Frequently Asked Questions

What is plastic surgery?

Plastic surgery refers to the Greek term “plastikos,” which means to mold or take form. It is used to restore and reshape the body, and involves both reconstructive surgery procedures (e.g. abnormal structures to the body and birth defects) and developmental problems (e.g. injuries, infections, tumors or disease).

What is a plastic surgeon?

A board-certified plastic surgeon is a trained physician and surgeon who is a problem solver, designer and meticulous surgeon. Not every plastic surgeon who claims to be a “plastic surgeon” has the same training, and not every “cosmetic surgeon” is a plastic surgeon. A plastic surgeon should be certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. For more information, visit their site to Find a Qualified Plastic Surgeon.

Does insurance cover plastic surgery?

Most health insurance policies cover medically necessary procedures and exclude purely cosmetic procedures.  Federal law requires that health insurance providers cover breast reconstruction for both breasts when necessitated by mastectomy (as long as mastectomies are covered).  The amount of coverage and conditions for authorization vary greatly among carriers, policies and even geographic location.  Our staff will assist you in determining your specific coverage for the procedures you’re thinking about having.

What other doctors are involved in plastic surgery?

In most cases, a plastic surgeon works in a team with other types of doctors (e.g. anesthesiologists, medical physicians, general surgeons, pediatricians, oncologists and neurosurgeons), depending on the type of procedure that is being performed.  Each member is responsible for his or her area of specialization.

What is the purpose of a consultation?

A consultation gives you a chance to get to know and feel comfortable with Dr. Kelly Sullivan or Dr. Emily Clarke-Pearson. This is an opportunity for you to gather all the information you need about the issue you would like to address and the treatment that is involved. The doctor will explain the procedure in detail, the risks involved and the results you should expect. This can take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour.

How can I predict results post-surgery?

Results may vary depending on your age, skin type, general health, genetic background and the condition you were in pre-surgery. During an initial consultation at Sullivan Surgery & Spa, our board certified plastic surgeons, Dr. Kelly Sullivan and Dr. Emily Clarke-Pearson, can help you determine what factors will affect your results.

What type of anesthesia does a board-certified plastic surgeon use?

Depending on the surgery being performed, there are three types of anesthesia used during plastic surgery: local, local injection plus sedation and general.  All surgery performed by our doctors requiring general anesthesia is performed with a board-certified medical anesthesiologist performing the anesthesia.

Where can plastic surgery procedures with our doctors be performed?

Dr. Sullivan and Dr. Clarke-Pearson can perform surgery in different types of facilities (in an in-office surgical facility, a hospital or a freestanding surgery center), depending on the severity of the surgical procedure and the doctor’s recommendations.  All facilities where Dr. Sullivan and Dr. Clarke-Pearson perform surgical procedures are fully accredited facilities.

What problems are commonly treated by plastic surgeons?

Cosmetic concerns may include excess body fat or skin, disproportionate breasts, breast atrophy or drooping, skin problems- wrinkling and sun damage, aging facial features, etc. Birth defects and developmental abnormalities include birth marks, cleft lips, hand deformities, abnormal breast development, skull and facial deformities, etc. Acquired deformities include scars, wounds, burn scars, skull and jaw injuries, drooping brow or upper eyelid, lacerations, severed limbs or fingers, etc.