Skip to main navigation

Choosing plastic surgery is a significant decision. Because of this, it is understandable to have questions before and after your procedure.

Dr. Knowling is happy to answer any questions you may have so that your cosmetic journey is a comfortable one.

Why should I choose a board-certified plastic surgeon?

In any given area, numerous surgeons offer a range of plastic and cosmetic procedures. All of these surgeons will have training and knowledge of the procedures; however, not all surgeons are equal. When you are doing your research, find one that is a board-certified plastic surgeon. The American Board of Plastic Surgery only certifies plastic surgeons who have completed a rigorous set of training and ethical protocols. You can verify your surgeon’s certification on the American Board of Plastic Surgery’s website.

Dr. Knowling is certified by the American Board of Surgery (ABPS) and is a member of the American Society for Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), the American Medical Association, and the Alabama Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons.

What is the difference between a plastic surgeon and a cosmetic surgeon?

Board-certified plastic surgeons are trained in reconstructive surgery and cosmetic surgery. While many plastic surgeons choose to specialize in cosmetic surgery, they are also qualified to perform reconstructive procedures. 

This means board-certified plastic surgeons are generally better qualified to perform cosmetic surgeries like breast augmentation, liposuction, tummy tuck surgery, and facelift surgery. With a board-certified plastic surgeon, you know your surgeon has undergone rigorous education and training and is accredited by a nationally recognized plastic surgery organization.

Cosmetic surgeons don’t have the extensive education and training in plastic and reconstructive procedures, and they do not have a national board to certify their skills. This means it is harder to confirm the skills of a cosmetic surgeon except by looking at their previous results.

Is plastic surgery safe?

Plastic surgery involves invasive techniques like incisions, tissue manipulation, and tissue removal. These procedures can result in complications like bleeding, infection, blood clots, changes in sensation, and prolonged recovery periods. All plastic surgery patients should be in good overall health before their procedure, and should not smoke before or after surgery. Failure to follow these guidelines may increase your risk of complications.

Complications are rare, and most patients never experience any difficulty.

How difficult will my recovery be?

The recovery period differs with every surgical procedure. Typically, the more strain a specific body region experiences in daily life, the longer the recovery will be. Patients are required to take time off of work and their normal activities to rest and recover in a comfortable and stress-free environment. Patients will be prescribed an oral pain medication to remedy any lingering discomfort.

How much time will I need to take off work?

Patients are required to take some time off after all surgical procedures (most patients can return to work immediately following a non-surgical procedure). The amount of time will depend on the procedure and the health of the patient. Most patients take between one and two weeks off from work. Dr. Knowling will provide you with a more accurate time estimate during your consultation.

Will I need to stay overnight at the hospital?

Plastic surgeries are performed as outpatient procedures, meaning that patients can return home without requiring an overnight stay. Patients are released once the anesthesia wears off.

How much will my plastic surgery cost?

The cost of plastic surgery varies depending on several factors, including techniques used, surgeon’s fees, facility fees, anesthesia fees, and the cost of all post-surgical medications and dressings. Plastic surgery procedures are tailored to the patient, so an accurate cost cannot be determined until the surgeon has examined the patient during their consultation.

How can I minimize plastic surgery scars?

All surgical procedures will result in some extent of scarring at the incision sites. Scarring can be worsened when the healing incision experiences strain or excessive sun exposure and can be minimized by limiting stress on the healing incision and staying out of the sun. Additional practices like the application of silicone strips and post-surgical massages can help reduce the color and depth of the scars. Incisions are placed in discreet, easy-to-hide locations, and all scars fade with time.

Is plastic surgery permanent?

Plastic surgery results are long lasting; however, plastic surgery will not stop the aging process or prevent future weight gain or other physical changes. Facial tissues will still be at the mercy of additional aging and skin laxity, and contouring procedures of the breasts and body can be impacted by weight fluctuations, pregnancies, and the gradual breakdown of tissues.

Are breast implants safe?

Breast implants are inserted during breast augmentation to enhance the size, shape, and projection of the breasts. Although there have been worries about the safety of implants over the years, including recent concerns over breast implant illness and breast-implant associated anaplastic large-cell lymphoma (BIA-ALCL), breast implants are safe and complications are rare.

What if I decide I no longer want my breast implants?

Most women remain satisfied with their implants for many years; however, some women experience implant complications or change their aesthetic preferences following surgery. Breast implant removal or breast revision (which includes implant removal and replacement) is performed for women who are not happy with their current implants.

What is the best age to consider breast implants?

Women desire breast augmentation at nearly any age. Young women with naturally small breasts may want augmentation as a teenager or young adult to enhance and balance out their figure. Older women may choose augmentation to counteract the effects of pregnancy, breastfeeding, or weight fluctuations. Saline implants are approved for women over the age of 18, and silicone implants are approved for women over the age of 22.

Will breast reduction ease my back pain?

Breasts that are too large and heavy can increase the stress on the back, shoulders, neck, and chest, leading to discomfort and pain. Breast reduction is performed on women with significantly large breasts that are out of proportion with their body or are contributing to physical discomfort. This procedure removes breast tissue and skin to mold smaller, more compact breasts.

Are breast reduction and breast lift surgery the same?

While a breast lift is incorporated into a breast reduction, they are not the same procedure. Breast reduction lessens the size of overly large breasts; breast lift surgery raises the elevation and improves the projection of sagging breasts. A breast lift can be performed with or without a reduction to tighten and raise the breasts.

Why should I consider combining my breast augmentation with a breast lift?

