty the scar will be placed along the lower abdomen and may extend to either hip. It should hide below or just at the underwear line. Occasionally there is a scar located in the vertical (up and down) direction of the middle lower abdomen. Dr. Dickie can discuss the likely scar pattern with you at your initial consultation.

For liposuction there will be very small (less than 1 cm) scars at the sites where the cannula is used. Dr. Dickie takes care to hide these in remote areas or folds so they are as hidden as possible. These scars typically heal well. If liposuciton is used at the time of your abdominoplasty the cannula sites are placed in the incision lines so that there are no separate scars for liposuciton.

Compression garments are very important to prevent swelling and control the shape of the skin and fat as you heal. It is very important to avoid creases or folds in your garment. If you notice folds in your skin, contact Dr. Dickie. You may need a different garment or additional padding to prevent this from happening. The garment is typically worn for at least 6 weeks after surgery.

Breast Surgery:

This depends on what type of surgery you have had.
For breast augmentation (implant) surgery the first phase of recovery lasts 6 weeks. Most people will take a few days off work. Pain and soreness typically last for 1 week and is managed with narcotic pain medications for the first 3 days, then over the counter Motrin and Tylenol following that. You will be restricted from exercise for 2 weeks and then you can slowly return to low impact cardio workouts. Do not perform any arm or chest strengthening exercises until instructed to do so. At 6 weeks most patients are able to return to full activities.

For breast reduction surgery the first phase of recovery lasts 3 weeks. Most people will take a few days off work. Pain and soreness typically lasts for 1 week and is managed with narcotic pain medications for the first 3 days. Then over the counter Motrin or Tylenol can be used. You will be restricted from exercise for 1 week and then you can slowly return to low impact cardio workouts. At 3 weeks most patients are able to return to full activities.

For any surgery there will be ongoing changes after the initial phase of recovery. This includes progressive reduction in swelling. Return to normal sensation, scar maturation and fading. These changes can take months to fully complete and this is normal for all surgeries.

In most cases patients can shower the very next day. You will have operative dressings in place, which may be gauze padding, a bra or an ACE wrap. Remove these prior to showering. Steri-strips will be over the incisions. Those stay ON to shower. Warm soapy water can run over the incisions. Any blood on the skin can be gently cleansed away. Do not scrub any area with an incision. Gently pat dry the Steri-strips with a clean towel. Reapply gauze padding, bra or ACE wrap as instructed.

For breast augmentation (implant) surgery the scar can be placed either at the areola boarder or below the breast at the inframammary fold. Both of these sites tend to heal well, with a barely noticeable scar. The inframammary scar will usually be hidden by the breast within the fold.

If you are undergoing a breast lift at the same time as your implant placement the scar will circle the areolar boarder and may form a line down the lower portion of the breast. These scars often fade. Dr. Dickie will instruct you as to the best scar treatments following surgery to minimize the scars as much as possible. It may be necessary to use a laser technique to optimize the scar appearance.

For breast reduction surgery the scar will circle the new, smaller, areolar boarder and form a line along the lower portion of the breast. Depending on the size of the reduction there may also be a scar at the inframammary fold, below the breast. The reduction pattern used by Dr. Dickie is a Vertical Pattern breast reduction technique, which helps to project the breast and lift it with the most minimal scarring possible.

For liposuction there will be very small (less than 1 cm) scars at the sites where the cannula is used. Dr. Dickie takes care to hide these in remote areas or folds so they are as hidden as possible. These scars typically heal well.

For breast augmentation the size is determined by a few factors. First, it is important to let Dr. Dickie know your goals. If you have photos of the breast size you desire, bring those to your consultation. If you currently pad your breasts in clothing, wear that to your consultation so that accurate measurements can be taken. Finally each patient has a different body type and skin thickness of the chest, which will impact the size that is ultimately chosen. At your consultation Dr. Dickie will take measurements and photos. You will be given the opportunity to try on various sizes of implants to arrive at the ideal size for you.

For breast reduction the size is determined by a few factors. First it is important to let Dr. Dickie know your goals. Are you mainly interested in lifting the breast, reducing the weight, would you prefer to be flatter-chested or maintain some volume and curvature? At your consultation Dr. Dickie will review these with you. She will also take measurements of your breasts and determine the safest range of volume to remove based on your height, weight and overall body shape. Exact cup sizes are difficult to predict based on the fact that different manufacturers make different size bras. Safety and aesthetics will be the guiding principles to the breast reduction.

Fees:

Under most circumstances your carrier will pay for surgery if it has been recommended by another provider. If you are a member of an HMO, it may be necessary to obtain a referral or authorization from your primary physician. If you are in doubt about your particular coverage, you should check with your insurance representative prior to your appointment.  If you have specific questions regarding insurance or billing matters, please contact our office at 847-675-9711.

The fee for cosmetic consultation (e.g., botox, breast lift, breast augmentation) is $100. This fee is applied to the cost of subsequent services.

If you are having a consultation for a medical condition covered by your insurance, the consultation fee will be billed to your insurance. This may require a copay or deductible.  Please contact your insurance carrier for more details.

Cancelling an appointment with less than 24 hours advance notice may be subject to a $100 late cancellation fee.

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