What It’s Like To Have Surgery

By Dr. Christopher Cote and Dr. Nicolette Picerno on September 3, 2021 under Plastic Surgery

What It’s Like To Have Surgery

Whether you’ve had surgery before or not, anticipating an upcoming procedure can be nerve-wracking, even if you’re excited by the thought of the end result. At FacesFirst, our priority is addressing this anxiety by helping everyone seeking surgical treatment to feel well-prepared long before the actual day of surgery. In pre-operative consultations, our doctors give you detailed instructions for how you’re going to feel before and after the procedure, whether it’s performed in-office or in our accredited surgery center.

What Happens at the Pre-Op Visit?

One of the most critical appointments you’ll schedule is the pre-op visit. During this time, Dr. Cote or Dr. Picerno spend nearly an hour with you, going over the details of your specific procedure, making sure you have the right medications and supplies on hand and giving you detailed expectations for the end result. For example, for rhinoplasty patients, the doctors will teach you how to rinse the nose with saline to keep it moisturized, and for facelifts, how often and for how long to use ice packs to reduce swelling.

By helping patients be informed and well-prepared, we aim to ease anxiety and ensure you’re not blindsided by any post-op requirements or recommendations so you recover well.

What to Expect From Surgery

Your unique surgical experience varies fairly widely depending on what specific procedure you’re having, where it’s being performed, and even what techniques are used. This influences perhaps the main factor for surgery and recovery: whether you have local or general anesthesia.

On the Day Of Surgery

Although the process will vary from procedure to procedure, here is the general way surgery is handled at FacesFirst.

When You Arrive

What happens when you arrive for your procedure differs depending on where your treatment is being performed: whether at our surgery center or in our offices.

At our surgical center, you’ll check-in and fill out paperwork before you’re admitted to the operating room. If you’re going under general anesthesia, you’ll meet your anesthesiologist, who will give you instructions and expectations and may ask you a few questions. You may also be given an IV to administer medications throughout the procedure.

When you come to the office for a non-surgical treatment, you’ll be greeted by our office staff at the front desk before going in for your treatment.

The Surgery

The surgery experience largely depends on the type of anesthetic used. For simple procedures, like scar revisions, laser resurfacing, mini facelifts, and some ear surgeries, can be performed in our offices, rather than the surgery center. For local anesthetic procedures, Dr. Picerno and Dr. Cote administer a shot in the area to be treated prior to the procedure, and you’ll be free to go either once the last bandage is placed, or your non-invasive treatment is complete.

More involved or lengthy procedures are performed under general anesthesia at our surgery center. General anesthesia is usually recommended for procedures like rhinoplasties, facelifts, and combination surgeries.

At our surgery center, once the procedure is over, you’ll be moved to a recovery room where a nurse monitors your vitals and helps control the pain you may feel upon waking up. This often feels like waking up in the middle of a dream, which is why we often tell patients to think of a pleasant place as they’re put under. There will be dressings and bandages in the treatment area, and you’ll likely feel swelling.

You’ll spend about an hour or two waking up in our recovery room and the length of recovery varies depending on the type and extent of the procedure. Most patients who go under general anesthesia need one to three days of pain medication before they feel better, although, for many facial procedures, pain is not a major issue.

Recovery and Results

It’s important to remember that having surgery does not provide immediate results. Yes, it’s a safe and effective technique, but it still causes wounds to the body that take time to heal. You will look bruised and swollen throughout the treatment area for a period of time, but the result you’re looking for will appear in time.

Typically it takes about a month to start seeing the real results, although residual swelling can often last for several months. Dr. Cote says there’s a reason we call them “patients” — you must truly be patient with the healing process before you can be satisfied with the results.

Facial Plastic Surgery in Denver, CO

If you’re considering a plastic surgery procedure for yourself or a loved one to help improve the harmony of facial features or to correct the signs of aging, there’s no reason to fear the surgery process or how long it will take to recover. FacesFirst has helped hundreds of patients get a naturally beautiful appearance through highly effective customized procedures, even if the results take some time to appear.

To learn more about the process and what to expect from both surgical and non-surgical facial rejuvenation, schedule an appointment with our kind board-certified plastic surgeons by calling our office or contacting us online today.