Some women consider breast augmentation after having children because pregnancy and breastfeeding can result in sagging, deflated breasts. While breast augmentation can fill in lost volume, it cannot raise significantly sagging breasts. Breasts that sag may require a breast lift in combination with implants to restore a youthful, perky appearance.

What causes gynecomastia?

Gynecomastia is a condition that describes enlarged male breasts. This enlargement is due to an excess of breast tissue or fat in the male chest and typically develops due to a fluctuation in hormones. Gynecomastia can develop during puberty or in response to drug use, medication use, or anabolic steroid use. Weight loss does not always treat gynecomastia.

How will I know the best treatment for my gynecomastia?

Gynecomastia surgery is performed for men who are unhappy with the appearance of their enlarged chest. This surgery is performed through liposuction, surgical excision, or a combination of both. Liposuction is selected when an excess of fat is causing the condition, and skin and tissue excision is chosen when breast tissue is the cause.

Will a tummy tuck repair my separated abdominal muscles?

Tummy tuck surgery is known to remove excess skin and fat on the lower abdomen; however, this procedure is also ideal when treating abdominal muscle laxity. The abdominal muscles can be weakened by pregnancy and weight fluctuations. Tummy tuck surgery repairs and tightens these muscles to restore a firm and toned abdominal contour.

Will I lose weight with a tummy tuck?

Tummy tuck surgery removes excess skin and localized pockets of abdominal fat and tightens the abdominal muscles. This process will result in a slimmer and sleeker-looking abdomen; however, there will not be a significant loss of weight. Patients can expect that their clothes will fit better, but they may not see a major change in clothing size.

How much weight will I lose with liposuction?

Liposuction removes localized pockets of fat from nearly any region of the body. This procedure targets fat cells and can result in a fitter appearance. While liposuction physically removes fat, it is not a weight loss surgery, and this procedure will not result in a significant change in weight.

How is liposuction different than weight loss?

Liposuction removes fat cells from the body. Weight loss shrinks the size of the fat cells but does not eliminate them. While the number of fat cells in a patient’s body is constant throughout their life, the size of all remaining fat cells can fluctuate and grow if a healthy lifestyle is not followed.

Will I still look natural after a facelift?

Some men and women want facelift surgery to target the signs of aging; however, they are concerned that their results will not look natural. Unfortunately, improper facelift techniques—such as only tightening the skin—can result in a windblown or wind-tunneled appearance that looks noticeably operated on. By choosing a board-certified plastic surgeon, you are ensuring that your surgeon is trained in the proper techniques. Dr. Knowling performs facelift surgery with the SMAS technique, meaning that both the skin and the underlying tissues are tightened.

Does a facelift address aging on my entire face?

Facelift surgery addresses signs of aging like wrinkles, sagging skin, and volume loss on the lower two-thirds of the face. This procedure does not address aging around the eyes or the forehead. The addition of another surgery or cosmetic procedure is required to treat lines and laxity in the upper regions of the face.

What is the best way to address upper facial aging?

Eyelid surgery targets aging on the eyelids, such as drooping upper eyelids or heavy bags beneath the eyes. Brow lift surgery targets aging on the forehead and sagging eyebrows. BOTOX® Cosmetic temporarily addresses dynamic wrinkles (expression lines) like crow’s feet, frown lines, or forehead lines.

How old do you have to be to undergo ear surgery?

Ear surgery is one of the only cosmetic surgery procedures that can be performed on children. This surgery addresses ears that are overly large or stick out far from the head. Ear pinning can be performed as soon as a patient’s ears are fully grown, which usually occurs around the age of five.

What is the difference between dermal fillers and neurotoxins?

Dermal fillers and neurotoxins are both injectable treatments that restore a more youthful appearance. Dermal fillers like JUVÉDERM® minimize wrinkles and fill in areas where volume has been lost. Neurotoxins like BOTOX® Cosmetic, Dysport®, and XEOMIN® reduce the severity of wrinkles by relaxing the facial muscles that cause expression lines like crow’s feet, frown lines, and forehead lines.

Will rhinoplasty help my breathing?

Rhinoplasty is performed to enhance the aesthetic appearance or functionality of the nose. Breathing difficulties can develop after a facial injury or may be present from birth. Rhinoplasty, or the derivative of rhinoplasty known as septoplasty, can improve a patient’s ease of breathing. Nasal spreader grafts can also enhance the ease of breathing for qualifying patients.

How do microdermabrasion and chemical peels differ?

Microdermabrasion and chemical peels both rejuvenate the skin by removing the top, damaged layer of skin so that the healthier layers beneath can shine through. Microdermabrasion works by gently scraping away the damaged layer. Chemical peels apply a chemical solution that causes the damaged skin to flake off over several days. These procedures can reduce the appearance of fine lines and enhance skin tone and texture.

Is laser hair removal permanent?

Laser hair removal provides hair-free smoothness to the legs, bikini area, face, arms, and back. This laser treatment targets and destroys the hair follicle for long-lasting results. Patients may still experience hair growth; however, it will be slower and lighter.

Is there anything to remove spider veins?

Spider veins cause displeasure for patients of all ages. Spider veins develop due to genetics and weight fluctuations, and sadly, there is no way to prevent them. The Lumenis Quantum™ IPL/Nd-YAG laser system targets spider veins on the legs and body.

When should I start thinking about a skin care program?

Many patients do not start worrying about their skin until later in life after significant skin damage has already been done. Natural aging, sun damage, environmental damage, smoking, and poor diet all contribute to the breakdown of tissues. By starting a skin care regimen early in life, you may be able to postpone the need for more significant or invasive cosmetic procedures, such as laser resurfacing or cosmetic surgery.