Frequently Asked Questions
Below are answers to the most common questions we receive from our patients for our most popular procedures.
Q. Does rhinoplasty surgery improve breathing?
A. Rhinoplasty surgery improves the outward appearance of the nose and is not a procedure designed to address breathing problems. Many times, rhinoplasty surgery is combined with other procedures to address breathing issues. These procedures include septoplasty, which straightens the inside of the nose, or septum or nasal valve surgery, which corrects a nose that is too pinched in or collapses on breathing.
Q. Will I be able to breathe better after nasal surgery?
A. Yes-when a deviated septum or the inside of the nose is straightened, it opens the breathing passages and breathing is improved. It does take a few months post-surgery for swelling to resolve and to reach peak improvement of breathing.
Q. Does insurance help cover rhinoplasty or nasal surgery?
A. Yes- when a patient has surgery to correct breathing problems such as deviated septum surgery at the same time as a cosmetic rhinoplasty, the insurance procedure can help to cover some of the surgery costs. Patients may receive discounts on the cosmetic rhinoplasty that they would not normally receive with cosmetic rhinoplasty surgery by itself.
Q. How will I feel right after surgery?
A. Postoperatively rhinoplasty and nasal surgery typically feels like a stuffy, achy, head cold. Stents, which are soft rubber sheets hold the inside of the nose or septum straight and are removed 5-7 days post-surgery. Breathing feels stuffy due to the stents and swelling. A nasal cast is put on the outside of the nose to protect it after surgery. The nasal cast is removed at a week.
Q. Will I have sutures in my nose?
A. Yes- with open rhinoplasty there will be some sutures that will be removed the following week and some sutures that will just dissolve.
Q. What are my restrictions post-surgery?
A. You will not be able to exercise or get your heart rate up with brisk walking or heavy lifting for two weeks post-surgery. Not following these restrictions can cause a nosebleed that will need to be packed to stop it. After two weeks, patients can return to their regular exercise routine slowly. Patients who have a job where they can be hit in the nose will need to take 6 weeks. Examples would include jobs such as a corrections officer, psychiatric nurse, hockey player etc.
Q. What will my nose look like when the cast is removed?
A. Even though the nose is swollen, it will look good as its appearance has been improved cosmetically.
Q. How long will I have bruising after rhinoplasty surgery?
A. Bruising is typical with rhinoplasty surgery, and will take a few weeks to go away. Staying out the sun is important post-surgery, as the sun will make a bruise darker and it will take longer to go away. Each person also bruises differently, and it’s important be off of blood thinning medications and substances prior to surgery to help minimize bruising. These include most over-the-counter pain killers, vitamins and herbal supplements. It’s always best to check with Dr. Sherris or your pharmacist if you have a question about a medication.
Q. How long will it take swelling to go away after surgery?
A. 80% of swelling typically resolves in about 3-4 months after the procedure, and the remaining swelling will resolve over the course of the year. Salt intake and exercise will contribute to nose swelling going up and down post-surgery.
Q. How long does it take a nose to heal?
A. Most of the healing will take place in the few weeks post-surgery, but it takes a full year for a nose to completely heal.
Q. I’ve just broken my nose; what should I do next?
A. If you believe that your nose is broken, you should go to an emergency room and have an x-ray taken. Then follow up with a facial plastic surgeon or ENT surgeon within a few days of the break. Sometimes a closed reduction needs to be performed, which means the nose is pulled back into position to help prevent future breathing problems. Even for patients who have closed reduction surgery, breathing problems caused by the fracture can still develop. To get an insurance carrier to cover surgery, patients will need a documented fracture by x-ray. Once a fracture heals, it will not show up on x-ray, and that’s why it’s important to get seen when an injury to the nose occurs.
Q. Sometimes my breathing is better than other days, is that normal?
A. Yes- breathing in the first few months post-surgery can go up and down. This is caused by swelling and will eventually go away.
Q. I just had my cast removed. I woke up this morning and one side of my nose looks more swollen and higher. Is that normal?
Yes- This is just caused by swelling. Swelling right after surgery is not even or symmetric. It will go up and down. Some days it will be better than others, and sometimes it can be caused by your position. Eventually it will go away.
