Frequently Asked Questions

Dr. Lucas has answered some questions we frequently hear from patients at our plastic surgery practice. Browse this page to learn more about cosmetic surgery costs and financing options, as well information regarding recovery after undergoing plastic surgery procedures.

How much does cosmetic surgery cost?

The price of cosmetic surgery has gone down over the years due to advanced surgical techniques. Therefore, cosmetic surgery probably does not cost as much as you think. During your first consultation with Dr. Lucas at The Lucas Center, you will discover that costs vary according to the type of procedure requested, the location of the procedure, the type of anesthesia used, and many other factors. The TLC staff will provide you with a detailed estimate and privately discuss these matters with you during your consultation.

Where will my cosmetic surgery take place?

The medical experience and surgical skills of Dr. Lucas allows him access to the best facilities in Knoxville. After meeting Dr. Lucas to determine which procedure(s) are best for you, we will arrange a date with a nearby outpatient day surgery center or hospital that best fits your schedule. You will arrive approximately two hours early to prepare for your surgery and then stay a few hours following the procedure. Most procedures do not require an overnight stay, but please arrange for a friend or family member to take you home after surgery.

How long will my recovery take?

Like every other medical procedure, healing time varies according to the type of surgery chosen and your body’s natural healing abilities. Recovery times are generally longer for major surgeries, including abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) and facelifts, but you can expect to be active in 7 to 14 days. Dr. Lucas and the staff at The Lucas Center (TLC) understand that plastic and/or reconstructive surgery is a life-changing event that does not simply end in the operating room. TLC Plastic Surgery is dedicated to helping you through every stage of your healing process so you can feel good about the decision you have made.

What are my payment options?

Patient’s wishing to undergo cosmetic surgery need to be aware that insurances generally do not cover these types of procedures (i.e. breast augmentation and abdominoplasty) therefore you, the patient, will be responsible for the doctor, hospital and anesthesia fees. While our office does accept multiple forms of payment (personal check, cash, credit card, money order, etc) all doctor and anesthesia fees are due approximately 10 days prior to your surgery. Payment options will be reviewed with you at your consultation appointment in a private setting.

Where can I find educational information regarding cosmetic procedures?

The following links will be helpful in learning about different cosmetic and reconstructive procedures. We encourage patients to visit these sites:

What accommodations are available if I’m from out-of-town or state?

Our office is conveniently located near several hotels which frequently provide accommodation for our out-of-town patients.

What is the difference between cosmetic and reconstructive surgery?

Cosmetic surgery is performed to reshape normal structures of the body in order to improve appearance and self-esteem. Cosmetic surgery is usually not covered by health insurance because it is elective. Reconstructive surgery is performed on abnormal structures of the body caused by congenital defects, developmental abnormalities, trauma, infection, tumors or disease. In general, reconstructive surgery is performed to improve function, but may also be completed to approximate a normal appearance. Reconstructive surgery is typically covered by most health insurance policies, although coverage for specific procedures and levels of coverage may vary greatly.

What is the recovery from cosmetic surgery like?

Each patient tolerates pain after surgery in different ways. Your surgeon will prescribe the appropriate pain medications to help minimize any discomfort. In general, most facial cosmetic operations have minimal discomfort post-operatively. Liposuction is slightly more uncomfortable, and operations that require elevation or tightening of the muscles-such as an abdominoplasty or breast augmentation can cause discomfort equal to a C-section.

Where will my procedure be performed?

Most elective surgeries are performed on an outpatient basis, at Park West Hospital.

How long will the benefits last?

The results of your plastic surgery depend on the procedure you have. In general, results from most plastic surgery procedures are long lasting if a healthy weight and overall healthy lifestyle is maintained.

How soon can I return to work?

The length of time it takes to recover after plastic surgery varies depending on the procedure performed and the person operated on. Most patients will require assistance for the first two days following surgery.

How many people undergo cosmetic surgery each year?

Over 15.6 million cosmetic surgical and nonsurgical procedures were performed in the United States in 2014 and an additional 5.8 million reconstructive surgery procedures were performed.

How many men have cosmetic surgery?

Men had over 9 percent of cosmetic procedures in 2010. The number of procedures (surgical and nonsurgical) performed on men was more than 1.1 million during the same year and continues to rise each year.

What are the most popular procedures for men?

The top surgical cosmetic procedure for men is Blepharoplasty or Eyelid Rejuvenation, Neck Lifts, Rhinoplasty and Gynecomastia (Male Breast Reduction).

How do I know what size breast implant is right for me?

The decision is based on a number of factors, including the patient’s desires, reasons for the surgery and overall health.
For example, are you doing it because you feel your breasts are too small relative to your body contour or are you unhappy with the size and firmness of your breasts following pregnancy, breastfeeding or major weight loss? Unevenness between the breasts can also be a motivating factor. Your surgeon can help you make the right decision during your pre-surgical appointment(s).

