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Notice: Dr. Capriotti has retired.

FAQs – Houston Cosmetic Surgery – Dr Capriotti

Introduction to Laser Surgery

Q: What is Laser Light?

A: Laser Light (Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation) is a pure, focused beam created in a safe electromagnetic environment. This very special form of light can be used by a skilled surgeon as a “knifeless scalpel.”In the hands of a skilled surgeon, the laser offers incredible precision. When employed by a Cosmetic Surgeon–a physician who specializes in skin rejuvenation and understands the complexity of its tissue–the laser can excise skin literally layer by layer.
Laser and Cosmetic Procedures: The laser may provide superior results in many procedures which previously required a “conventional” scalpel, including,

  • Facial wrinkles and lines
  • Scarring acne and other types
  • Facial dilated capillaries and veins
  • Facelift
  • Hooding of upper eyelids (eyelid lift)
  • Bagging of lower eyelids (eyelid lift)

Q: What are the advantages of Laser Surgery?

A: Because Dr. Capriotti operates a state-of-the-art surgery center containing two operating rooms which are comparable to those found in hospitals, he can perform all of the procedures in his own facilities, saving patients thousands of dollars compared to hospitals or even out-patient surgery centers. The convenience factor and the financial aspect are two major advantages of laser surgery.

With laser surgery, your skin returns to normal in record time, unlike traditional scalpel surgery which requires weeks or months before optimal results are visible. Laser surgery eliminates the need for prolonged recovery by reducing post-operative problems, including unsightly “black and blue” marks that were once considered a normal part of the healing process.

Q: Five Important Advantages of Laser Surgery:

  • The laser provides the ultimate precision in this kind of surgery.
  • Because the laser light seals blood vessels as it cuts, laser surgery is noted to have remarkably little bleeding during surgery. Thus, there is significantly less bruising and swelling in the post-operative course, resulting in a much speedier, more pleasant recovery
  • The laser light also seals nerves as it cuts, thus almost always resulting in (a) less pain during surgery and (b) virtually no post-operative pain. The result is an almost pain free recovery.
  • The laser light sterilizes as it cuts. Therefore, there is a markedly lower incidence of post-operative wound infections.
  • Since there is almost no bleeding during surgery, the laser allows the Cosmetic Surgeon to perform the procedure more efficiently and safely.

Q: Is Laser Surgery Painful?

A: Most patients will feel little or no pain with laser surgery because local anesthesia of the treated area is carried out prior to the treatment. A concentrated, mid-infrared light cuts skin tissue and seals small arteries, veins and nerve endings. Because laser surgery is virtually bloodless, swelling and bruising are kept to a minimum. Major laser surgeries are performed in the office-based surgical facilities under local anesthesia and sedation. Some procedures (such as tattoo removal) may not require any anesthesia.
The laser light also seals nerves as it cuts, thus almost always resulting in (a) less pain during surgery and (b) virtually no post-operative pain. The result is an almost pain-free recovery.

Q: Does Laser Surgery leave scars?

A: Until recently, lasers used to remove facial wrinkles caused too much heating of surrounding tissue with an increased possibility of scarring. The Ultrapulse Carbon Dioxide laser emits high energy pulses for micro-seconds resulting in the vaporization of the wrinkle with very little effect to the surrounding area. Healing usually takes 7-10 days with little chance of scarring.

Q: Where is Laser Surgery Performed?

A: The Capriotti Cosmetic Surgery Center is one of the specialty facilities that provides options for laser surgery on an outpatient basis in our fully equipped, state-of- the-art surgical suites.

Breast Lift

Q: Who is a good candidate for a breast lift?

A: The usual candidates for breast lifts are women who have lost breast volume following pregnancy and have extra skin, low-positioned nipples and “older looking” breasts.

Q: How is the procedure performed?

A: Breast lifts are performed in a hospital or an outpatient surgery center, usually under general anesthesia. The procedure typically takes 1 ½ to 3 ½ hours and involves removing excess skin and relocating the nipple and areola to a higher position.

Patients with smaller breasts and minimal sagging may be candidates for a lift procedure that requires smaller incisions. Called a “doughnut mastopexy,” this procedure involves making round incisions around the areola and removing a doughnut-shaped area of skin. For more significant lifts, the scar is placed around the nipple and vertically down the breast. Occasionally a horizontal scar is placed in the breast fold.

For longer-lasting results, some women desire breast implants in addition to a lift. In these cases, the implant procedure is performed at the same time as the lift procedure.

Q: What can I expect from recovery?

A: Following surgery, your breasts will be bruised, swollen and sore for one to two weeks. You wll need to wear a surgical bra for the first week after surgery, and then a support bra for several weeks after that.
Following surgery, you may experience some loss of sensation in your nipples and breasts. Sensation gradually returns over weeks and months. However, some patients experience numbness for up to a year or so. On rare occasions, loss of sensation can be permanent.