Q. What is the right age for facelift surgery?
A. There is no right age for facelift surgery. Typically patients range from 40’s and above. Aging is largely determined by your genetics and lifestyle, so if your family has a heavy neck area, chances are you will too. If you love the sun and sunbathe regularly, chances are you will experience pre-mature aging. All these factors determine how you will age and when you are a candidate for facelift surgery.
Q. What are the benefits of facelift surgery?
A. Facelift surgery will improve the fine and deep wrinkles of the face and neck. If done with liposuction, the fat in the neck will be removed. The jowls will be improved and the jawline will be better defined.
Q. If I have facelift surgery will I need another one? How long will by results last?
A. Patients will always look better for having a facelift surgery, as excess skin has been removed and tissue tightened. The normal aging process will continue, as surgery does not prevent our bodies from further aging. Sometimes patients will elect to have a second “tuck up” surgery down the road, typically 7-10 years later, if they choose.
Q. What is the difference between a regular facelift and a mini facelift?
A. A mini facelift lifts less of the cheek and neck skin than a regular facelift. The mini facelift heals quicker, but is not the right option if you have a heavy neck, deep wrinkles or other signs of more advanced aging.
Q. What makes a person a candidate for a regular facelift and not a mini facelift?
A. Patients with thick skin, heavy necks, large jowls, very loose skin or deep wrinkles are a candidate for a regular facelift rather than a mini facelift. The regular lift corrects more problem areas and for a longer period of time. Regular facelifts will last longer than a mini facelift.
Q. If I have a mini facelift can I return to work sooner? Will my restrictions after surgery be different?
A. You may be able to return to work a few days or a week before one would with a regular lift. Yet restrictions on lifting, exercise and basic care are the same for both. We recommend no lifting or strenuous exercise for 2 weeks after. Low salt diet and wearing a neck wrap as much as possible for a couple weeks also promotes better results and quicker healing.
Q. Should I lose weight before surgery?
A. A patient should be close to their ideal weight before undergoing facelift surgery. Patients who are committed to losing 20 lbs or more will affect their surgical results if large amounts of weight are lost post-surgery.
Q. Will the facelift incisions be noticeable and where are the stitches?
A. The incisions and sutures for a facelift are planned in natural creases and along hairlines to be better concealed. The sutures in visible areas near the ear are removed at 1 week after surgery, while the ones behind the ears and in the hair are left for 10-14 days.
Q. When will the stitches be removed?
A. Visible sutures are removed at 5-7 days after surgery, while the rest are removed at 10-14 days.
Q. When can I wash my hair?
A. Your hair will be washed by the doctor at the end of surgery. You can wash it 2 or 3 days later with baby shampoo. Do not use any shampoos with conditioners or other chemicals.
Q. When can I resume taking my vitamins and supplements?
A. Because most vitamins and supplements have blood thinning qualities patients are asked to stop taking these two weeks prior to surgery and cannot resume taking these until two weeks post-surgery. Taking these will also cause more bruising post procedure.
Q. How should I care for my skin post-surgery? When can I resume my skin care routine?
A. Patients post-surgery should use skin care products that are gentle and have no anti-aging substances, which are too harsh for healing skin. Patients should also apply a daily sunscreen to avoid tanning and aging. Ask the doctor when you can resume your daily normal skin care as it varies based on your healing timeframe.
Q. When can I color my hair?
A. Because hair coloring products have harsh chemicals in them hair cannot be colored until 4-6 weeks post-surgery. The harsh chemicals can harm healing incisions. Ask the doctor for the timeframe right for you.
Q. How soon can I return to work?
A. With a mini facelift people return to work at about 1 week after surgery, while 2 weeks off is suggested for regular facelift patients, or those undergoing multiple procedures.
Q. Is there any bruising with a facelift?
A. Typically there is some bruising in the neck or cheeks after facelift surgery. The amount varies from patient to patient, but plan for 2 weeks of bruising. Heavier makeup and foundation can be used a week after surgery to mask bruising.
