Cosmetic Surgery FAQ

At Northwestern Specialists in Plastic Surgery, we provide a variety of cosmetic procedures, including breast augmentations, rhinoplasty, liposuction, and more. However, we would never expect a patient to come in with no questions about the procedure they are thinking about. Browse through our FAQ’s, and schedule a consultation with us if you are interested in learning more about a cosmetic treatment.

Cosmetic Surgery Treatments

Do I need a consultation for surgery?

We always recommend a consultation before surgery. It is important for us to meet with you in person to discuss your goals and review your options for surgery. This allows us to come up with an individualized plan unique to your surgical needs.

What is involved in a cosmetic surgery consultation? 

When you come in for a consultation you’ll be meeting with our board certified plastic surgeons and physician assistants to review your goals for surgery. We will discuss which procedures are best suited for you and can assist with achieving your goals. We will review your medical history and discuss a surgical plan, as well as perform a physical examination of the areas that concern you. Finally, you’ll meet with our surgical coordinator to discuss financial responsibility and review a scheduling timeline for surgery.

Does my insurance cover cosmetic surgery procedures?

Insurance does not cover procedures that are considered cosmetic. We can discuss this in more detail at your consultation. We do offer financing options including Care Credit to help with the costs of cosmetic surgery.

How do I prepare for a cosmetic surgery consultation?

You can best prepare for your consultation by putting together a list of questions for your surgeon to ask during your consultation. Be prepared to review your medical history with us so we can ensure your eligibility for surgery and provide the best plan of care for your surgical needs.

What should I do before a cosmetic procedure?

Before a cosmetic surgery you can take most of your normal daily medications up until surgery day. It is best to avoid any blood thinners including NSAIDs about a week before surgery if possible. The surgery center or hospital will call you the day before with specific timing, including when to stop drinking and eating before your surgery time. You will need a ride home after your surgery, but in most cases you should be able to perform all your daily activities on your own even later that day!

What can I do if I’m unhappy with previous cosmetic surgery?

If you have had cosmetic surgery in the past but are unsatisfied with the results we would be happy to see you for a consultation. There are many revision procedures that can be performed in order to help improve your situation. We are here to help!

Facial Procedures

What is rhinoplasty?

Rhinoplasty is a procedure that can change the appearance of your nose by altering the size and shape surgically. Rhinoplasty procedures can also improve the internal structure of the nose allowing for improved breathing.

Am I a candidate for rhinoplasty?

If you dislike the appearance of your nose you may consider rhinoplasty. This procedure can change the shape and appearance of the nose, while also improving breathing difficulty or a deviated septum.

What is the recovery from rhinoplasty like?

Rhinoplasty surgery can make your breathing worse before it gets better, but most often that is only for the first few days. After the surgery you may feel stuffy or have a headache, but often this can be controlled with non-narcotic pain medication. We usually describe the downtime as about one week, as that is when you will see us in the office for your splint to be removed. The majority of the bruising should resolve within the first week or two.

What is a facelift?

Facelift surgery involves techniques that improve skin laxity of the face and reduce lines around the mouth. Face and necklifts are customized procedures that counteract the signs of aging. They often include facial fat grafting to volumize the face as well.

Am I a candidate for a face lift?

Facelift surgery can reduce the lines and creases around the nose and mouth, while lifting the tissues that have become stretchy or loose with age. If you feel that your skin has become looser and you are noticing more lines and wrinkles, facelift surgery may be right for you! During this surgery, we also restore volume to the face by doing facial fat grafting. If you are experiencing these issues but are looking for something with less downtime, non-surgical options for facelifts are also possible, which we can discuss in more detail at your consult.

What is eyelid surgery?

Eyelid surgery can improve excess skin, tissue, and fat to reveal a more youthful appearing eye. Eyelid surgery can be performed on the upper eyelids, lower eyelids, or both in order to create a more youthful contour to the eyelid area.

How do you remove a double chin?

No one likes a double chin! Double chins can be targeted with chin liposuction, which can be performed as a simple in office procedure under local anesthesia. This requires very little downtime! We make a small incision under the chin and use a cannula to perform handheld liposuction, which removes the unwanted fat from this area. Many times, the skin will contract and tighten as well leaving a more contoured defined jawline.

What is facial fat grafting?

Facial fat grafting is a process for restoring volume to the face which can also create a smoothing and lifting effect. This is an easy procedure that can be done under local anesthesia in the office. It can be a great alternative to facial fillers, as it is more permanent.

Breast Procedures

What is a breast augmentation?

Breast augmentation is a procedure that will enhance your breast size by surgically inserting a breast implant. This procedure will typically augment the breast with a round, fuller look.

How do I know what type of breast implant to get?

