Facial reconstruction is a very personal type of surgery because of its location.

Patients need to discuss these surgeries extensively with their surgeon in order to ensure they are on the same page.

Because of how personal this type of surgery is, we reached out to Jon-Paul Pepper, MD, director of the USC Facial Nerve Center at Keck Medicine of USC to ask him what the best three questions you should ask your facial reconstruction surgeon are.

Dr. Pepper says these are the best 3 questions, and explains why:

1. How long will it take to heal from this surgery?

Simply put, surgery causes stress. Facial surgery can cause a bit more stress to patients because of the importance of the face to human identity. Knowing how long it takes to heal will help set your expectations through the surgery.

2. Will additional surgery be needed?

The stress from an event like this can be minor, yet at times it can be major. Most of this depends on your personality and other factors. Regardless, with any type of stress we experience in our lives, it helps to be prepared and know not only the goal, but also how long everything will take. The only way to achieve this is through a discussion of surgery with your physician.

3. How many times have you done this procedure and what do you see as the positives and negatives of the surgery we are discussing?

By asking this question, you are able to see exactly how experienced your doctor is and learn more about the experience. This will help you feel more comfortable through such a rigorous procedure like a facial reconstruction surgery.

The relationship goes both ways though. As your surgeon, Dr. Pepper needs to know you well, and understand your life and who you are. Some of these surgeries are multi-staged, meaning that patients must go through several procedures in order to get the best possible result. The end goal is to get you back on track to living your life to the fullest — whatever that means for you personally.

To learn more about facial plastic and reconstructive surgery, visit http://ent.keckmedicine.org/treatments-services/facial-nerve-center/. To schedule an appointment with the USC Facial Nerve Center of Keck Medicine of USC, call (800)USC-CARE (800-872-2273) or visit http://ent.keckmedicine.org/patient-information/request-an-appointment/