Learn answers to frequently asked questions about the Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital.

Q: How do I make a plastic surgery appointment?

A: After you have selected a plastic surgeon, you can contact the physician's office directly to schedule an appointment. If you have questions about which surgeon is right for you, please contact our Program Manager at 877-424-5678.

Q: What is the difference between cosmetic and reconstructive surgery?

A: Cosmetic surgery includes procedures that are aimed to enhance appearance and is generally not covered by health insurance because it is not medically necessary.

Reconstructive plastic surgery includes procedures that improve or repair abnormalities of the body that have functional implications. Most reconstructive surgery procedures are covered by a patient’s health insurance plan, although each is considered on a case-by-case basis.

Q: How much does plastic surgery cost?

A: During your initial consultation, the plastic surgeon will determine if your treatment needs are medically necessary or cosmetic. Our team will work closely with your insurance plan to provide medical documentation and obtain authorization for any surgical services that are deemed medically necessary; you will be responsible for any co-payments and/or deductibles required by your insurance company. Cosmetic treatments are not covered by insurance. The cost of the treatment plan will be determined during your initial consultation.

Q: How long does the surgery take?

A: The length of surgery varies based on the type of plastic or reconstructive surgery procedure. Minor plastic surgical procedures may be completed in less than two hours; more involved procedures may require more time. When you meet with your physician, he or she will provide you with this information.

Q: What kind of anesthesia will be used?

A: Depending on the type of plastic surgery procedure, the physician's recommendation, your overall health, and your own preference, you may receive either local or general anesthesia. The type of anesthesia will be discussed in detail with an anesthesiologist before surgery as part of the routine pre-surgical process.

Q: What are the risks involved with cosmetic plastic surgery?

A: Any surgery has some level of risk associated with it, even if there is only a remote chance of a particular complication. Your surgeon will thoroughly review the possible risks and benefits of your surgery with you during your consultation.

Q: What is the typical recovery process?

A: There is some variation to recovery with every patient. Your physician will review the typical recovery as well as the ranges of recovery. Every patient tolerates pain post-operatively in a different way. Please refer to our Procedure and Aftercare Information documents for more information.

Q: Why is it so important for my plastic surgeon to know detailed information about my personal and family health history, even if I am only having a simple cosmetic procedure?

A: This information is important in order to plan for the safest possible treatment plan. As a patient, you can play an important role by providing a full and complete health history to your surgeon.

Q: How long will the results of plastic surgery last?

A: This is a question to discuss with your plastic surgeon during your initial pre-surgical consultation. The answer depends on your age, your general health, and the type of plastic surgery procedure.

Additional Information

Choosing a qualified plastic surgeon is important for a patient's outcome. All Massachusetts General Hospital surgeons are board certified through the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS)

Mass General is accredited by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations and has an outstanding safety record. All surgeries are performed on-site at Mass General in one of our fully accredited operating rooms.

Please feel free to contact your plastic surgeon's office directly. If you do not have an existing relationship with a surgeon and would like to speak with someone directly, please call 877-424-5678 or send an e-mail to MGHPlasticsurgery@partners.org.