Plastic Surgery FAQ’s

Below are some of the most frequently asked questions patients have about plastic surgery issues. If you have any other questions, or would like to schedule an appointment, we would love to hear from you.


Q: Do I Need a Breast Augmentation, or a Breast Lift, or Both?

Dr. Abhay Gupta explains how to choose between breast augmentations, breast lift, or both.


Q: What is the Difference Between Breast Lift and a Breast Reduction?

Dr. Abhay Gupta discusses the difference between breast lifts and breast reduction, and how to choose between the two procedures.


Q: What Options are Available to Improve the Shape of the Body After Significant Weight Loss?

Dr. Abhay Gupta discusses plastic surgery after weight loss and anwers a frequently asked question about insurance.


Q: What Options Are Available for Breast Cancer Reconstruction?

Dr. Abhay Gupta discusses the options available for reconstruction after a mastectomy.

Q: What Are “Gummy Bear” Implants?
A: The Newest-Generation Silicone Implants

Q: What Exactly Is Cellulite, and What Can I Do to Improve the Look of It?
A: All About Cellulite

Q: Is Laser Liposuction Better Than Traditional Liposuction Techniques?

Dr. Abhay Gupta answers questions about Laser Liposuction. He offers this cosmetic surgical procedure as well as many others at his office in San Diego, CA.

Q: Is plastic surgery safe?
A: All surgical procedures are accompanied by a certain degree of risk, whether the procedures are for medical or cosmetic reasons. Our expert team is dedicated to making your operation go smoothly. Dr. Gupta will carefully review your medical history and current health condition before deciding if it is safe for you to proceed with surgery. It is important that you fully disclose all pertinent information so that we are able to make an accurate assessment of the risks involved. Dr. Gupta will take every precaution necessary to reduce the possibility of any complications.

Q: How do I know if plastic surgery is right for me?
A: There are several important factors that come into play when deciding whether plastic surgery is the right option for you. One of the most important factors is your health. Being in good health greatly reduces the risk of complications occurring during surgery and leads to a speedy recovery. Next, you need to ask yourself what your motivations are. People who have plastic surgery generally find that the surgery enhances their overall appearance and self-esteem. Thirdly, you should have realistic expectations. Plastic surgery is both a science and an art, neither of which are perfect. Set reasonable goals as to the result you wish to achieve and be prepared to thoroughly discuss these goals during your initial consultation.

Q: Does it matter how old I am?
A: Due to the variety of procedures available in plastic surgery, there can be no blanket rule on age although age will be taken into consideration when planning your operation. People of all ages have taken advantage of the image-enhancement offered by plastic surgery. There are even procedures appropriate for young children. It is important to realize the limitations of plastic surgery. Plastic surgery cannot “fix” every situation or reverse the aging process. What is a good procedure for one person may not be an appropriate procedure for another. At Gupta Plastic Surgery, we are committed to making your plastic surgery experience a successful one.

Q: What is the difference between reconstructive and cosmetic surgery?
A: Reconstructive surgery involves procedures to correct deformities and defects resulting from trauma, cancer, birth deformities, systemic disease (ex. diabetes, vascular disease), surgical complications, and other non-cosmetic indications. Some examples include burn reconstruction, breast cancer reconstruction, skin cancer removal and breast reduction. These procedures are necessary to improve the health of the patient. These procedures are usually covered by most health insurance companies.

In contrast to above, cosmetic surgery procedures are performed to improve the patient’s physical appearance to improve their self image and self esteem. This typically describes procedures which are not medically indicated or necessary to improve the health of the patient. The most common indications for cosmetic procedures are unwanted wrinkles or creases, and patient dissatisfaction with their facial appearance, breast size or abdominal/waist shape.

