Congratulations to Dr. Joyce Chen on being elected Chairman,
Department of Plastic Surgery, Hoag Hospital Newport Beachand Hoag Hospital Irvine!


Plastic Surgery Frequently Asked Questions

Am I a good candidate for plastic surgery?

Individuals in good general health are typically good candidates for plastic surgery. Being in good health greatly reduces the risk of complications occurring during surgery and leads to a quicker recovery. During the initial consultation with Dr. Joyce Chen, our board certified plastic surgeon, it is important to openly discuss any previous medical history, plastic surgery goals, and any concerns, so that she can make an informed and realistic assessment about your candidacy for plastic surgery.

It is also very important for prospective patients to have realistic expectations of their surgery results. Plastic surgery is both a science and an art, neither of which is perfect. Having reasonable goals and discussing them during the initial consultation with Dr. Chen can help patients attain realistic expectations from their surgery, based on individual body type, tissue quality, size, and age.

Is plastic surgery safe?

All surgical procedures are accompanied by a certain degree of risk, whether the procedures are for medical or cosmetic reasons. Dr. Chen is a board certified plastic surgeon, a diplomate of the American Board of Plastic Surgeon, and adheres to the highest safety standards to minimize risks and complications. She and her expert team are dedicated to making your operation go smoothly. They will carefully review your medical history and current health condition before deciding if it is safe for you to proceed with surgery.

It is important that you fully disclose all pertinent information so that Dr. Chen and her team are able to make an accurate assessment of the risks involved. They will take every precaution necessary to reduce the possibility of any complications during and after your procedure.

What is the right age for plastic surgery?

Due to the variety of procedures available in plastic surgery, there can be no hard and fast, blanket rule on the right age for plastic surgery, although age will be taken into consideration when planning your operation. People of all ages have taken advantage of the image enhancement offered by plastic surgery. Dr. Chen is both an adult and pediatric plastic surgeon, and thus is your “family” plastic surgeon, with expertise in both adult and pediatric plastic surgery.

It is important to realize the limitations of plastic surgery, which cannot fix every situation or reverse the aging process. What is a good procedure for one person may not be an appropriate procedure for another person. Dr. Chen and her staff at Pacific Plastic Surgery Institute, PC are committed to making your plastic surgery experience an enjoyable and successful one.

What happens during my initial consultation?

During your initial consultation, Dr. Chen will discuss your desired goals and expectations, review your medical history and current health, and make an assessment on whether the procedure(s) in question are right for you. This is a good time to ask specific questions about the procedure, so that you are fully prepared, mentally and emotionally, for surgery.

Dr. Chen will discuss the results that can be achieved and make sure that you understand the potential risks and complications.

Can I have multiple procedures performed during the same operation?

Dr. Chen often performs multiple procedures during one operation, which allows patients to save you the expense of paying the operating room and anesthesia costs more than once. The decision to have multiple procedures done depends on which procedures are being done, the extent and complexity of the surgery, the operating time, and your age and health. Ultimately, Dr. Chen will decide whether or not it is appropriate to include multiple procedures in your operation.

Is plastic surgery outpatient or inpatient?

Most plastic surgery procedures are performed on an outpatient basis, with some exceptions, depending on the complexity, duration, and/or baseline health of the patient. During your initial consultation, Dr. Chen and staff can let you know if your procedure will be outpatient or inpatient. For patients who are traveling a distance for surgery, there are aftercare facilities in the area that can take care of patients at reasonable nightly rates with or without nursing care. Our office can assist in coordinating the aftercare for any patients interested in such services.

Does it really matter where the surgery is performed?

The American Society of Plastic Surgeons recommends that patients select a surgeon who is board certified and has operating privileges at medical facilities credentialed in plastic surgery procedures. Dr. Chen is board certified in plastic surgery and holds privileges at both Hoag Presbyterian Hospital at both the Irvine and Newport Beach locations, as well as at certified surgical centers throughout southern Orange County.

Is plastic surgery covered by insurance?

If the surgery is for reconstructive purposes, insurance may cover your procedure. For cosmetic surgeries, insurance usually does not cover these surgeries. Dr. Chen can help you determine if, and to what extent, insurance may be able to help cover the cost of the surgery. Some examples of procedures sometimes covered by insurance include breast reduction to improve back pain caused by heavy breasts, eyelid surgery to remove excess, sagging skin hindering vision, nose surgery to improve breathing, or tummy tuck/panniculectomy to remove excess tissue and skin after weight loss.

Insurance providers are required by law to cover breast reconstruction surgery and any additional operations necessary to create symmetry in the breast. Your insurance policy is a contract between you and your insurance company, and your specific benefits may vary depending on your policy. Please contact your insurance provider to obtain the specific benefits of your policy. If your surgery is covered by insurance, pre-authorization is usually required, and our office is happy to assist you with the process.

Are there ways to finance plastic surgery that is not covered by insurance?

In addition to accepting most major credit cards, cash, and checks, our office also accepts Care Credit with interest free and financing options. Care Credit is the only financing company endorsed by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. Care Credit can provide credit lines with monthly payments for most budgets. You can go online at to fill out a patient application and receive an immediate decision regarding credit approval.

Are there any products or behaviors I should limit to prepare for surgery?

There are a number of steps you can take to optimize your surgical results, including:

  1. Discontinue taking any non-prescribed supplements (vitamins, minerals and herbal products) one to two weeks before surgery.
  2. Discontinue smoking at least six weeks prior to surgery to avoid healing problems and other medical complications following surgery.
  3. Avoid aspirin and ibuprofen two weeks before surgery to minimize bleeding risks during and after surgery.

Also, you want to be at your best health at the time of surgery. For this reason, if you develop a cold, fever, pimples, rashes, or open wounds, please contact our office immediately to reschedule your procedure and minimize the risk of surgical complications.

Please contact us if you have any additional questions. We look forward to meeting you and becoming a part of your transformational journey!