Q. What type of anesthesia is used for facelift surgery? Can a facelift be done under local anesthesia?
A. Typically facelifts are done under general anesthesia with local anesthesia injected to diminish discomfort. Due to the length of the procedure local anesthesia alone is not recommended for the comfort and safety of the patient.
Q. How long does numbness last after a facelift surgery?
A. All of the skin that is lifted in any surgery, including facelift surgery is usually numb. As the numbness goes away, the skin feels itchy or funny. Total resolution of numbness can take months and even up to a year or longer. Rarely a permanent lack of sensation can occur. If it does it is usually on or around the ear.
Q. How long will the incisions and skin be red after facelift surgery?
A. Redness of healing skin usually resolves in weeks to months. Incision redness may take a little longer to resolve and full wound healing for any incision takes a full year. Sun exposure to a healing incision will make redness last longer and patients are advised to protect themselves from the sun post-surgery.
Q. I have sagging lines around my eyes will those be addressed with a facelift?
A. No- A facelift procedure addresses jowling of the jawline and the neck and the mid face area. It does not address any sagging skin around the eyes. This can be addressed with eyelid surgery or blepharoplasty, or endoscopic browlifting.
Q. What happens if I do not heal well in a certain area?
A. Dr. Sherris wants you to heal as well as possible and be happy with your result. If any area does not heal perfectly he will revise it. Yet, you have to be patient as most areas of concern resolve with normal healing. Minor revisions are done in the office at no charge, but if you need to return to the operating room you would be responsible for the anesthesia and hospital charges only. Major revisions are extremely rare.
Q. I am not sure I want a facelift, what is a non-surgical option?
A. Non-surgical options such as botox and dermal fillers cannot achieve the surgical result of a facelift surgery, which removes excess skin and tissue and tightens the underlying structure. Dermal fillers can only fill in specific wrinkles and cannot move tissue back to where it used to be. So a sagging cheek area that is causing jawline jowling cannot be moved back to the correct position by a filler. Some fillers such as Sculptra Aesthetic and Juvaderm Voluma can add volume to the mid face area that we lose as we age but again these fillers are not tightening tissue or moving tissue.
Q. Can insurance cover my eyelid surgery?
A. Yes- Sometimes an insurance carrier can cover upper eyelid surgery if the excess skin of your upper eyelashes cause a significant loss of your peripheral vision. You will have to go for a special eye test that measures this loss and if it’s great enough an insurance carrier can cover the procedure. Lower eyelids are never covered by insurance as sagging lower eyelid skin does not alter vision
Q. Does lower eyelid surgery help to get rid of dark circles under the eyes?
A. If the dark circles are due to shadowing caused by sagging skin of the lower eyelids then improvement can occur. If the dark circles are caused by skin pigment or vascular issues then surgery may not improve them.
Q. Where are the incisions for eyelid surgery?
A. Typically the upper eyelid incision is in the crease that the eye opens in. Lower lid incisions are just under the lower eyelashes. Both typically extended beyond the lid into a crow’s foot to improve wrinkling there as well.
Q. When can I start wearing my contact lenses again?
A. Patients can typically start wearing contact lenses at about 1-2 weeks after the procedure.
Q. I just had eyelid surgery and my eyes feel dry is that normal?
A. Yes- Eyelid surgery (both upper and lower) can cause eyes to be temporarily dry. Using moisturizing eye drops after surgery will help. Also, giving your eyes a rest from the computer and reading will make them feel better. Trying to work on a computer right after surgery will make the dryness worse and should be avoided. Permanent dry eye has been reported in the literature but is rare. If you already have dry eye symptoms prior to surgery make sure to alert your physician as more tests may be necessary to determine if you are a candidate.
Q. My vision feels a little off is that normal?
A. Yes- Sometimes vision can be slightly off or a little blurry right after eyelid surgery. This is normal and will go away in about a week or so. Your eyes are used to a certain shape and weight of your eyelid. When surgery changes the shape of the eyelid by removing excess skin your eyes need to adjust.
Q. What is browlift surgery? I thought I needed eyelid surgery and Dr. Sherris suggested a browlift to correct things.
A. Browlift surgery moves the brow back into the correct position. In females the eyebrows are supposed to sit above the bony ridge of the brow bone and in a male the brow is lower and sits on the bony ridge. Many times a patient’s brow has fallen causing the upper eyelids to appear heavy. Patients will think they need upper eyelid surgery when in fact the low brow is the issue and browlift surgery can correct this.
