Rao Plastic & Hand Surgery

Frequently Asked Questions

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At Rao Plastic & Hand Surgery in Tucson, Dr. Arun Rao and his staff want you to be informed and feel confident about your procedures. Below you will find answers to commonly asked questions regarding plastic surgery and med spa services.

For any of your questions or answers are not listed here, request a complimentary consultation online to discuss your need with Dr. Arun Rao or call (520) 209-2500 to speak with our knowledgeable, friendly staff.


Choosing a Plastic Surgeon

Is a cosmetic surgeon the same as a plastic surgeon?

Actually the titles "cosmetic surgeon" and "plastic surgeon" are not interchangeable. Any physician, including a dermatologist or ob-gyn, who makes surgical improvements to his or her patients' appearance is a cosmetic surgeon. But a plastic surgeon is a physician who has completed a residency to gain education and training specifically in plastic surgery. Plastic surgeons may choose to call themselves cosmetic surgeons, but the reverse is not true; cosmetic surgeons should not call themselves plastic surgeons.

What's important to look for when choosing a plastic surgeon?

Look for a physician who is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS). The American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) is an independent, non-profit organization created specifically to protect patients. This highly respected board oversees a select group of 24 specialty medical boards. The ABPS is the only board recognized by the ABMS to certify surgeons in plastic surgery of the entire body, including the face. To earn the distinction of board-certified plastic surgeon a physician must have:

  • A 4-year college degree
  • A degree from an accredited medical school
  • A minimum of 5 years in a surgical internship and residency
  • At least 2 years of experience specializing in plastic surgery
  • Passed extensive oral and written exams and peer reviews

By choosing a surgeon with this impressive distinction such as Dr. Rao, you will optimize your chances of having a safe and satisfying experience.


Fees, Insurance & Financing

What is the cost of a consultation?

Dr. Rao offers complimentary consultations for cosmetic patients.

Do you accept insurance?

Rao Plastic & Hand Surgery participates with many insurance plans. However, cosmetic surgery is typically not covered by insurance providers. Reconstructive surgery, such as breast reconstruction after a mastectomy, is generally covered by insurance companies.

Does Rao Plastic & Hand Surgery offer financing options for cosmetic surgery?

Yes, Rao Plastic & Hand Surgery has partnered with CareCredit® to offer several financing options so you can spread out the cost of your med spa or cosmetic surgery procedure in Tucson over manageable monthly payments. Dr. Rao's staff will help you find the option that best fits your budget.


Visiting Rao Plastic & Hand Surgery

Where is Rao Plastic & Hand Surgery located?

Our address is:
5170 E Glenn St #100
Tucson, AZ 85712

Directions to Rao Plastic & Hand Surgery:

We are conveniently located just north of the Tucson Medical Center (on Glenn, between Swan and Craycroft) in the Glenn Medical Village. Visit our contact us page for more information.

What will my consult consist of?

You will meet with Dr. Rao and his medical assistant and have a discussion about your aesthetic goals. In conjunction with Dr. Rao, you will formulate a plan to achieve your new look. Dr. Rao prides himself on his ability to communicate with patients and answer any and all questions about their surgery and the recovery process. The consult is the beginning of your aesthetic or reconstructive journey and Dr. Rao will be there for you until the completion.


Facial Rejuvenation

Does Rao Plastic & Hand Surgery offer non-surgical options for facial rejuvenation?

For med spa services in Tucson, we offer BOTOX® and Dysport®, as well as a variety of facial fillers, including Restylane®, JUVÉDERM®, Perlane®, RADIESSE® and Sculptra®. Dr. Rao will help you choose the product best suited for your needs.


Breast Enhancement

How does Dr. Rao perform his breast augmentation?

Dr. Rao typically makes an incision either in the breast crease or in the inferior aspect of the areola. The location of the incision is dictated by the patient's anatomy and the size and type of implants to be used. The implants are placed under the muscle.

After breast augmentation, what is my recovery like?

You will be able to remove your dressing on postoperative day 1 and switch to a sports bra. You will see Dr. Rao within the first week after surgery. Do not submerge your breasts in a pool or bath for 4 weeks until the wounds have had a chance to completely heal.

Is it okay for me to go to my dentist after I have had my breast augmentation?

Dr. Rao recommends that you wait at least 6 months before dental cleaning or dental work unless absolutely necessary.


Breast Reconstruction

I am going to have a mastectomy for breast cancer. What are the options for my reconstruction?

The type of reconstruction depends on several factors:

  • The need for radiation
  • Body habitus
  • The presence of previous scars

The options include implant based reconstruction and using your own tissue from either your abdomen, back or buttock to re-create a symmetrical breast. Dr. Rao will discuss all of your options and assist you to make an informed decision that provides you with a natural-appearing breast.

Is breast reconstruction done at the same time as my mastectomy?

The timing of reconstruction depends on whether you will need adjuvant treatment such as radiation and what type of reconstruction will be used to help you achieve the best symmetry.

Is breast reconstruction after mastectomy covered by my insurance?

Yes. All phases of your breast reconstruction including nipple areolar reconstruction are typically covered by insurance by law.


Breast Reduction

I am experiencing back and neck pain and interested in getting a breast reduction. How successful is it at relieving back and neck pain?

By removing excess breast tissue, Dr. Rao can eliminate the unnecessary stress on your neck and back while at the same time reshaping your breasts to give them a youthful and natural appearance. The satisfaction rate after breast reduction is extremely high.

Is breast reduction covered by my insurance?

Breast reduction is usually covered by insurance if we are able to establish that your back, neck or shoulder pain is secondary to the excess weight of your breast.


Tummy Tuck

I haven't been able to eliminate my baby weight since my delivery. What can I do to restore my flat abdomen?

Pregnancy not only causes stretching of skin but it also causes weakening of the abdominal muscles. Having a tummy tuck will eliminate excess skin. During the procedure we will plicate your abdominal muscles with sutures to create a firm abdomen.

What is my recovery after a tummy tuck?

You should plan on setting aside 2 to 3 weeks to recover from surgery. You will be placed on activity and lifting restrictions for up to 6 weeks. It takes about 6 to 8 weeks for all of your wounds to heal.


Body Contouring after Weight Loss

I underwent bariatric surgery and lost a significant amount of weight, but I have a lot of excess skin. What can I do to eliminate the excess skin?

The redundant skin that persists after your weight loss is best treated with surgery, such as an arm, thigh or body lift.

When is the best time for me to undergo body contouring after massive weight loss?

Your body has undergone massive changes within a short amount of time, and there are several factors that have to be considered before you can undergo body contouring. Ideally your weight should be stable for at least 3 months with no major fluctuations, and you should be within 10 to 15% of your goal weight. A preoperative nutrition assessment is performed to ensure that your wounds will be able to heal.

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