Plastic Surgery FAQs

Plastic Surgery Questions & Answers

Not all plastic surgeries are cosmetic in nature, and deciding whether to pursue plastic surgery is a deeply personal decision. Some patients need plastic surgery to repair defects in their bodies or reconstruct their normal appearance. Find the answers to frequently asked questions about plastic surgery below.

Also known as a belt lipectomy, a lower body lift combines a thigh lift with a tummy tuck. Patients who’ve recently lost a lot of weight may choose to have this procedure done to remove excess skin. A lower body lift isn’t performed to remove excess fat from the body. 

A thigh lift can reduce excess skin and fat around either the inner or outer thighs. It improves the natural contours of the body while eliminating unwanted tissue. You should also discuss any potential risks with your Mercy surgeon when talking about the benefits. 

During a neck lift procedure, your Mercy surgeon will make small incisions near your ears and under your chin, removing the fat from around your jawline and under your chin. This operation can be performed using local or general anesthesia. 

A lower facelift addresses those areas of the face below the corners of the mouth. It can also impact the contours of the neck and chin, in addition to the nasolabial folds (laugh lines) and jawline. 

A mini facelift is an alternate version of a traditional facelift where your Mercy surgeon makes small incisions at your hairline to help raise the lower half of your face upward. It adjusts loose skin around your neck and jawline. 

Many patients can return to work or school approximately 2 weeks after their surgery. You may still experience swelling and tightness as late as 4 weeks from your actual surgery. Most patients return to normal activities completely after 1 month. 

At Mercy, we understand that you’ve already come a long way on your weight loss journey. We work closely with the bariatric surgery team to address the unique challenges you’re facing. During your face or neck surgical consultation, we’ll answer your questions and ease any concerns you have. The consultation will include:


  • Discussion of your surgical goals, medical conditions, medications and previous surgeries
  • Health evaluation, including risk factors and any pre-existing conditions
  • Discussion of your options and recommended course of treatment
  • Review likely outcomes of the surgery and potential complications

For some people, a traditional facelift won’t address the upper cheek and lower eyelid areas of the face. Also known as a cheek lift, a mid-face lift raises the fat pad of the cheek, which can help the face appear more youthful. 

The decision of whether to receive a mini or full facelift depends on what your goals are for the surgery. In general, a mini facelift is less invasive than a full facelift, with less tissue being removed or adjusted. 

A neck lift procedure, also known as a rhytidectomy, removes excess skin and fat from around the neck area. It restores the contours of the neck, so they align more closely to those of the face.  

While every person’s body is unique and can respond to surgery in different ways, in general, a surgical facelift should last about 10 years. Certain factors, like how you treat your skin and your dietary habits, may also impact this timeframe. 

Deciding whether to have plastic surgery of any kind is an immensely personal decision. Usually, good candidates for a facelift procedure are nonsmokers who are generally healthy and have realistic expectations for the outcomes of their operation. 

Facelift surgery can help raise loose or sagging skin in certain areas of the face and neck. For many people, this can result in them having a more youthful appearance and stronger facial contours than before. 

During an arm lift surgery, your Mercy doctor will make several incisions on the inside or backs of your arms. They will tighten the tissue of your arm and then pull your skin back over the incision area. The whole procedure can take several hours to complete. 

Following your Brachioplasty procedure, your arm may be wrapped in elastic bandages to minimize swelling. Tubes might also be placed in your arm to drain any excess fluids. Some stitches will dissolve on their own, but talk to your Mercy doctor to see if others will need to be removed manually. 

Yes. Incision scars from an arm lift procedure are permanent but tend to appear in areas on the arm that aren’t easily visible to others. It’s possible that injections of certain medications and other treatments may be used to soften their appearance. 

Most insurance plans won’t cover an arm lift procedure. However, if you are experiencing limited arm functionality or have an infection near a skinfold, there’s a chance that an exception can be made. Talk to your insurance provider for more information. 

While everybody heals differently, you can expect to stay home from work and school for at least 2 weeks following your arm lift surgery. After approximately 4 to 6 weeks you should be able to resume all of your normal activities. 

While every woman’s body is unique, recovery times for a mastopexy can take up to 6 weeks. You’ll most likely feel aches and pains around the point of incision for several months following your procedure. 

Scarring is an inevitable part of any breast lift procedure. How prominent your scars appear depends on where your Mercy surgeon makes his or her incision(s). Your scars can take as long as a year and a half to heal, but will become less noticeable over time. 

here isn't a set time that the results of a breast lift will last. Factors such as your age, genetics and dietary habits can all affect how long your breast lift lasts. Taking care of your skin and avoiding weight fluctuation can extend the life of your breast lift. 

Since most breast lifts are considered cosmetic surgeries, most insurance providers won't cover the cost of them. However, if a mastopexy is a part of a reconstruction done after a mastectomy (breast removal), exceptions may be made. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control, mothers who've had breast lift surgery should still be able to produce milk for breastfeeding. However, it's possible their overall milk supply won't be completely full. 

Before your panniculectomy procedure, you may be asked to complete lab testing or stop taking certain medications before your operation. Talk with your Mercy doctor before surgery to make sure you understand your procedure risks.

While panniculectomies can be performed on an outpatient basis, healing itself can take up to several weeks to complete. It’s important to follow your Mercy surgeon’s instructions following your surgery in order for your body to heal completely. 

A panniculectomy is a surgical procedure that removes excess skin and fat from the lower abdomen. Unlike a tummy tuck, the abdominal muscles aren’t tightened during this procedure, which means it isn’t purely cosmetic. 

Good candidates for a panniculectomy are usually people who’ve developed rashes or infections beneath the hanging folds of skin around their abdomen. They’re otherwise physically healthy and able to undergo surgery without complications. 

A panniculectomy can take anywhere from 2 to 5 hours, depending on the scope of your particular surgical procedure and body type. 

Recovery times can vary depending on your body type, but generally it can take up to 8 weeks before patients begin to feel like their normal selves again. Your Mercy surgeon will discuss your more specific timeframe for recovery with you. 

A good candidate for tummy tuck surgery is someone who has recently lost a lot of weight or has loose skin hanging over their pubic area, which can cause problems with hygiene and make it difficult to fit into certain clothes. 

Tummy tucks are generally considered to be out-of-pocket procedures, since most insurance providers won’t cover the associated costs. However, you should still check with your insurance provider, since everyone’s circumstances are different. 

A mini tummy tuck is when your Mercy surgeon makes an incision in order to remove excess skin and tighten loose muscles. It’s usually a shorter procedure than a full tummy tuck, which can make recovery times faster. 

As with any surgery, there are many risks associated with tummy tucks. Common risks include complications from anesthesia, infection and bleeding. Talk with your Mercy doctor about these and other risks if you’re considering this procedure. 

How long your tummy tuck procedure takes depends on what kind of surgery you elect to have. Generally, these procedures can last anywhere from 1 to 5 hours, and you may be asked to stay overnight in the hospital. 

Plastic Surgery Services

At Mercy, we offer compassionate care for plastic & cosmetic surgery treatments, including: At Mercy, we offer comprehensive pediatric & adult plastic surgery services to diagnose and treat a full range of conditions, including: