Our friendly staff is here to answer all of your questions. Here are a few of our most commonly asked questions:
- Will I have to arrive at the hospital prior to my surgery ?
You should plan on arriving approximately 1 ½ - 2 hours before your surgical start time given to you by our office staff. This will allow you time to meet with Dr. Merrick, the anesthesiologist and pre-op nurses to properly prepare you for surgery and answer any remaining questions that you may have.
- Will I have to remove my jewelry before surgery?
For safety and security reasons, we highly recommend that you leave any jewelry and other valuables at home rather than wear them in for your procedure.
- Do I need a referral to see Dr. Merrick?
Referrals are not required by our office, but they may be required by your insurance carrier. We highly recommend calling your insurance carrier before your appointment so they can answer this question directly.
- What insurance companies do you work with?
Our friendly office staff will be happy to help you determine coverage levels with your insurance carrier.
- Will my surgery be prior authorized through my insurance company?
Yes. Our office staff will call your insurance company and prior authorize your procedure. However, for specific coverage questions, we highly recommend that you contact your insurance carrier directly.
- How much do your services cost?
Our office staff will be happy to provide you with an estimate before your treatment. Most surgical procedures also require an office consultation beforehand that will help us more accurately determine the costs.
- Is there a fee for cosmetic surgery consultations?
Consultations are a necessity for surgical procedures so the surgeon can discuss your expectations then provide you with care options. The surcharge for this consultation with the physician is $65.00. However, that cost is credited back to you for any future services or products from our practice. Consultations with our Aesthetician are complimentary.
- Can I do anything to lessen the appearance of my scar?
Scar massage helps to lessen the appearance of scars and greatly impacts the appearance of scars long term. Scar massage should occur 5 minutes in the morning and 5 minutes at night. Scar massage should begin no sooner than one week after suture removal. We recommend the use of lotion to provide lubrication to more easily facilitate the massage. Massage should begin superficially, but proceed to a deeper massage as the weeks go by. In sun exposed areas such as the face, ears, and arms, the lubricant or lotion that is used in the morning should be a sun-blocking agent, on that is protective against both UVA and UVB rays.
Scar maturation occurs over the first 12 months following surgery. Therefore, scar massage can be effective at changing the appearance of scars and improving the coloration, the contour irregularities, and overall appearance of the scar during this time. We recommend proceeding with scar massage for 5 minutes twice a day up to the point that the patient no longer notices and irregularities in the scar.
- When will I get my sutures taken out?
It depends on the type of surgery you have undergone. Usually anything on the facial area is around 5-7 days following the procedure; whereas for upper extremity and lesion excisions it’s roughly 10-14 days. Sutures are taken out at our office by a certified medical professional.
- What can I do for pain management before or after surgery?
It is recommend that to control pain and swelling after surgery you alternate between taking an anti-inflammatory, such as ibuprofen, and your prescribed pain medication. An example of this would be Vicodin taken at 8:00 am followed by Ibuprofen taken at 10:00 am then Viocdin taken again at 12:00pm and then Ibuprofen taken at 2:00 pm. The idea is that every two to three hours you are taking something for pain management.
- Will Dr. Merrick talk with me before and after the procedure?
Yes, it is very important to Dr. Merrick to keep clear and open communication with all of his patients. He makes every effort to meet with each patient before and after their procedures to answer any questions.
- Are there any medications I should stop taking before my procedure?
In general, you should stop taking any aspirin, baby aspirin, ibuprofen, and any products containing Vitamin E for 7 days prior to your procedure. If you have questions regarding specific medications, please consult your primary care provider.
- Where can I purchase Latisse or Skin Ceuticals products?
These quality products can be purchase at our clinic in Eau Claire. We are located at 719 W. Hamilton Avenue (Suite A), Eau Claire, WI 54701. You may also call our office at 715.514.2550 and we will mail your products to you.
- What’s the difference between BBL(Broad Band Light Laser) and laser treatments?
Each procedure will generate individual results. However, in general, BBL treats irregularities in skin pigmentation and helps create an even skin tone. Laser treatments, on the other hand, are aimed at reducing or eliminating the appearance of fine lines/wrinkles and improving skin texture.
- What is the recovery time for laser and BBL treatments?
We do our very best to communicate your expected recovery time with each procedure. The recovery time with laser and BBL treatments depends on your skin type and the depth/intensity of each procedure. Downtime is usually estimated to be 1 day for every 10 microns of laser depth during your procedure. (ie. a 20 micron procedure would require 2 days of downtime.)
- Can I have more than one laser/BBL treatment on the same day?
Absolutely, just ask our office staff or your technician about the procedures that you would like performed. While multiple procedures can be performed on the same day, they should be performed in a specific order in order to achieve the best results.
- Will I need to stay out of the sun following laser or BBL treatments?
Yes. Sun exposure before your skin is fully healed can cause hyper-pigmentation and impact the effectiveness of your procedure. Your technician will be able to give you specific recommendations concerning sun block usage as well as how long you should avoid exposure to direct sunlight.
- Is it possible for pigmentation to return after a BBL treatment?
The results of BBL treatments can vary depending on the patient’s skin type as well as post-procedure skin care regimens and exposure to direct sunlight. For best results, follow the post-procedure instructions given to you by your technician.
- How long does BOTOX last?
The effects of BOTOX can vary depending on the patient. However, the results of BOTOX typically last anywhere from 3-6 months.
- Is there a risk of getting BOTOX after the flu shot?
The effects of the flu shot can be compromised if BOTOX is administered within a close time frame. We recommend spacing the two at least 3 weeks apart.