Perry C. Ritota, M.D.   Ph. 201-342-7333   Fax 201-342-7333

FAQs (frequently asked questions)

Who is a candidate for plastic surgery? The best plastic surgery candidate is someone with realistic expectations and an understanding of the limitations set by medicine, technology, and each patient's own body. Good candidates have a strong self-image, and well-developed reason for pursuing a plastic surgery procedure. They are looking for improvement of a physical trait, knowing that while this positive change may enhance their self-image, it will not change people's perception of them.

Is there a "right" age to pursue plastic surgery? There isn't any overarching rule as to the right age for plastic surgery. The appropriateness of a certain procedure should be determined more on a case by case basis, looking at the individual's unique body type and aging process. There are age tendencies for certain procedures. For example, it is infrequent that a face lift is performed on a patient under the age of 30. Other procedures, such as an arm lift may be performed on older patients due to skin losing elasticity due to age, or younger patients due to dramatic weight loss.

Is plastic surgery covered by insurance? When the plastic surgery procedure is being performed for cosmetic reasons, insurance will not be involved. When the surgery is necessary for reconstructive purposes it may be partially or fully covered by insurance.

What is the difference between cosmetic and reconstructive surgery? Cosmetic plastic surgery is performed to enhance or change a healthy, normal, functioning part of the body. Only the patient's desire for physical improvement necessitates cosmetic plastic surgery. Reconstructive surgery is intended to correct a physical abnormality caused by a birth defect, disease or tumor or physical trauma. The goal may be to restore function or to achieve physical normality.

Where is plastic surgery performed? In our practice, procedures are performed in a surgical suite on the campus of Hackensack University Medical Center, or in the main operating room of the medical center for those patients who may wish to stay overnight.

How much pain is involved in plastic surgery? Each plastic surgery procedure carries a different level of discomfort, and requires different methods of anesthetizing. The patient's preferences for safety and comfort, as well as personal pain threshold, can help determine what type of anesthesia will be used. Minor, non-invasive surgeries might involve a topical anesthetic, while minor invasive surgeries may call for local anesthetic or local combined with sedation. In more involved surgical procedures, general anesthesia is usually used. Each patient will tolerate pain postoperatively in a different way, and we consider this. While some patients may describe the pain as an ache, others experience greater discomfort. Appropriate pain medications are prescribed for the postoperative patients, and these help minimize discomfort. Most facial cosmetic operations have minimal discomfort postoperatively.

Is plastic surgery outpatient or inpatient? Most plastic surgery procedures are performed on an outpatient basis. In some cases, usually when the surgery is very extensive or complications arise, an overnight stay might be required.

What can I expect from my consultation? You will be interviewed by a nurse and Dr. Ritota. A treatment plan will be formulated for you. The necessary steps in managing your care, as well as maintaining necessary information for insurance will be discussed at this visit.


Dr. Ritota's office is located at Hackensack University Medical Center located seven miles west of New York City, in Hackensack, New Jersey. Dr. Ritota serves northern New Jersey and the New York metropolitan area.

20 Prospect Avenue
Hackensack, NJ 07601