• Patient Resources

  • FAQ

    • How long will the surgery take?

      A rough estimate:

      1. Upper or lower eyelid surgery - 45 min to one hour for bilateral
      2. Upper and lower eyelid combined surgery - 1.5 to 2 hours
      3. Browlift - 45 min to one hour for bilateral
      4. Facelift - 3 - 4 hours
      5. Injections - 10 min to 30 min, depending on number of sites and whether using a filler or Botox
    • Will the surgery hurt?

      We do our best to ensure that your experience is as pain-free as possible.  All surgeries are performed under local sedation.  That means you will not be unconscious with a tube inserted into your throat.  Dr. Higa will also inject local anesthesia into the area being operated.  Following surgery, pain is controlled using ice packs and acetominophen.  Post-operative pain of the lids is minimal since surgery cuts through the sensory nerves leaving the skin numb for around 2 months.  By that time, the lids have long since healed.  Brow and facelift surgeries have mild discomfort which eases by one week, if not sooner.

    • Will insurance cover my surgery?

      Insurance companies will only cover the procedure if there is a "functional" impairment of activities of daily living (ADL), such as difficulty reading or driving.  Dr. Higa will evaluate you during consultation to determine if your case would be covered by insurance.  Also, keep in mind that insurance often covers 80% of the procedure.  You may be responsible for the remainder.

    • What's the difference between insurance eyelid surgery and cosmetic eyelid surgery?

      Insurance eyelid surgery covers "functional" impairment since a person is unable to perform necessary daily activities without having surgery.  On the other hand, cosmetic eyelid surgery is performed because a patient is unhappy with his/her appearance.  They are able to perform ADL without problem.  The surgery is performed in exactly the same way otherwise.  There are no "cutting corners" just because a surgery is paid by insurance.  The only difference here is who pays - the insurance company or the patient.

    • How do I prepare for surgery?
      • Good nutrition. Eat well during the weeks prior to your surgery. Crash dieting, over-eating or high alcohol intake can greatly affect your overall health and well-being. A healthy, balanced diet is essential. Also, talk to your doctor about what supplements, if any, you should start taking.
      • Stop smoking. Smoking can greatly impair your ability to heal. You must be nicotine and smoke-free for at least 4 weeks prior to surgery. You must also be free of any nicotine patch or nicotine-based products for a minimum of 4 weeks prior to surgery.
      • Stay healthy. Prior to your surgery strive to maintain the best health and hygiene. Let us know if you catch cold or illness.  Also let us know if you are prescribed medication since your last appointment with us.
      • Discontinue blood thinners and products containing aspirin.  These agents may cause bleeding during surgery which may prolong the procedure.  Your primary doctor will let you know when to stop the medications.  Generally, the rule is to discontinue them 10 days prior to surgery.  You may restart them a couple days following your procedure.
    • How should I prepare on the day before and the day of surgery?

      A few rules:

      1. No food or drink eight hours before your procedure.  You may take your high blood pressure medication on the morning of your surgery with a sip of water.  If you are diabetic, do not take your diabetes medication on the day of surgery.
      2. Come to the center wearing comfortable, loose fitting clothes.  You do not need to change into a gown for surgery.
      3.  Do not bring cash or wear jewelry on the day of your surgery.
      4. Make sure you arrange transportation to and from the surgery center.
      5. If you have any questions, please ask before your scheduled surgery date.
    • When can I wash my hair?
      • This is a frequently asked question!Washing hair - No hair washing on day of surgery.  Eg. Surgery Wed.  No hair washing until Thursday.  Showerhead should be from behind.
      • Washing body - Okay to shower / bathe on day of surgery as long as not wetting head.
      • Do not immerse your head in the bath, pool, or ocean until your incisions have healed.
    • When can I return to work?

      The length of time it takes to recuperate after plastic surgery varies depending on the procedure performed and the person operated on. Most patients will require assistance for the first two days. Then most patients are able to care for themselves, but may still need assistance if they have small children to care for. The specific lengths of disability are outlined below by procedure. These are approximations, and do not include return to exercise.

      • Eyelid Surgery—Usually can get around independently by the second day. With the use of sunglasses, may feel comfortable going to the store by day 3-4, and with makeup could return to work by 5-7 days.
      • Facelift Surgery—Usually can get around independently by the second day. Usually do not feel comfortable going out in public for 5-7 days. Requires 10-14 days before returning to work if in the public eye.
      • Liposuction—Usually can get around independently by the second day, earlier if smaller number of areas treated. One can return to work and normal activities in 5-7 days.