Most women can return to work within one to two weeks. Avoid strenuous sports and lifting anything above your head for three to four weeks. If you become pregnant, your breast lift should not affect your ability to breastfeed.

Q: What are the risks?

A: All surgical procedures carry some risk. Although rare, risks associated with mastopexy include bleeding, infection, unevenly positioned nipples, permanent loss of sensation in your nipples or breasts, or problems with wound healing.

The procedure does leave permanent scars that may take some time to fade. Maximum fading takes approximately one year. Scar locations include an incision around the nipples, vertically down the breast and sometimes horizontally in the breast fold.

Tattoo Removal

Q: Is the process painful?

A: The MedLite laser emits light in very short flashes of light called pulses. The impact of the energy from the powerful pulse of light is similar to the snap of a thin rubberband or specks of hot bacon grease on the skin. The large majority of all patients do not require anesthesia.

Q: How many treatment sessions will it take to remove the tattoo?

A: On any professional tattoos requirements are usually 5-10 treatments and amateur tattoos average 4-5. Each treatment is approximately one month apart. The treatment numbers are approximate and the reaction of the tattoo varies as to the number of treatments required.

Q: Do all colors of ink disappear equally as well?

A: NO, oranges, purples, and browns, usually respond well. Greens are difficult to get out and may not respond at all although most are improved with continued treatment.

Q: Will the tattoo completely disappear?

A: In many cases yes. Greater than 95% fading of the tattoo may be accomplished. However, it is very important to know that over 100 tattoo inks are in use worldwide today, none of which are regulated by the FDA. Not knowing which tattoo ink, how deep or how much was used, makes it impossible for the physician to predict the degree of removal on any given tattoo. Depending on the tattoo, more than one type of laser may be required for its removal, since no single layer removes all colors. For example, the Q-switched YAG removes red, while the Q-switched Ruby laser removes green. Both lasers are available at our facility.

Q: What type of post-treatment care is necessary?

A: Usually there will be blistering associated with the treatment. An antibacterial ointment and a dressing will be applied to the area. The treated area should be kept clean with continued application of any ointment given to you by your physician. A shower can be taken the next day, although the treated area should not be scrubbed. In a few days the skin will return to normal and the ink will begin to fade.

Q: How much will removal cost?

A: In general, the cost will depend on the size of the tattoo and the colors involved since more than one laser may be required. Because we have lasers on site we are able to give the patient a “treat till gone” rather than a “per treatment” fee thus eliminating uncertainty about the final cost. The patient knows exactly how much it will cost to remove the tattoo before he or she ever starts treatment.

Laser Hair Removal

Q: Is laser hair removal permanent?

A: No method is absolutely permanent. Laser treatments affect the retardation of growth so that at the end of a year the hair growth is much less and the hair that does grow is finer and falls out easily.

Q: Is everybody a good candidate for hair removal?

A: The best candidates for the ruby laser are patients with light skin and dark hair. Dark skin patients are not good candidates because the pigment in the skin absorbs too much of the laser light.

Q: How many treatments are required?

A: We usually recommend 3 – 5 treatments in a years time for best results.


Q: How much weight will I lose?

A: Liposuction decreases inches but is not a weight loss procedure – usually 3 to 5 lbs., however, it is not uncommon for patients who have not been able to lose weight to do so after the procedure. Metabolism changes probably account for the phenomenon.

Q: Is it painful?

A: Because tumescent fluid containing an anesthetic is injected prior to any fat removal, pain in the immediate post op period is minimal. During the first week the patient experiences some soreness over the treated areas – much like the soreness that comes from the feeling of having exercised too much.

Q: How much does it cost?

A: The cost of the procedure depends on the number of areas treated and the amount of fat involved at each site. The exact charge will be disclosed at the time of the initial consultation and includes all lab tests, anesthesia fees, and operating room charges. The only additional fee is the cost of the post op garment and usually ranges between $30 – $100.

Q: How long do I wear the garment?

A: The garment is usually worn for three weeks after the surgery but may be worn a week or two longer if determined to be necessary by Dr. Capriotti.

Q: When can I return to work?

A: Return to work usually a few days to a week after surgery. Patients operated on Thursday often return to work on Monday.

Q: When can I resume full activity?

A: Full activity can start as soon as the patient desires and is physically able. There are no activity restrictions after liposuction.

Q: If I gain weight will it all go back to the treated area?

A: The fat cells in the treated area are permanently reduced in number. New weight will be distributed evenly over the remaining fat cells but the treated area will always be smaller or flatter than prior to liposuction.