Q. I am scared I will look surprised after a browlift can that happen?
A. This complication of older techniques of browlifting is HIGHLY unlikely after the new, minimally invasive endoscopic browlift. The brow may seem slightly high right after surgery, but will settle to a natural height shortly after surgery.
Q. How long does a browlift last?
A. Browlifts typically do not need to be redone even though bodies continue to age.
Q. Will a browlift address the wrinkles between my eyes?
A. During a browlift surgery the muscles that cause the deep wrinkles between the eyes can be weakened so that these wrinkles are improved. Because normal muscle movement causes the wrinkles they can never be totally eliminated. Yet, the final result is like partial permanent botox.
Q. I’ve just had botox and have bumps on my forehead is that normal?
A. Yes- sometimes immediately following botox treatment the injection sites can be a little raised. This does not happen every time and will go away with a half hour or less.
Q. Can I exercise the same day I have a botox treatment?
A. No- exercise should be avoided the same day as a treatment. Patient can resume their regular exercise routine the next day.
Q. How long does botox last?
A. Botox will last about 3-6 months typically. Muscle movement will comeback slowly over weeks. Many patients who do botox regularly will get a longer effect and will also stop making some of the movements that cause the wrinkles.
Q. I had a botox treatment two days ago and I don’t see any change?
A. Botox takes one week for full up take and another week for full effect. Most patients do not see any effect until 3-4 days after treatment. The muscles that make the wrinkles will slowly weaken as the botox takes effect and eventually the expression wrinkle will disappear.
Q. I had a botox treatment and my one eye looks lower?
A. Muscles do not always uptake botox at the same rate so some muscle will respond faster than others. This is normal and most times will even out in a few days. Other times muscles do not have the same strength from side and side. Sometimes muscles on one side of the face are stronger and need more botox to achieve the same effect as the weaker muscles on the other side. Botox can be adjusted after full affect at two weeks to address the difference in muscle strength. Patients should not worry.
Q. I had my first botox injection a month ago and I feel like a need a little more in one area, can I add more botox to just that area?
A. No- It is best to let the botox affect completely wear off in all areas before adding more botox. When you add small amounts in between regular botox treatments you can develop a resistance to botox. If you develop resistance you will not get a response from treatment and your muscles will not respond.
Q. I’ve just had a filler and I feel a bump under my skin but it’s not visible, is that normal?
A. Yes- Even though there is no appearance of a bump what you feel is just swelling. It is not usually a bump of filler material, but rather just swelling. Swelling with fillers is not even from side to side. The swelling that is felt under the skin can take a week or two to resolve but is totally normal and should not be a concern.
Q. Will I get bruising with botox or dermal filler injections?
A. Yes- bruising can happen with any injection. Being off any blood thinning medications and substances such as vitamins, supplements and over the counter painkillers for a week prior to treatment can help to prevent bruising. Certain areas such as the lips or under the eyes tend to swell and bruise more than other areas. Some fillers that are injected deeper such as sculptra typically have more bruising associated with treatment. It is always a good idea to plan any injection a few weeks ahead of a special event in case of bruising.
Q. Can a dermal filler address my jowling?
A. Jowling along the jawline due to sagging skin can only be addressed with a surgical procedure such as a facelift. Dermal fillers fill in specific wrinkles and cannot move skin and tissue back to where it was when we were younger. Yet, the jowl can be camouflaged by filling the valley or low point of the tissue.
Q. I just had a vial of filler injected and I still have a wrinkle?
A. Dermal fillers are all volume dependent meaning the deeper the wrinkle the more filler it will take to fill in the wrinkle. Dermal fillers are manufactured in vials in specific amounts, typically 1 ml, from the manufacturer. If you purchased only one vial and it is not enough material to fill in the wrinkle or you are trying to address too many areas with one vial the wrinkle or areas will not be completely addressed. Dr. Sherris will suggest the amount of filler that is needed to correct all areas of concern. Sometimes patients will need to focus on one area.