Deborah Watson, M.D.  
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  Frequently Asked Questions
  • What physical shape do I need to be in for surgery?
  • What are the costs for surgery?
  • Are all the procedures performed in the operating facility?
  • What types of anesthesia are used?
  • What happens after the decision for surgery has been made?
  • What do I do to prepare for my surgery date?
  • What are the risks of surgery?
  • How much recovery time is needed?
      What physical shape do I need to be in for surgery?

    Facial plastic surgery is elective surgery; therefore you should not rush into surgery until any personal health concerns have been addressed.

    If you have pre-existing health conditions, you may require a preliminary visit with your primary care physician to make sure that a surgical procedure is safe for you.

    If you are in the process of losing weight, you can begin to plan your surgery, but it will be wise to wait until you reach a stable weight or you have closely reached your weight loss goal.

    If you smoke, it is strongly recommended that you stop smoking approximately one month before your surgery date. The effect of smoking decreases your tissue's ability to heal well and may increase the risk of complications. You should see your primary care physician before beginning nicotine patches or gum. Alternatively, some individuals prefer to enroll into smoking cessation classes.


      What are the costs for surgery?

    Fees vary depending upon the procedure contemplated and the individual's desired goal. For instance, an individual with tired looking eyes and heavy eyelids can expect to receive a youthful, more open-eyed appearance with eyelid surgery as well as with a browlift. Combining the eyelid surgery with another procedure may not be necessary in the case of other individuals with adequate brow position.


      Are all the procedures performed in the operating facility?

    Most of the surgical procedures will be performed at the Same Day Surgery Center, adjacent to the UCSD Medical Center - Hillcrest. Minor procedures can be done in the clinic. These include (but are not limited to) Botox injections, soft tissue filler injections, and the repair of torn earlobes.


      What types of anesthesia are used?

    1. Straight local. The surgeon injects medication into the area that she plans to operate on, or she injects the medication as a "nerve block." This involves placing the medication around the nerves that provide sensation to the surgical area. The medication serves to numb the surgical region and shrink surrounding blood vessels.
    2. Local with intravenous sedation. An IV is started in the arm prior to surgery. Intravenous medication is given through the IV prior to injecting the local, and for the duration of the procedure. This helps to keep you comfortable and relaxed throughout the surgery, yet allows you to remain somewhat conscious.
    3. General anesthesia. After an IV is started in the arm, intravenous medication is given to allow you to fall asleep completely. This is the most popular technique because you are totally unaware of what is going on, and will feel no discomfort during the procedure.

      What happens after the decision for surgery has been made?

    Our surgery schedule coordinator will work with you to help you select a date for your surgery. If your insurance covers the cost of your surgery, or a portion of it, our coordinator will obtain the necessary authorization.

    Prior to your surgery date, you will see one of our nurse practitioners who will facilitate the process of getting any blood work or EKG ordered for you if your age or health status requires it. This is a standard medical procedure with any type of surgery in most healthcare facilities. You may elect to see Dr. Watson before the date of your surgery if you have additional questions for concerns.

    It is our clinic policy to collect all payment requirements at least one week before your surgery date.


      What do I do to prepare for my surgery date?

    Take a shower and wash your hair the night before. Do not eat or drink after midnight the night before surgery.

    Arrange for someone you know to drive you home after surgery. If you are receiving medication to sedate you during surgery, arrange for someone to stay with you that night.

    At any time during the two weeks before your surgery date, if you took medication from the Restricted Medication List, please contact our clinic to let Dr. Watson know immediately.

    We recommend purchasing food and liquid items that you will prefer to consume following surgery ahead of time. Prepare your bed with extra pillows for head elevation and a towel over them, so that when you return home you can go to bed immediately.

    Leave all jewelry and personal belongings at home. Come dressed in comfortable, loose-fitting clothing with zip or button-down front the morning of your surgery. Avoid wearing pullover tops.


      What are the risks of surgery?

    There are risks or complications associated with all surgical and non-surgical procedures. It is important that you are aware of them ahead of time and find out how they should be handled if one arises. However, surgical risks are lessened when a thorough understanding exists between the patient and surgeon regarding pre-operative preparation and compulsive post-operative care. Please read the post-operative instructions provided to you.

    Any surgery carries a risk of bleeding or infection in the post-operative period. The risk of bleeding can be reduced by not consuming medication that can affect your blood clotting capability. Please see the Restricted Medication List. Antibiotics that are given to you at the beginning of your surgery and post-operatively can reduce the risk of infection.

    Whenever a person's appearance is changed, there exist a slight risk that the final result might fall short of your expectations. You must expect some temporary swelling, bruising, and minor discomfort, and you must realize that plastic surgery of the face is an art, not an exact science. In a few cases, revisions or minor changes might be necessary after an appropriate amount of healing time has elapsed. The overall success depends not only on your surgeon's skills, but also on your age, health, skin quality, bone structure, and general expectations regarding appearance improvement.


      How much recovery time is needed?

    Recovery time will depend on the procedure performed. This will be discussed with you during your consultation, as well as when you are seen following your surgery for dressing and wound care.

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