FAQ

Cosmetic Surgery in Birmingham and Beyond: TIA Answers Your Questions

TIA is well versed in providing answers to the most common cosmetic surgery questions asked at our Birmingham and other offices. Please contact plastic surgeon Mr. Vik Vijh for answers to your additional questions.

General Cosmetic Surgery Questions

Breast Augmentation

Breast Reduction

Mastopexy (Breast Lift)

Breast Reconstruction

Abdominoplasty (Tummy Tuck)

Liposuction

Face Lift

Blepharoplasty (Brow Lift)

Rhinoplasty

Otoplasty (Prominent Ear Correction Surgery)

BOTOX® Cosmetic

Skin Fillers

Skin Cancer and Moles

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General Cosmetic Surgery Questions

What precautions should I take before cosmetic surgery?

Prior to cosmetic surgery at our Birmingham or other locations, no aspirin or medicines containing aspirin should be taken for three weeks. You will also be asked to cut back on smoking the week preceding cosmetic surgery at TIA, and preferably completely stop smoking three days before surgery. This will help to minimize post-operative complications from a general anaesthetic. Following cosmetic surgery, you should refrain from smoking for another two weeks to allow your body time to heal.

When should I stop eating and drinking before cosmetic surgery?

If your cosmetic surgery at TIA is in the morning, you will be asked to have nothing to eat or drink as of midnight the night before. If your cosmetic surgery is in the afternoon, however, you will be admitted around noon and should have nothing to eat or drink after a light breakfast at six o’clock that morning.

What is a haematoma?

Haematoma is a rare complication associated with cosmetic surgery. Haematoma occurs when blood collects in the wound. This accumulation of blood may create swelling, pain, and bruising. If the haematoma is small, it may be absorbed back into the body. However, if it is large, surgery may be required to drain the haematoma and stop the bleeding.

Why can’t I drive myself home after cosmetic surgery?

After cosmetic surgery in which a general anaesthetic was used, you may not be able to drive right away because you may still be affected by the painkillers. Also, you will be sore after surgery and unable to move quickly enough to react as you need to when driving. Generally, you should be able to resume driving again after 2 to 10 days, depending on the type of cosmetic surgery you received at Birmingham or our other locations.

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Breast Augmentation

Can a breast implant interfere with a mammogram?

A breast implant can make it difficult to interpret the results of a mammogram. However, if you inform your radiologist that you have an implant, pictures can be taken at different angles to overcome such problems.

What will the implant be made of?

Implants are made of different materials. However, Mr. Vijh does not use triluscent or hydro gel at TIA. He normally uses either soft silicone or saline in a silicone bag. Mr. Vijh can discuss the pros and cons of these and other implants with you during your pre- cosmetic surgery consultation at our Birmingham, London, or Hereford office.

Will I be able to breast-feed after breast augmentation?

Generally speaking, breast augmentation does not interfere with breast-feeding or nipple sensation, so you will be able to breast-feed following cosmetic surgery. However, there is the slight possibility that you could permanently lose some feeling in your nipple, which may affect your ability to nurse a baby.

Is it safe to fly with a breast augmentation?

It is safe to fly with a breast augmentation in place. Cabin pressure has no effect on breast prostheses.

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Breast Reduction

How long should I wait after pregnancy and breast-feeding to have breast reduction?

You should wait six months to a year after pregnancy and breast-feeding before considering breast reduction. This is because the gland gets smaller during this time, and there is a danger that if you have a breast reduction too soon after a pregnancy, your breasts will ultimately end up too small.

How long does this cosmetic surgery take?

Breast reduction takes approximately two hours and is performed under general anaesthetic at TIA’s Birmingham, London, or Hereford facility. You will usually stay in hospital for one night and will be fit to leave hospital the following morning, once the surgical drains have been removed.

How will I look after surgery?

Following breast cosmetic surgery, a dressing will be applied to the breasts. This will be covered with Elastoplasts, forming a supporting brassiere. It is sometimes a good idea to bring one of your old bras with you to support these dressings in the postoperative period. Nothing further should be required until you return to the hospital in seven to 10 days, when all the dressings will be removed and the wounds inspected. Mr. Vijh uses dissolving stitches and therefore their removal is not necessary.

How bad will the scarring be?

Scars are an individual response to surgery and vary from person to person and from one part of the body to another. In general, scars fade and soften over a period of one year after the cosmetic surgery. However, they will never completely disappear and it is unlikely that you would want to sunbathe topless after a breast reduction. Occasionally in very young and/or darker skinned patients, the scars can thicken, become raised and itchy after surgery (scar hypertrophy), and in severe cases become keloidal. This is very rare and can be helped should it develop.

Are there any complications I should be looking out for?

In general, the post- cosmetic surgery period is usually smooth with a surprising lack of pain. Mild painkillers such as Paracetamol are all that are usually required. Please be very careful to avoid aspirin or any medications that contain aspirin. If you should notice that one breast becomes swollen – particularly if it is tender, red, or inflamed and/or you feel hot and exhibit flu-like symptoms – then you should immediately contact Mr. Vik Vijh.

