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What do you see when you look in a full length mirror? Most people, especially women, can point out more than a few facial or body “flaws.”

For the past 13 years Dr. Robert Zubowski has been helping people to enhance and improve their aesthetic appeal. “Most people have some knowledge of what plastic surgery can accomplish for them. However, not until we sit down to discuss their options can they really grasp its strengths and limitations. You need both an open mind and realistic expectations.” According to Dr. Zubowski perfection is a relative term: realistic expectations plus the surgeon’s skill is the equation for a successful outcome.

Computer imaging is one tool the center uses to give patients a better idea of what their surgery can do. “We use it for a facelift, blepharoplasty, rhinoplasty, browlift, chin and cheek augmentations, and skin resurfacing,” he explains. Patients are encouraged to study their image and discuss it with family members.

Many patients decide to have plastic surgery in preparation for a special event such as a class or family reunion, a wedding, or a job interview. Dr. Zubowski suggests having the surgery at least eight weeks prior to the big event. At his center, surgeries have a wait time of about three weeks. “Some procedures take another three weeks to heal, so it’s smart to plan.”

Patient education is a major focus at Dr. Zubowski’s center. When patients phone for a consultation brochures will be mailed to them. On the day of their appointment and just prior to the consultation they will be invited to watch a videotape about their procedure. “The extreme makeovers we see on TV are great, but plastic surgery is just one major contributing factor to the entire makeover.” In addition to cosmetic surgery, dental work is often done, a hairstylist and makeup artist are brought in, and an intensive diet and exercise program is followed for several months.

“We can create a more youthful you,” he says. “Most people don’t have the time to commit to an extreme makeover.” Plastic surgery, depending upon the procedures chosen, usually requires recuperative downtime of anywhere from a few days to three weeks.

In his experience, most patients have exaggerated ideas of the pain associated with their surgery. “Their pain is usually not as problematic as they anticipated,” he says.

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