Frequently Asked Questions About Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery in St. Louis

Plastic and reconstructive surgery is what we are experts at here at Metropolitan Plastic Surgery. If you are considering plastic or reconstructive surgery, we encourage you to schedule a consultation to evaluate your desires and goals. Dr. Scheu will sit down with you to evaluate where you are at currently and what he can do to get you where you want to be. Whether you want to freshen up your face with a face lift, tighten up your tummy for summer with a tummy tuck, or rejuvenate your breast after child birth, Dr. Scheu has a solution for you so that you fall in love with your face and/or body all over again. During your consultation you will have the opportunity to ask about all of your concerns of plastic and reconstructive surgery. Dr. Scheu prides himself in providing an open and honest process from start to finish. From your consultation, to the procedure, and into recovery, he wants to make sure you are comfortable and satisfied with your choice to undergo plastic and reconstructive surgery. Please read about what questions and concerns other patients have voiced in regards to their procedures.

How much pain will I be in from a breast augmentation?

Post-operative discomfort varies widely, even with using the pain prescription provided; what we do know is that there seems to be significantly more pain if the implants are placed beneath the pectoral muscles, so, in our practice, using the new gel (“gummy bear”) implants, that is rarely done. For those patients who still prefer the saline-filled implants (which almost always need to be placed beneath the muscles), there is a “pain pump” device available, for extra comfort, in addition to the use of the pain medication, for the first few days after surgery.

I’ve had 3 pregnancies, and, although I’ve lost the weight, and I exercise, I just cannot get back the tone of my abdominal wall, or get rid of my “paunch”. What can I do?

Unfortunately, the tissue expansion of the abdominal wall with pregnancy actually creates new tissue, and this extra skin does not reabsorb afterwards, despite all efforts. Also, and perhaps more importantly, the muscles are stretched apart enough that they will not come back to close approximation, even with “toning” with exercises. Fortunately, with the “tummy tuck” procedure, we remove the skin and fat excess of the lower abdomen and tighten the muscle sheath of the abdominal wall with sutures, and also add in some liposuction to help contour the abdomen, and restore the youthful structure and appearance of the abdominal wall.

I’ve lost about 75 # now, and I feel better, but I can’t stand how I look, with all the “hanging” skin, especially around my waist and hips, and even see my buttocks “sagging”. Is there any hope to look as good as I feel?

Yes, there’s hope, but your problem requires a major surgical procedure, called a “lower body lift”, where excess tissues are removed from the trunk circumferentially, giving you a combined “tummy tuck”, thigh lift and buttock lift. This is a lengthy procedure and requires at least an overnight stay in the hospital, but it can totally rejuvenate the lower body, and allow you to do all the things you feel good enough to do after your remarkable achievement in losing the weight–and the scar can, in most cases, be completely covered even wearing lingerie, or a bikini bottom.

What is the recovery like with a breast augmentation or a lift?

Our patients are asked to restrict activities that require a lot of arm usage, to avoid irritation of the surgical area around the implant, which could lead to excessive bleeding, or disruption of the stitches in the incisions, but whether there was an augmentation or a lift (or both) done, most patients are back to office-type jobs with a week to ten days, and strenuous jobs the week following. Certainly, there are incisions which have to heal, and have sutures in place, and the incisions are more extensive with the lift (“mastopexy”) than with just the breast enlargement procedure. Resuming vigorous athletics can usually be allowed within 2 ½ weeks after the surgeries for nearly every patient.

Q & A with Dr. Scheu

RealSelf Q&A with James H. Scheu, MD, FACS