Frequently Asked Questions
Who is a candidate for plastic surgery?
Plastic surgery is undertaken for two primary reasons – to improve appearance or function, and to restore or repair areas damaged by injury, cancer, or disease.
The decision to have cosmetic surgery is highly personal, and should not be made in order to please someone else, or because a person imagines it will dramatically improve their life or make problems go away. Plastic surgery can often improve a problem area, but can never make something “perfect”. Patients with multiple medical problems, such as cardiac or lung disease, or diabetes, may be at increased risk for complications, and should only undertake cosmetic surgery after careful thought and after discussion with their primary care physician and surgeon.
If you are considering reconstructive surgery, keep in mind that reconstructive techniques are available to treat many problems resulting from injury or previous surgery. Reconstructive plastic surgery is highly individualized, and you should discuss the options carefully with your surgeon.
Where will surgery be performed?
Dr. Haynes operates at the following facilities: Sycamore Shoals Hospital in Elizabethton, Holston Valley and Indian Path hospitals in Kingsport, and at Franklin Woods Community Hospital and East Tennessee Ambulatory Surgery Center in Johnson City. Dr. Billington operates at Bristol Regional Medical Center in Bristol, Johnson City Medical Center in Johnson City, and East Tennessee Ambulatory Surgery Center. Most plastic surgery procedures are considered outpatient, and do not require an overnight stay. Smaller procedures are often performed in our office procedure room.
Is plastic surgery covered by insurance?
Plastic surgery performed for cosmetic reasons is not covered by insurance, but reconstructive surgery is usually covered either partially or completely by insurance. Insurance companies are required to cover breast reconstruction surgery after mastectomy, as specified in the Women’s Health and Cancer Rights Act of 1998.
Do you offer financing for cosmetic surgery?
Yes, we participate in CareCredit, as well as accepting most major credit cards. During your consultation, a member of our staff will discuss these options with you.
Will a resident be involved in my care?
Dr. Haynes primarily operates at hospitals without residents. There is a small chance a resident or medical student would observe your surgery, although this is uncommon.
Can plastic surgeons operate without leaving a scar?
This is a misconception that has been popularized on soap operas and other TV shows. The human body heals by forming scar tissue, which is the same collagen protein that holds us all together. The amount of scar varies with each patient's unique biology, and can also vary from one location on the body to another. Scars are most noticeable initially, then usually fade with time. Occasionally a scar can be come hyperpigmented (darker than the surrounding skin) or hypertrophic (raised above the surrounding skin). These problems are uncommon, but occur more often in patients with darker skin tone.
What is the recovery time after surgery, and when can I return to work?
Recovery time varies with the procedure performed. Most patients should have someone available to assist them for the first two to three days after surgery. One to two weeks off from work is usually sufficient for people primarily engaged in desk work – more time would be required for occupations requiring greater physical activity or strength. If you have young children, you may need assistance to care for them for two to three weeks after surgery.
How much pain will I experience?
There is always some pain involved in surgery – this of course varies depending on the specific procedure, and on an individual's own pain tolerance. It has been shown that patients who are afraid of being in pain typically experience more pain than those who are prepared for it. We will prescribe appropriate medication to minimize pain both during and after surgery, but it is not possible to make you completely pain free. If you are able to take non-steroidal agents, such as Advil or ibuprofen, these often work well to decrease inflammation at the site of surgery, and will decrease the amount of other pain medication that you need.
What does it mean to be a plastic surgeon?
“Plastic surgery" is not a trademarked term, therefore physicians in other specialties can claim to perform plastic surgery. However, only those certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery are true plastic surgeons. To become board certified in plastic surgery, a physician must complete post-graduate training of five to seven years (or more) after medical school, and then must pass a rigorous set of written and oral exams. Dr. Haynes has nine years of post-graduate medical education. Dr. Billington is board eligible in plastic surgery - she has completed her residency, taken the written exam, and will soon take the oral exam. She is presently a candidate member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.