Q – What is facial plastic surgery, and what is a facial plastic surgeon?
Facial plastic surgery is a regional specialty that is dedicated solely to cosmetic and reconstructive surgery of the face and neck. A facial plastic surgeon is a physician who has trained exclusively and extensively in all areas of head and neck surgery and usually has additional fellowship training and board certification in facial plastic surgery. Dr. Buckingham has completed residency training in head and neck surgery and an advanced fellowship in facial plastic and reconstructive surgery. His practice focuses exclusively on medical and surgical issues of the face, head, and neck. Dr. Buckingham is a diplomat of the American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and the American Board of Otolaryngology, which serves the specialty of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery.
Q – Does Dr. Buckingham perform any plastic surgery of the body?
No. Dr. Buckingham has extensive training in all aspects of facial plastic and reconstructive surgery. He specializes exclusively in cosmetic and reconstructive surgery of the face and neck. He does not perform any body liposuction, breast surgery, or other body enhancing procedures. He performs various Austin plastic surgery procedures.
Q – How much will it cost for an appointment with Dr. Buckingham?
The cosmetic consultation fee for Dr. Buckingham is $250.00, which would be applied to any service that would be rendered in the future.The consultation requires approximately one hour. Because of the extensive time and consideration given to each patients concern, we feel that a small fee for this service is reasonable.
Q – Does Dr. Buckingham do surgery only or does he perform procedures to rejuvenate the skin?
In regard to facial rejuvenation, Dr. Buckingham believes that lifting procedures only provide part of the solution. In order to achieve global rejuvenation, he believes in treating the three causes of facial aging including lifting, volume restoration, and skin rejuvenation. Volume restoration is performed most commonly with autologous fat grafting. More information is available in the services section of this website. Skin rejuvenation is accomplished either with a chemical peel or Fraxel laser. He also provides counseling on skin maintenance programs to ensure the longevity of his physician strength peels or laser. This may include the use of skin care products or a referral to an aesthetician who works closely with the physician for regular facial care.
Q – What is the cost of the procedures?
The fee associated with surgery is solely dependent upon the procedure(s) being performed, which can only be determined after a consultation with Dr. Buckingham. It is impossible to accurately quote a specific price without first determining which procedures are applicable to each patient. Moreover, Dr. Buckingham uses various techniques to achieve a desired aesthetic objective depending on your particular anatomy and concerns. You are encouraged to come for a consultation to understand more fully whether Dr. Buckinghams philosophy, surgical techniques, and aesthetic outcomes accord well with your own vision. Only after an in-depth consultation will you appreciate what the fee for a particular procedure(s) is and which procedure(s) is right for you.
Q – What is the recovery period?
For surgical procedures, the recovery period varies from 3 to 14 days depending on the procedures performed. A patient can usually return to work in 3 to 10 days or shorter, and can return to full social activity in 7 to 14 days. The long recovery periods that incapacitate a patient or prevent social engagements for many weeks to months are simply not applicable with Dr. Buckinghams surgical methods. Many minimally invasive procedures are also available such as BOTOX and facial fillers which have little or no down time. Specific recovery periods are also discussed in the services portion of this site.
Q – Will there be any discomfort?
The level of discomfort varies depending on the patient and the procedure(s) involved. With todays modern anesthesia techniques minimal to no discomfort is experienced during the procedure. Additionally, with Dr. Buckinghams surgical technique and the appropriate medication most patients experience very little post-operative discomfort. It is our goal to achieve the maximum level of comfort for all of our patients.
Q – When can I resume normal activity and exercise?
Patients are up-and-about the day following their procedure and are seen in the office that day. They are encouraged to take-it-easy for the first week. Depending on the procedure, most people can begin light walking type exercise 7 days after their procedure. Strenuous activity can resume 2-3 weeks afterward in most cases. A good rule to follow is to listen to ones own body and return to activity gradually as you feel up to the task. During the first week after a major procedure, it may not be safe to engage in heavy exercise for several reasons. You may experience a bit more fatigue than usual, as your body expends energy toward the healing process. Also, vigorous exercise may increase swelling, risk bleeding, and prolong healing. In general, taking it easy the first week is a good rule, however most patients feel quite well and are fairly active within 1-2 days following their procedure.
Q – Will there be a significant difference in the way I look after surgery and will people notice?
It is our goal to provide you with an improved look based upon your natural assets; patients can anticipate a significant improvement in their appearance. The goal of surgery is always to achieve a remarkable benefit but still look absolutely natural without the stigma of an operated-on look. Our mission is to achieve the patients desired degree of improvement without allowing close inspection to reveal any signs of surgery.
Q – How long does the procedure last before I need surgery again?
Depending on the procedure(s) chosen, the surgery will result in an improvement that should endure. Nevertheless, for aging-face surgery, a facial rejuvenation procedure will not arrest the aging process. As one continues to mature, the effects of the procedure will be contravened over time. Usually, upper face procedures endure for decades. While the effects of lower facial surgery do not disappear, the effects of aging continue to diminish the result and many patients choose to undergo a tuck-up procedure 10 to 15 years later. Factors such as diet, exercise, smoking, sun exposure, stress, and adequate sleep can be controlled for the most part to permit maximal longevity of a surgical result.
Q – How long before I can wear makeup?
You can start wearing makeup approximately 7 to 14 days after the procedure(s). If you have undergone a chemical peel or other skin resurfacing procedure, Dr. Buckingham will inform you specifically when you can resume your makeup. Generally, 10-14 days are applicable for most skin treatments.
Q – How much bruising and swelling will occur?
The amount of bruising and swelling depends upon the patient and the procedure(s) chosen. Pre- and postoperative recommendations are given to the patient to minimize the risk of any protracted bruising and to expedite healing. Over the first 1 to 2 weeks, swelling and bruising will work their way down on the face toward the neck as gravity draws the extra fluid downward until the body ultimately reabsorbs all the excess. The advanced techniques that Dr. Buckingham uses minimize excessive and unsightly swelling.
Q – What are the chances of visible incision lines or hair loss?
With any kind of surgery incisions are required. However, Dr. Buckingham uses the most abbreviated incisions that are necessary to complete the task. For instance, for lower eyelid surgery, he relies on the transconjunctival approach that typically involved no external incision. Browlift surgery is now undertaken with small 2 to 3 centimeter incisions that resuspend descended tissue with no excision of skin or hair. All facial rejuvenation procedures that Dr. Buckingham performs involve discrete, well-camouflaged incisions that leave ones own hair entirely intact.