Q: Will there be a permanent scar from my abdominoplasty?

A: Yes, but it is below the panty line. The incision is generally made from hipbone to hipbone just above the pubic area. Excess fat, tissue and skin is removed and the abdominal muscles tightened. An incision around the navel is also made so it can be repositioned for a natural look.

Q: Am I a good candidate for abdominoplasty?

A: The best candidates are men and women who are in overall good shape but have excess fat around their tummy area that exercise and diet simply cannot remove. Women who have had multiple pregnancies, but are finished having children, are also good candidates.

Q: How long will my abdominoplasty last?

A: Having a firmer, flatter abdomen following your abdominoplasty surgery should last for many years. However, if you gain or lose weight, or become pregnant, the skins’ natural elasticity may become lax and a second procedure may be appropriate.

Chin Implants


  • Desire for a stronger chin appearance.
  • This usually means more width, height, and projection.
  • Focusing on the features of a weak, small, recessed, narrow, or short chin.
  • This is mostly seen from the side view.
  • This may also be exaggerated by a large nose, so rhinoplasty often accompanies this procedure.


  • Anesthesia is usually a very light, general anesthetic and the procedure takes about one hour.
  • The incision is very inconspicuous and located under the chin in the crease, and is about one inch long.
  • The procedure involves making a space over the lower bone edge, trying out the correct size, then inserting the implant and closing the incision.
  • No drains and only a light dressing is used for a few days.
  • This can be combined with other plastic surgical procedures, most often surgery of the nose.


  • You can go home after several hours.
  • You can shower the next day.
  • There is only minimal pain that is mostly gone by the second or third day and easily controlled by medications.
  • Swelling is mild to moderate and peaks at two to three days then disappears rapidly over the next three weeks.
  • Minimal or no bruising is the norm.
  • Makeup can be applied the next day.
  • You can resume many activities within the first week, and most by at least three weeks.
  • The stitches are removed at seven days.
  • Expect to be off of work for only one to three days.


  • Beautiful, balanced and proportioned contour to the chin and entire lower face.
  • More confident and comfortable feeling about the facial proportions.
  • Lasts the rest of your life and always looks better than if you did not do it.
  • Natural and presentable appearance in the first week that just gets better over the next three to six months.

Submalar Augmentation


  • A flatness of the cheeks and lack of width or fullness to the face.
  • Sunken cheek bones.
  • A desire for a fuller, rounder chiseled or contoured look.


  • Anesthesia is a light general anesthetic.
  • The procedure is done in the outpatient surgical center and is very comfortable.
  • It involves a very inconspicuous well hidden incision high up inside the mouth and is about one inch long.
  • There are no dressings or bandages necessary.
  • This can be combined with other plastic surgical procedures.


  • You can go home and resume normal activities within days.
  • You can shower on the next day after surgery.
  • There is only minimal pain that is mostly gone by the next day and usually requires only minimal medications.
  • Swelling is mild to moderate and peaks at two to three days then disappears rapidly over the next three weeks.
  • Minimal or no bruising is usual.
  • There are no stitches to remove.
  • There is minimal time off work.


  • Beautiful, balanced and proportioned result and contour.
  • Lasts the rest of your life and always looks better than if you did not do it.
  • Natural and presentable appearance almost immediately that just continues to get better.


A: Not everyone is a candidate for cheek implants or malar augmentation. Malar augmentation is performed to add definition to the face and to help improve facial harmony. A number of different types of implants are available. Your natural cheek structure and the desired result will determine the type of implant suitable for your needs.


A: The incision is placed between the upper gums and the cheek, the soft tissue is elevated, and a pocket is created over the cheekbone in which the implant will be placed. Local anesthetics with mild intravenous sedation or twilight anesthesia is given during the procedure so that you are comfortable. The surgery is performed in an office based surgery center that is state accredited.


A: You will experience some swelling for about two weeks and it may be difficult to chew. Numbness or tightness may be experienced for several weeks after the procedure. Bruising or discoloration is minimal.

Nasal Surgery

Q: Is nasal surgery painful?

A: If any packing is required there can be the discomfort of a stuffy or blocked nose but no pain.

Q: How long will it take for my nose to look normal?

A: It takes 4 – 6 weeks for the swelling to subside enough for the fine points of the surgery to become apparent, however, your nose will look better immediately.

Q: Is there much bruising?

A: With today’s techniques bruising is minimal and what there is disappears within a week.

Q: Will insurance cover my surgery?

A: Insurance will usually cover that part of the surgery which improves function, i.e; breathing. Prior approval is usually necessary before the insurance company will consider payment. Check with your insurance carrier.

Q: When can I return to work?

A: Usually the 5th or 6th day after surgery when the splint is removed and all packing has been taken out if any was used.