949-644-1400
1401 Avocado Avenue, Suite 803, Newport Beach, CA 92660

Frequently Asked Plastic Surgery Questions Newport Beach

RealSelf Q&A with Lavinia K. Chong, MD

Breast Augmentation

Facelift

  • Can I color my hair before a Face lift?
    • Yes, please do. Do not cut your hair. You can color your hair at least one week prior, and then at least two weeks after the surgery.
  • How long until swelling is 100% gone from a facelift?
    • 6 months, however, the majority of swelling is gone after the first 3 months.
  • Is 40 too young to get a facelift?
    • Facial rejuvenation is individually independent. One 40 year old doesn’t look the same as any other 40 year old. So no it is not too young, it has to be taken as a face by face basis. Fillers are so good these days that you can save some time and money and use fillers and Botox until you are truly ready for a facelift. Usually when your neck starts bothering you in appearance is a good time to research and consider a facelift/necklift.
  • How to avoid bruising after a facelift?
    • Avoidance of NSAID’s, medications which cause bruising, fish oil, control of blood pressure, and understanding realistic expectations of post op activity restrictions.

Eyelid Surgery

  • Will a Blepharoplasty damage my lash extensions?
    • For an Upper Blepharoplasty (Upper Eyelid Surgery), no.
    • For a Lower Blepharoplasty (Lower Eyelid Surgery), yes, they could potentially get in the way.

    Part B- How soon after a Blepharoplasty can I get lash extensions?

    • At least 10 days after.

Breast Implants

Injectables

  • Is there an age limit for injectables?
    • I don’t believe it is ethical to do cosmetic injectables on patients under 18. A treatment plan must be agreed upon between the patient and doctor. As an adult getting injectables, we want healthy the patient to be healthy, with realistic expectations.

Tummy Tuck

CO2 Laser Skin Resurfacing

Liposuction

Lip Augmentation

  • How big can I go with a Lip Augmentation?
    • Lips have to compliment your face. It is best when thinking about a lip augmentation, whether surgical or nonsurgical, to just enhance your lips to have a prettier version of what you already have. The other factor is cost. The bigger the lips, the bigger the cost.
  • How long do lip fillers last?
    • Since there is a high amount of blood flow in the lips, the filler tends to be “washed out” in that area rather quickly. Over time however, you will start to build up collagen which will allow for injectables to be spaced out throughout the year more.

      On average:
      4 treatments per year, first year
      3 treatments per year, second year
      2 treatments per year, third year

  • Where is the scar when getting a lip augmentation with a lip implant?
    • It is in the corners of the mouth.
  • What should I be aware of with a lip augmentation, surgical and nonsurgical?
    • You should be aware if you tend to have cold sores. They can flare up when having lip treatments. We will prescribe Valtrex to pre-treat if that is the case. Dr. Chong will also look at your bone and teeth structure to determine your options when enhancing your lips.

Rhinoplasty

  • What is the revision rate for a rhinoplasty?
    • First time rhinoplasty revision rate is about 25%. The way to lower this percentage is to communicate clearly with your plastic surgeon on your wants and needs for your rhinoplasty outcome. Morphing is Dr. Chong’s way of communication. She is able to take a set of photos of your current nose and morph them into what she can do for you.
  • What if I sneeze with the splint on my nose?
    • It is okay to sneeze with a splint, but sneeze carefully. The splint is protecting the surgical resetting of your nose and you don’t want to grab your nose when you sneeze. Okay to wipe your nose gently.