What may be a late complication of this cosmetic surgery?

Apart from the appearance of scars, there may be minor asymmetry in size, volume, or shape between the two breasts and in particular in the shape of the nipple areolar complex. Deciding whether or not to alter the results of the original cosmetic surgery is always a matter of judgment and very occasionally patients do require an adjustment of one breast or the other.

What about exercise, and when will I return to normal activities?

During the first six weeks after cosmetic surgery performed at TIA in Birmingham or our other locations, care must be taken to avoid stretching the scars. During this period, only moderate activity is advisable, and any exercise undertaken should exclude shoulder and arm movements. You will need someone to help you at home for the first 48 hours. A two- to three-week convalescence is usually sufficient to allow you to return to work. A return to more strenuous activity is possible after six weeks.

What size will I be?

Provided that you thoroughly discuss your expectations with Mr. Vik Vijh prior to cosmetic surgery, it is usual to produce a satisfactory size of breast reduction. You must take into account, however, that what is a B or C cup for one lady is different for another. Initially, there will be swelling in the breast, and therefore a final judgment on the new size of the breast should not be made for at least six months after the cosmetic surgery. The final result will also be influenced by how much weight you lose or gain in this period. It is obviously easier to further reduce the breast rather than to try and make it larger.

Will my breasts grow again after cosmetic surgery?

Your breast size is determined by the amount of fat in the breast, which, in turn, is influenced by your general shape and size. If you gain weight after cosmetic surgery, which on the whole is rare, then your breasts will increase in size. The breasts also consist of glandular tissue; some patients are very sensitive to the circulating estrogen and progesterone, and their breasts continue to grow as a result. In particular, girls who have a breast reduction in their early years may find that with or without pregnancy, their breasts continue growing. For this reason, a second breast reduction may be necessary. In some patients, the supporting ligaments of the breast are permanently damaged from stretching. While the breasts are reduced in size, the overall shape, apparent after cosmetic surgery, slowly changes and the breasts take a more droopy, but natural shape.

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Mastopexy (Breast Lift)

How much time will I need to take off work?

You should be prepared to take a week or two off work after your breast lift/ cosmetic surgery at Birmingham or our other offices. However, it will be four weeks before you will be able to return to full activity.

Will scarring be noticeable after mastopexy?

Scarring will never be invisible. In fact, some patients, particularly younger individuals and those with darker skin, are at a higher risk for more severe scarring. These individuals may develop raised, red, hard scars following cosmetic surgery.

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Breast Reconstruction

Who are the best candidates for breast reconstruction?

Most women who had a mastectomy as a result of cancer are good candidates for breast reconstruction at TIA. The best candidates are those who seem to have eliminated the cancer through a mastectomy.

How long does this cosmetic surgery take?

This depends on the surgical method used. The flap method, in which tissue is taken from your back or somewhere else on your body and used to rebuild the breast, requires two to four hours. However, if you have an implant inserted, surgery will only take an hour or two.

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Abdominoplasty (Tummy Tuck)

What if I have last minute questions before my cosmetic surgery?

Mr. Vik Vijh will stop to see you in your room, have you sign the consent form, and draw on your tummy. During this time, you will be able to ask any last minute questions and draw his attention to any further concerns regarding your cosmetic surgery at TIA’s Birmingham or other offices.

How long do I have to wear the pressure garment for?

The pressure garment should be worn during at least the first two weeks of your cosmetic surgery recovery. You can take it off for a few hours after the first week to wash it, but must put it on again once it has been cleaned.

How long is the recovery period?

After a tummy tuck, it will take at least two weeks for you to heal enough to be fully mobile again, and at least six weeks before you can return to strenuous exercise.

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Liposuction

Are the results of liposuction permanent?

Liposuction will permanently remove some of the fat cells in your body. However, if you do not maintain a healthy diet and exercise, problem spots can return because the fat cells you have left may grow larger. Usually, if this occurs at all, it will be in different locations and not where the cosmetic surgery was performed.

How long will it take to see the final results of liposuction?

You will notice some changes in your body shape immediately after surgery at TIA. However, it could take somewhere between three and six months for the last of the swelling to diminish and the final results to be clear.

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Face Lift

Who are the best face lift candidates?

Typically, individuals with a well-defined bone structure and skin that has started to sag but still has some elasticity to it are the best candidates for a face lift. These individuals have typically been affected by age, sun exposure, or smoking and may want a face lift for a more youthful appearance. These individuals should not expect to look completely different after cosmetic surgery at our Birmingham location, but rather have realistic expectations. A face lift can give you a fresher appearance and boost self-confidence, but will not restore the health and vitality of your youth.

How do I know which face lift will lead to the results I want?