Q: What benefits does plastic surgery provide?
A: Plastic surgery – both cosmetic and reconstructive – can repair any damage or defects resulting from multiple causes including aging, trauma, burns, congenital birth deformities, systemic disease and cancer. These defects can be quite disfiguring and debilitating. Thus, plastic surgery can restore the patient’s self-esteem and confidence, and allow them to resume a normal daily life. Furthermore, plastic surgery can significantly improve the overall mental and psychological health of a patient, if for example, they suffer depression as a result of their physical deformity.

Q: What happens during my initial consultation?
A: During your consultation Dr. Gupta will discuss your desired changes and expectations, review your medical history and current health, and make an assessment on whether the procedure(s) in question are right for you. This is a good time to ask specific questions about the procedure so that you are fully prepared, mentally and emotionally, for surgery. Dr. Gupta will discuss the results that can be achieved, with the aid of photos and/or computer imaging. When a final decision is made, you will need to sign an informed consent stating that you are fully aware and understand what is entailed by your pending operation, including the potential complications and secondary effects.

Q: Can I have several procedures performed simultaneously?
A: It is a relatively common practice for Dr. Gupta to perform multiple procedures during one operation. This allows him to better “sculpt” your final appearance. In addition, having several procedures done simultaneously saves you the expense of paying the operating room and anesthesia costs more than once. However, having too much done at one time can lead to complications. The decision to have multiple procedures done depends on which procedures are being done, the extent of surgery, the operating time, and your age/health. Ultimately, Dr. Gupta will decide whether or not it is appropriate to include more than one procedure in your operation.

Q: What kind of anesthesia will be used?
A: The type of the anesthesia varies with each procedure. For some procedures, only local anesthesia or local anesthesia with intravenous (IV) sedation is needed. This method will allow you to be awake, but insensitive to any pain. In more complex procedures, general anesthesia is needed and you will be asleep during the entire procedure. The anesthesia used in your operation will depend on the type and extent of the procedure(s), your age, any other medical conditions and of course your preference.

Q: How long will it take to recover from my surgery?
A: Generally, post-operative instructions call for rest and limited movement in order to speed up the healing process and recovery time. The length of recovery varies with each procedure and is different for each individual. Bruises usually disappear within a few days, and most swelling is gone in a matter of weeks. If you follow our post-operative instructions carefully, you will be able to enjoy your normal activities within no time. Your scars will fade over time but are permanent. Dr. Gupta will take care to conceal any scars so that they are barely visible, if at all. The image-enhancing effects of plastic surgery become more evident over time with certain procedures taking up to a year for your body to fully adjust and settle into its new look. When you come in for your consultation we can discuss your expected recovery period and any post-operative instructions in detail.

Q: Does plastic surgery hurt?
A: You will be under anesthesia during your operation so there will be no pain during the operation. In the days (or weeks) following the operation, you may experience some discomfort which can be effectively treated with oral medication.

Q: Does plastic surgery leave any visible scarring?
A: All surgical procedures, including plastic surgery procedures, leave scars. Initially, these scars are red and noticeable but with time, they fade and flatten to become much less noticeable. As a fully trained and board-certified plastic surgeon, Dr. Gupta is well trained in various techniques to help minimize scars and whenever possible, hide scars within natural crease lines or in inconspicuous locations.

Q: Is plastic surgery covered by insurance?
A: Most reconstructive surgery is covered by medical insurance companies, either partially or in full. On the other hand, cosmetic surgery is not covered by any insurance companies. Unfortunately, it is the patient’s insurance company – not the surgeon – who decides if a procedure is cosmetic or reconstructive in nature, and thus whether or not it is covered. Of course, any decision made by the insurance company can be appealed, but this is not always successful. To help avoid any surprises or disappointment, Dr. Gupta recommends that each patient first review their medical insurance contract or contact their insurance company to determine whether or not a particular procedure is a covered benefit under their plan. Dr. Gupta assists his patients as much as possible in obtaining insurance coverage for their surgical procedure if it is medically indicated.

Don’t see the question you needed answered? Send us your questions in the contact form above and Dr. Gupta will personally answer them for you. Also feel free to view our video Q&As