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Frequently Asked Questions

  • How should I select a surgeon?
  • What should I know about anesthesia?
  • What are the risks?
  • How long will my recovery be?
  • How are fees determined?
  • Why should I schedule an initial consultation?
  • Why are pictures taken before and after surgery?
  • Informed Consent
  • How should I select a surgeon?

    It is important to establish an understanding with your surgeon since you will be placing your confidence in his ability to expertly perform the procedure best for you. Select a surgeon who compares alternative options, explains clearly what can be done and the rationale for the approach selected. Be sure to discuss and comprehend convalescence and possible risks and complications.

    Ask about the surgeon's training and qualifications. Is the surgeon Board Certified? Has he/she had fellowship training or specialized training in the procedures you want performed? A specialist does the same procedures far more often and therefore has greater experience and skill than most surgeons. Does the surgeon have aesthetic taste compatible with yours? These questions can be answered through referrals to other patients, and physicians.

    View Dr. Olson's Curriculum Vitae

    What should I know about anesthesia?

    The level of anesthesia will vary with the needs of each patient. The type of anesthetic is clearly described at the time of consultation and is tailored to the patient's needs for surgery. When necessary, twilight sleep or light general anesthesia is administered by an anesthetist or anesthesiologist.

    What are the risks?

    Although complications are rare and usually correctable, being a patient in any surgery involves acceptance and knowledge of the general, as well as specific risks, of the chosen procedure. A full description of every complication possible is beyond the scope of this text, the risks appropriate to each procedure will be discussed in the appropriate section.

    How long will my recovery be?

    The period of recovery depends on the surgery performed. After any surgery, strenuous physical activities are limited in the initial post-operative period. You may resume normal activities within a few days for most procedures, and a few weeks after a more major surgery.

    The incision may be pink and/or swollen for several weeks , but may be camouflaged after the initial suture removal. Complete scar maturation may take up to a year in a few types of procedures, though in most cases only the patient and physician can detect the surgical incision. Time is often the single most important factor in the healing process.

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    How are fees determined?

    In general, cosmetic surgery is not typically covered by insurance. Insurance will consider paying for surgery done for reconstruction of deformities caused by birth anomalies, accidents, or neoplasms (benign or malignant), or when function is impaired by a physical deformity, such as a scar or tumor which limits mobility. If an insurance company is to be billed for surgery, elective procedures usually involve a pre-determination process submitting documentation to the insurance company pre-operatively. In the case of accidents, the claims will be prepared promptly with the assistance of our knowledgeable office staff.

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    Why should I schedule an initial consultation?

    At the time of your visit, the extent of your surgery will be carefully discussed and an evaluation made. A consultation helps to clarify the patient's desires and the surgeons plan. There is no standard operation which applies to the same patient. An operation will be designed during this consultation specifically for you and all of the details will be explained.

    The most important goal of the consultation is to clearly communicate. Caution is advised in looking at before and after photos. These can often be misleading and may not reflect your particular needs. To help bridge the gap, computer graphics are often employed. Some surgeons are using this tool to show patients what they will look like after surgery.

    In general, the consultation helps the patient understand what can be achieved. It helps the doctor understand the patient's desires and, most importantly, it gives the patient an opportunity to ask valuable questions and decide if surgery is right for them.

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    Why are pictures taken before and after surgery?

    Pictures are taken prior to surgery to help plan the procedure and are a useful part of the record for insurance purposed if applicable. They are useful guides which the surgeon uses in planning and preparing for your procedure. In addition, post-operative photos are taken to enable you and your surgeon to evaluate the result of your procedure and plan subsequent procedures if indicated.

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    Informed Consent

    You will be asked to review and sign a form that clearly describes your desired surgical procedure. This informed consent is a legal document and it serves as your authorization to allow the surgeon to perform the surgery. Dr. Olson is very careful to help you understand this component of your decision process, and he has recently completed and professional paper which is pending publication and addresses this process in surgical voluntary missions.

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