Which plastic surgeons are board certified?

There has been a certain amount of negative information in the press around general practitioners performing plastic surgery procedures. FHF only finances patients who are seeing a registered plastic surgeon. The surgeon should be registered with the Association of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons in South Africa. All of these surgeons are board certified in surgery. Being board certified means that each of these surgeons has been evaluated and passed rigorous testing by these medical specialty boards.

How can I keep fit and healthy prior to the surgery, what preparation should I make?

It is never a good idea to eat before or after treatment, as the food could interfere with the anesthesia and this may cause nausea or vomiting during the operation. Do not consume alcohol; engage in sexual activity or strenuously over exercise before the procedure. Your body needs to be relaxed and tension free before any operation is undertaken. Prepare a list of medicines you are allergic too; your surgeon needs to know this in case you have an allergic reaction during surgery.

What can I expect at my first consultation?

Most plastic surgeons based in South Africa are happy to discuss your procedure over the phone preceding the booking of a proper face-to-face consultation. You could also send a detailed email outlining what changes you wish to make with images attached. It is a recommended requirement to send them your photographs of areas you have considered improving on. Upon arrival, booking of a personal consultation should be in order. A questions and answers session is always best to alleviate any fears or issues you may have regarding the impending surgery. Most consultation sessions last 50-60 minutes, but this depends on the procedure you are enquiring about and the relevant physical examinations undertaken.

Your chosen surgeon should gather as much of your personal medical information as they can and perform a full physical examination, all in order to get a full understanding of your current physical condition before surgery is decided upon. Always discuss with your surgeon, the reasons you have considered plastic surgery. Approaching the procedure with realistic expectations is a positive mindset to have. In addition, your surgeon will explain to you what you can possibly expect from the outcome. There is also the likelihood that an alternative to your procedure can be performed, so keep an open mind and trust in the surgeons suggestions.

How do I find a good South African surgeon?

Please contact our call centre for more information.

Is there any age limit to having surgery?

There are certain cosmetic procedures that doctors will not perform until a certain age has been reached. The body needs to have finished growing before certain procedures can be performed. Speak to your doctors for more information.

Will my information be kept confidential?

All medical information in South Africa is confidential. So both First Health Finance and your surgeon have an obligation to keep all medical data private.

Am I able to have more than one procedure at a time?

Certainly. Many doctors combine two procedures when operating. Again, the type of procedure you are having will determine if the doctor can combine both. The main benefit is a combined recovery time and reduced expenses. Common examples of a combined procedure is a breast augmentation with liposuction, or a face list with rhinoplasty. Combined surgery does increase the surgical time, and certain doctors may not be comfortable doing this with certain patients.

Where is the surgery performed?

Plastic surgery can be performed in a hospital, or in a surgical centre that is not attached to a hospital, or in a special surgical suite in a surgeon’s office. Your doctor may or may not have his own surgical rooms, or he may prefer to use a hospital. This differs from surgeon to surgeon. When you talk to you surgeon in the consult, you should ask him where he prefers to operate.

What is the difference between liposuction to the abdomen and a tummy tuck?

Abdominal liposuction removes deposits of fat under the skin of the abdomen, but does not remove excess skin. A tummy tuck (also called an abdominoplasty) removes excess fat and skin on the abdomen and repairs abdominal muscles that may have been stretched out by pregnancy or weight gain. A mini-tummy tuck just removes excess skin and fat.

The choice of which procedure to have depends on how loose the skin and muscles of your abdomen are. If you have a bit of a pot belly that is due to some fat deposits that are resistant to diet and exercise, and if you have skin with good elasticity, you are a probably a good candidate for liposuction. If your skin is stretched out and your abdominal muscles are lax, you probably need a tummy tuck. Your surgeon will be able to give you more information at your consultation.

Another difference between the two procedures is that the incisions for liposuction are very small and usually can be hidden in a natural skin fold. Incisions for a tummy tuck can be extensive. Usually, there is an incision across the lower belly that goes from hip to hip. Recovery after a full tummy tuck is also longer than that after a liposuction procedure.

Can I breastfeed after getting breast implants?

Most women are able to breastfeed a baby successfully after having breast implants. Breast implants are inserted either between your natural breast and the muscles of your chest wall or under the muscles of the chest wall. These can be inserted through incisions in the fold under the breast, in the armpit, in the line between the dark area around the nipple, or through incisions in the bellybutton. Again, more specific information will be provided by your doctor. Make sure your surgeon knows that you are considering breastfeeding if you plan to have children in the future.