Implant Removals

Miscellaneous

  • If surgery is in the afternoon with anesthesia but I have to take certain medication, i.e. Thyroid medication, in the morning when I wake up, can I still do that even though I can’t eat or drink 8 hrs prior to surgery?
    • Yes, just with a small sip of water, just enough to get the pill down. However, make sure all medications are approved by Dr. Chong.
  • Can I drink alcohol on the night before my surgery?
    • No. It will dehydrate you, and it is not recommended for surgery. Please call us if you feel nervous before surgery and we can prescribe a Valium. We just ask that you do not take the Valium before speaking to the Anesthesiologist that will be calling you the night before.
  • Can I be on my period during surgery?
    • Yes. However, the risk of nausea and vomiting is higher because 1. You are a female, and 2. You are having BREAST surgery. Both corresponding with the monthly cycle. Sometimes we say to schedule the procedure not while you are on your period because then you will not be reaching for Advil or Motrin, which are not compatible with surgery.
  • Can I go to work with drains?
    • Of course! Just be creative with your wardrobe.
  • Will there be a scar where the drains are?
    • There will be a small 3mm line, similar to a scratch, but the drain incision will be placed in an inconspicuous location.
  • What are the benefits of using drains?
    • a. comfort
    • b. prevents seroma (collection of fluid)
    • c. decreases risk of recurrent capsular contracture
  • What are the benefits of a female plastic surgeon?
    • A key benefit of a female plastic surgeon for a female patient is that a female plastic surgeon understands the female body and similar issues. A female plastic surgeon, such as myself, has experienced similar emotions and life events. I believe the empathy a female plastic surgeon can offer to a patient is a major factor in the choice of a plastic surgeon.
  • How long do I have to stay in bed after my surgery?
    • We encourage walking the day of your surgery to ensure good circulation and breathing. If you lay in bed too long and too often after a surgery, it may cause constipation, depression, and/or bed sores.
  • Why does my drain site have pus coming out of it?
    • It is a foreign body that is creating inflammation which then causes pus.
      Nothing to worry about.
  • What happens if a patient stops breathing in the operation room?
    • Our OR has protocols for support in order for all our staff to know their positions in case of an emergency. We carry the right equipment to support patients and have the ability to transfer to a higher level of care if necessary.
  • I am worried about anesthesia, what do I do to calm myself the night before the surgery?
    • First, inform yourself and get all your questions answered. Then do things that help you sleep well, like running, going on a long walk, or taking a hot bath.
    • Usually try and do an activity that you will be restricted from for a few weeks after surgery. After speaking to your anesthesiologist the night before you can take a sleeping aid (i.e. Ambien, Valium, Tylenol PM).
  • What credentials do the surgeon’s assistants have?
    • They have a national certification from The National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting. It is a 4 year certification with 60 hours of continuing education. In addition, they are required to maintain a membership with the Association of Surgical Technologists (AST) and stay current with our Basic Life Support (BLS), and CPR Certifications.
  • How long do I wear the compression socks from surgery? Why?
    • Compression socks are used to ensure circulation in legs during surgeries that exceed 3 hours. We wish that you would wear them for a couple of days to allow for full circulation to be back.
  • How common are asymmetric breasts?
    • Very common. Most women have one breasts bigger than the other. However, sometimes there is quite a big difference, like 2 cup sizes. Asymmetric breasts are when one breasts has less natural breast tissue, usually less muscle, and the skin envelope is tighter. When getting a Breast Augmentation to fix the difference, the smaller breast will need more time to settle into the pocket and stretch out the muscle, tissue, and skin.
  • What are tubular breasts?
    • Tubular breasts are characterized by small breast volume, long skin envelope, and big nipples with the breast tissue sagging, and usually a higher than normal breast fold.
  • Do you have to bathe in something special before surgery?
    • It depends. Our skin helps prevent infection, monitors temperature, and absorbs vitamin D. Our skin can also be a source of bacteria. If the patient has body acne we usually recommend bathing in chlorhexidine soap a few days prior. We also take a nasal swab at your pre-op that will help us determine any bacteria present.
  • When can I start using scar creams?
    • The best regimen is to wait one week before the steri-strips come off. Then use bio-oil on your scars for one week. This oil will help to remove any crust or glue. Then start using biocorneum after the 2 week mark. The silicone and SPF protection are some amazing benefits of this serum.
  • At what age do your breasts stop developing?
    • They never stop developing. They go through changes at every stage in a woman’s life.
  • What happens if you get sick with a cough or cold before a surgery?
    • Make sure to communicate with your plastic surgeon’s office if you become sick so they can clear you on any medications you may need. It is important to monitor your health before surgery. The anesthesiologist will want to make sure your airway can handle the amount of time you need for your procedure.
  • When should I purchase sports bras to wear after a breast surgery?
    • For any breast procedure, we will be putting you in a clip front closure compression bra. For most breast procedures we recommend staying in this bra for the first 2 weeks. After that you can look for a front zip sports bra to wear for the next 2-4 weeks. Usually around the 4-6 week mark, Dr. Chong will give you the clearance to go into normal bras and underwire bras. We usually recommend to wait on purchasing any bras till after the surgery unless you have a clear idea of what size you will be. Once the swelling has gone down and you feel comfortable to try on some different sizes, that will be a better time to purchase new bras.