There are many different implant options. These include the implant fill, implant shape, and implant shell. There are different profiles as well as styles, which we will discuss in detail at your consult. Oftentimes in our practice, we are using smooth round silicone implants. The base width of your breast will help us to decide the profile, and the implant sizing that we can do in the office (and give you tips about how to do at home) will help us to determine size.

How do I know what size breast implant is right for me?

Choosing size is a very important part of the consultation process. You can try on sizes at home by doing the RICE test, which we can provide easy instructions for. In the office we will try on gel sizers so you can get an idea of what size feels right for you. We will guide you through this process and offer guidance on what would be a good fit for your body.

How long do breast implants last?

Implants are made to last a lifetime, but do have an expiration date. If there is no problem with your implant, and you are happy with the appearance, you do not need a replacement. Implants may leak or rupture, leading to a surgery for implant removal and replacement.

What is the recovery from breast augmentation like?

Breast augmentation is a relatively easy surgery to recover from. We typically expect pain for a day or two, and soreness for a few weeks. We want to limit chest specific exercises and heavy lifting for 4-6 weeks, but otherwise you are clear to use full range of motion of your arms and do your daily activities right away! After surgery it is common for patients to use Advil or Tylenol alone without ever needing a prescription for pain medication.

What is a breast lift?

A breast lift is a surgery that will lift the position of the breast and nipple, creating more fullness at the top of the breast. This can be ideal for women who have lost volume and fullness after significant weight loss, pregnancy, breast feeding, or aging. We remove excess skin and reposition the breast for a perkier, more youthful shape. This is also a procedure that can sometimes be performed in the office under local anesthesia with minimal downtime.

What is a breast reduction?

Breast reduction is a surgery to make the breasts smaller. Breast reduction may be desirable for women who have back, neck, or shoulder pain. This procedure also repositions the nipple and creates a more youthful shape to the breast. We will work with you to determine how much breast tissue you would like removed.

Body Procedures

What is liposuction?

Liposuction is a procedure that surgically removes unwanted fat from certain areas of the body. SAFE Liposuction (Separation, Aspiration, Fat Equalization=SAFE) is a 3 part process that removes fat smoothly and evenly while sparing blood vessels that aid in healing.

What is involved with a mommy makeover?

A Mommy Makeover is a combination of surgical procedures that enhance a woman’s body after having children. This can include a variety of procedures that can be customized to a patient’s particular needs. This commonly includes a tummy tuck and breast enhancement surgery.

Am I a candidate for a mommy makeover?

A woman’s body can experience many changes after childbirth. Often these changes are to the breast, abdomen, or vaginal area. Depending on your specific needs, we can discuss a breast augmentation or lift, breast reduction, tummy tuck, liposuction, labiaplasty, or FemTouch. These are just among a few options that can restore confidence in your body!

What is an abdominoplasty?

Also known as a tummy tuck, an abdominoplasty is a surgical procedure that repairs and tightens the abdominal muscle wall and removes excess skin and fat. Tummy tuck surgery can reshape the midsection and provide a slimmer abdominal contour.

How does Brazilian butt lift surgery work?

Brazilian butt lift surgery is growing in popularity! During this surgery, we perform liposuction to any area where you have excess fat- often this is the abdomen, flanks, thighs or back. We process the fat and inject it into the buttocks to create volume in this area. SAFE liposuction (Separation, Aspiration, Fat Equalization) is a technique performed that allows for substantial fat to be removed smoothly and evenly.

Am I a candidate for body contouring?

If you’re bothered by stubborn fat pockets on the body that won’t go away despite healthy habits, body contouring may be the solution for you! Body contouring can mean a variety of procedures including liposuction and can be tailored to meet your individual needs. Liposuction is meant to target and remove unwanted fat. Ideal candidates should be within a reasonable range of their goal weight and have good elasticity to the skin.

What can I do for my skin after massive weight loss?

There are many options for skin after massive weight loss. Many times this involves surgery to remove and tighten the skin of the abdomen, breasts, legs, arms, or back. At your consult we can discuss specific scarring associated with each procedure.

What is FemTouch?

FemTouch is a laser that provides vaginal rejuvenation. It is a quick and easy procedure in the office that has virtually no downtime or pain! It can be used to treat vaginal atrophy symptoms including dryness, decreased lubrication, or painful sexual intercourse. It can also be used to treat stress urinary incontinence or as part of our mommy makeover package to restore youthfulness to this area.

How do I know if I’m a good candidate for FemTouch?

If you have vaginal atrophy symptoms including dryness, decreased lubrication, or painful sexual intercourse you may be a good candidate for this procedure. It can also help to minimize symptoms of stress urinary incontinence. If you are a mother and childbirth has caused loss of elasticity in this area, FemTouch works to improve elasticity and tightness to the vaginal area.


Northwestern Specialists in Plastic Surgery

676 North Saint Clair St. | Suite #1575
Chicago, IL 60611