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Plastic Surgery Frequently Asked Questions

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Q: What is the difference between aesthetic plastic surgery and reconstructive plastic surgery?

A: Aesthetic plastic surgery is performed on a normal body part in order to enhance or change its appearance. Many people find that plastic surgery can improve their self-esteem and give them a more positive body image.

Reconstructive surgery is performed on a body part that is abnormal because of birth defects, trauma, developmental difficulties, infection, cancer, or other disease. It is often performed to restore or improve function to the affected body part but may also be done for physical appearance reasons as well.

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Q: How do I know if I'm choosing a good surgeon?

A: Look for the following criteria:

  • The surgeon should be board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. This certification means they have graduated from an accredited medical school, have the required training in the specialty or sub-specialty from an accredited residency program, and have passed a rigorous set of comprehensive exams.
  • The surgeon should have experience performing the type of procedure that you are seeking and meet continuing medical education requirements.
  • The surgeon should operate in a medical facility that is in good standing with all accrediting agencies.
  • The surgeon should willingly share examples of his previous work.

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Q: How do I know that aesthetic plastic surgery is right for me?

A: The ideal aesthetic plastic surgery candidate is someone who is physically and emotionally healthy, and wants to improve their self-image by making a change to a physical trait. It’s also important to have realistic expectations of the surgery’s results: it may help with your self-confidence but it won’t help you get a new job, find happiness in a relationship, etc.

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Q: What is the cost of aesthetic plastic surgery and will it be covered by my insurance?

A: The cost of an aesthetic procedure can vary greatly depending upon several factors, including the type of procedure you are having, the associated costs (i.e. same day surgery vs. an overnight hospital stay), and physician fees.

When the surgery is being performed to improve physical appearance only, it is usually not a covered service by most insurance plans. If the surgery is more reconstructive in nature, however, and is necessary to improve the function of a body part, it may be covered. Since insurance coverage varies, you will need to check with your own plan for specifics.

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Q: What are the risks associated with aesthetic plastic surgery?

A: The risks depend on what type of procedure you are having, the type of anesthesia being used, and other factors. There are always risks involved with any kind of surgery. Your surgeon will explain all of the potential risks and complications with you prior to surgery.

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Q: What are the most common aesthetic surgical procedures?

A: According to the American Board of Plastic Surgery, the top five aesthetic surgery procedures in the United States during 2007 were:

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Contact UPMC Plastic Surgery

UPMC Plastic Surgery Center 
3380 Blvd. of the Allies
Suite 158
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Free parking adjacent to our building

UPMC Stofman Plastic Surgery
1350 Locust Street
Suite G103
Pittsburgh, PA 15219



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