You will need to discuss this with Mr. Vijh, as he will be able to determine the cosmetic surgery that will work best for you. There are many types of face lifts and other treatments such as BOTOX® Cosmetic injections or skin fillers at TIA that can be combined with a face lift or used individually to give you the results you are looking for.

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Blepharoplasty

Will health insurance cover my blepharoplasty?

In certain cases, blepharoplasty can be covered by private health insurance. Sometimes, the upper eyelid skin droops down obstructing your field of vision. If this is the case, private health insurance will cover the cost of cosmetic surgery at our Birmingham or other locations in order to improve your vision.

Will my eyes look different after this cosmetic surgery?

Some patients find that their eyes seem to be shaped differently after blepharoplasty. However, this is to be expected to some extent. In other cases, the lower eyelid becomes weak and won’t support the weight of the eyelid. However, Mr. Vik Vijh will test for this before cosmetic surgery and if he sees it as a potential problem, he will let you know and tighten the lid during the operation.

How long must I wait before applying eye makeup?

You should wait about five days after cosmetic surgery before applying makeup. By this time, the sutures will be removed, the initial swelling will have subsided, and bruising will have decreased.

How long should I avoid exposure to the sun?

Prolonged exposure to the sun and heat should be avoided for at least six weeks after cosmetic surgery to prevent further swelling.

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Otoplasty

What is the earliest age otoplasty can be performed safely?

Otoplasty, or prominent ear correction surgery, can be safely performed on patients as young as five years of age. By this time, the cartilage in the ear has fully developed. While otoplasty is frequently performed on children so they do not have to endure ridicule and teasing from their peers, it can also be performed at TIA on adults.

Where are the incisions made?

The cosmetic surgery incisions are usually made in areas where they will not be visible, such as within the folds of the ear or behind the ear. You should discuss this with Mr. Vik Vijh, as he will be able to inform you of the most likely point of incision before the cosmetic surgery at our Birmingham, London, or Hereford office.

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Rhinoplasty

How long will this cosmetic surgery take?

Rhinoplasty takes between one and two hours depending on the extent of the surgery. If another procedure, such as one to improve breathing, is added, then the surgery may last longer.

Will it be painful?

Surprisingly enough, nose operations are not painful. You may have some discomfort if packs are placed in your nose. However, this will feel much like having a cold.

How much time will I need to take off work?

It is required that you take one-and-a-half weeks off work after the cosmetic surgery at Birmingham or our other TIA locations. While your stitches will be removed within four to seven days, the plaster may remain for ten days. Once the plaster has been removed, you are free to return to work. If there is any bruising, it is usually minimal and can be covered with makeup.

What can I expect after surgery?

Following your cosmetic surgery, you should avoid vigorous sneezing, very hot baths, hot food, hot drinks and exercise. You will have some swelling around your eyes, especially if you are a heavy smoker, and there may also be some swelling in your upper lip. This swelling normally diminishes after two days. The plaster will be removed about seven to 10 days after your cosmetic surgery. Once this happens, it will be safe for you to blow your nose and clean it gently with cotton and salt water. Also, it is important to keep in mind that the final result of cosmetic surgery will not be evident immediately after the plaster has been removed, since there will still be minor swelling at this time.

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BOTOX® Cosmetic

How does BOTOX® Cosmetic work?

Wrinkles occur when there is tension in the facial muscles due to the nerves releasing too much acetylcholine. When BOTOX® Cosmetic is introduced directly into these facial muscles, it blocks the nerves from releasing this substance. As a result, the muscles relax, thereby reducing wrinkles and diminishing the lines.

Are BOTOX® Cosmetic injections painful?

You may experience minimal discomfort from the injections. However, a very fine needle is used at TIA, and most patients report only feeling a slight pinch upon insertion.

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Skin Fillers

Are there any side effects?

There may be some tender areas, redness, or swelling after treatment. However, these should diminish within a few days. Allergic reactions to skin fillers are also possible, but when appropriate, you will be tested before the procedure to ensure you will not have a negative reaction to the filler.

How long do temporary fillers last?

Temporary skin fillers generally last between six months and a year. After this, you may return for another treatment at any of our Birmingham, London, or Hereford offices.

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Skin Cancer and Moles

How do I know if my mole is cancerous?

If you have a mole that changes in appearance, there may be reason for concern. A mole that has ragged edges, grows longer in diameter, or has uneven colors or various shades of black, brown, red, or blue could be a sign of melanoma, a type of skin cancer. Mr. Vik Vijh should examine a mole with one or more of these symptoms immediately.

If I do have malignant melanoma, how will the mole be removed?

If it turns out the mole is cancerous, Mr. Vik Vijh will perform a simple surgery at TIA. Local anaesthetic will be used, and the mole, along with some of the surrounding skin, will be excised to make sure the cancer is completely removed. Stitches will then be used to close the wound.

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If you have additional questions regarding cosmetic surgery or other procedures, please contact Dr. Vik Vijh at TIA in Birmingham, London, or Hereford, and we will be happy to assist you.

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