Will a partial face-lift take away wrinkles from lower face and neck?

This can only be determined after you are evaluated by a plastic surgeon, but any kind of plastic surgery in this area should improve your appearance.

Do face and neck exercises work to reduce sag?

No, they do not.

Does a person’s voice change after rhinoplasty (nose surgery)?

A few patients notice small change in their voice after rhinoplasty but this is uncommon. Professionals who rely on their voice, such as singers, should share any concerns with their surgeon, however, because the nose does play a role in how we sound.

What type of mini face lift can be done to raise cheekbones? What is the recovery time?

The available options can only be discussed after having an evaluation with a plastic surgeon. In general, recovery time from a mini face lift is approximately two weeks

How is a patient’s physical condition evaluated prior to plastic surgery?

A complete pretesting series of appointments is done prior to any surgery.

How does the cost of the neck lift compare to the cost of a facelift?

The facelift is somewhat more expensive because more surgery is performed. A neck lift is a more limited procedure.

What are the possible risks?

There are risks associated with any surgical procedures. Find out what they are, how often they occur and how they will be handled at your personalized consultation appointment with Dr. Lucas.

Are financing options available?

As a rule, cosmetic plastic surgery is considered “elective surgery” and is not covered by most insurance plans. If the service is not covered by insurance, we encourage you to ask about financing options at your consultation appointment with the Cosmetic Surgery Consultant.

Is surgery performed under general or local anesthesia?

Depending upon what is most appropriate for your particular situation, the surgeon will decide what type of anesthesia to use. Dr. Lucas will answer any questions you have.

Is there anything to do to minimize swelling or bruising?

Yes. Depending upon what the procedure, it might make sense to sleep in a reclining (not horizontal) position for one week following surgery to minimize the collection of fluids in the face and eyelids. Follow the instructions you will be given about making and administering your cold and warm compresses. These will not only reduce bruising and swelling, but they will also maximize and promote healing.

What is Cosmetic or Plastic Surgery?

Cosmetic surgery and procedures are treatments that change, restore, or enhance your appearance. They are sometimes called plastic surgery. There are many reasons for wanting to change or enhance your looks. If you have had burns or other injuries, were born with a birth defect, or want to change parts of your body for other reasons, you may choose to have plastic surgery.

How can I be sure that my surgeon has adequate training?

Good credentials can’t guarantee a successful outcome; however, they can significantly increase the likelihood of it. Patients are advised to find a doctor who is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS), the only board recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties to certify a surgeon in plastic surgery of the face and of the entire body. Certification by the ABPS is “the gold standard” for plastic surgeons because it signifies that the surgeon has had formal training in an accredited plastic surgery residency program. If your surgeon is ABPS-certified, you can be assured that your doctor:

  • Has completed at least five years of supervised surgical residency training in an approved program after completing medical school, including at least two years specifically in plastic surgery.
  • Has passed comprehensive cosmetic and reconstructive surgery exams.
  • Is qualified to perform cosmetic and reconstructive procedures – everything from liposuction and facelifts to intricate wound repair.

To verify a surgeon’s certification status, contact the American Board of Plastic Surgery at 215-587-9322 or visit the board’s web site at or the American Board of Medical Specialties at or by phoning 1-800-776-2378

How Do I Choose A Plastic Surgeon?

Take your time; although it is elective surgery, it is still surgery, and typically not something in which you need or should rush into. Do your research with regards to the specific plastic surgery procedure or medical spa treatment you’re interested in. Once you know both what you hope to achieve and how you hope to achieve it, schedule a consultation. At your consultation, you will not only have the opportunity to learn more about a specific procedure or treatment, but to ask questions.. For instance:

  • Are you board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery?
  • How long have you performed plastic surgery, specifically the procedure you’re interested in?
  • Do you primarily perform aesthetic (cosmetic) surgical procedures?
  • How often do you perform this procedure?
  • Who will actually perform the procedure?
  • Do you use board-certified anesthesiologists?
Is Board Certification by The American Board of Plastic Surgery important?

Absolutely! There are many self-proclaimed sound-alike boards, allowing some doctors to make claims as to super-specialization. Only one board is recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties and the American Medical Association for the certification of plastic surgeons – the American Board of Plastic Surgery.

Physicians certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery:

  • Have graduated from medical school
  • Have received specialized surgical residency training of a minimum of 5 years after medical school
  • Have successfully completed rigorous oral and written examinations in plastic surgery that evaluate candidates in medical knowledge, anatomy, patient safety, surgical techniques, patient selection, and ethics
  • Are held to high ethical standards
  • Are required to maintain their skills through continuing education

To ensure your plastic surgeon’s memberships, as well as his or her training, you can contact the state medical board, the American Board of Plastic Surgery (215-587-9322), the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (888 4-PLASTIC) and if it is an aesthetic (Cosmetic) procedure, the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (888 272-7711)

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