Plastic Surgery In Raleigh: Everything You Need to Know

Whether you’re considering a cosmetic procedure to improve your health, enhance your features, or change your look, it is important to know that plastic surgery can have a huge impact on your life.

The decision to have plastic surgery is very personal. Whatever your reasons may be, it’s very important that you pick a surgeon you are comfortable with, and that he or she understands your goals and concerns. 

Synergy Face & Body is the premier plastic surgery center in Raleigh. Our Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon, Dr. Duncan Hughes, has completed training and fellowships under world-renowned plastic surgeons and performs countless surgeries on men and women from across the coast each year. 

One of the primary values at Synergy is patient education. So if you are considering plastic surgery in Raleigh, keep reading for our complete guide to what you should know before scheduling your consultation with our team.

What is plastic surgery? Is it different from reconstructive surgery?

The term “plastic surgery” most commonly refers to elective surgical procedures to reshape normal structures of the body to enhance their appearance or correct something a patient finds bothersome. 

Whether it’s straightening a crooked nose, removing excess skin from a patient who’s lost significant weight, or helping a mother get her pre-baby body back, the goal of most plastic surgery procedures is to give a patient greater self-confidence and add to their sense of well-being.

Reconstructive surgeries, on the other hand, are medically necessary procedures to correct abnormal structures of the body caused by birth defects, trauma, infection, tumors, or disease. The goal of reconstructive surgery is to improve the function of the structure but may also help create a more normal appearance for the patient.

To answer one of the more common questions we hear about the difference between the two: reconstructive surgery is typically covered by most health insurance policies, while plastic surgery is not. 

How to know if plastic surgery in Raleigh is right for you

There are a few key questions to ask yourself before deciding to undergo plastic surgery in Raleigh. 

Am I healthy enough for plastic surgery?

In general, the best candidates for plastic surgery are healthy adults with reasonable expectations. It is important to detail your entire medical history to any plastic surgeon you consult with to ensure there is nothing that may disqualify you.

All surgeries carry inherent risks. Therefore, it’s important that you be in the best condition to undergo the procedure to make a full, quick recovery. Some lifestyle factors or conditions that may indicate you are not healthy enough for plastic surgery in Raleigh include:

    • Diabetes
    • High blood pressure
    • Bleeding disorders
    • Heart disease
    • Depression
    • Obesity
    • Smoking
    • Alcohol or recreational drug abuse

What am I hoping to gain from plastic surgery?

Understanding the possibilities一and limits一of the procedure is important to ensure you are happy with the results. After all, the point of plastic surgery is not to turn you into someone else, but to help you feel like a better, more confident version of yourself. 

At Synergy, we help our patients set realistic expectations for their surgery with our state-of-the-art Vectra 3D imaging technology. This helps our patients see what the results could look like on their own body, rather than on someone else. 

Am I able to take the time to recover?

Depending on the procedure, you may need several days or even several weeks to recover. During your initial consultation with your plastic surgeon, they should discuss exactly how much time you will need to recover, if you need to arrange for a friend or family member to care for you, and what restrictions you will have. 

If you work, make sure you can afford to take time off, as your surgeon will restrict both work and lifestyle activities for a period of time after surgery. It’s imperative that you follow your provider’s instructions exactly, as this will ensure the best long-term results for both the procedure and your health.

Do I fully understand the risks involved with plastic surgery?

After it’s determined that you are in good physical & mental health, you have realistic expectations, and you can handle the recovery, you also must consider the risks involved. Namely, that you are fully informed about what will happen while you’re under general anesthesia. 

Plastic surgery is associated with very high success rates. However, you need to know of any complications associated with the procedure(s) you choose. 

The team at Synergy Face & Body will make sure you are informed on all possible side effects, risks, and details of the procedure well before your surgery. 

Choosing the best provider of plastic surgery in Raleigh

The results of your plastic surgery can only be as good as the surgeon you choose. Picking the right provider is arguably the most crucial decision to make when deciding whether to have plastic surgery in Raleigh. 

If you have already met with another plastic surgeon, don’t just stop there. Our team will be happy to provide a second opinion. Getting this outside perspective is an essential step in the process of fully evaluating your options and understanding the possibilities of plastic surgery.

Below are a few other questions you should ask any plastic surgeon you consult with.

Are you Board Certified?

Board Certification is not just showing that you can pass a test. Obtaining certification from The American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS) involves demonstrating certain levels of specialized education, training, experience, and expertise in plastic surgery. 

Make this the first question you ask any potential provider and then double-check with a quick search on the ABPS website.

How many times have you done this procedure?

For obvious reasons, you want to make sure you are not this surgeon’s first facelift. However, it can be equally important to make sure you’re not even within this surgeon’s first hundred. Though numbers do not always indicate expertise, they can be a good indicator of experience. The best surgeon for you will reassure you they regularly perform your desired procedure.

Where will the surgery be performed?

At Synergy Face & Body, we have a private operating facility on-site. Additionally, Dr. Hughes holds surgical privileges at all major Raleigh area hospitals. 

Even if you are having your surgery outside of a hospital, this is an important question to ask. Hospitals have rigorous requirements regarding surgeon training and patient safety records that must be met before granting surgical privileges. Holding operating privileges will demonstrate that your surgeon has undergone extensive credentialling, and will make you feel more comfortable and safe in his or her hands.

Additionally, some procedures are what we call “outpatient,” meaning that it does not require an overnight stay. Others are “in-patient,” meaning that the procedure requires an overnight stay. This will help us more closely monitor your healing and control your outcome in the period following your plastic surgery in Raleigh. 

Your overall aesthetic goals, the number of procedures we perform at once, and how invasive your procedures need to be will all factor into whether you will be required to stay overnight for observation.

Can I see before and after photos of your patients?

Plastic surgery is equal parts art and science. Each surgeon will have their own aesthetic sense and it is important to ensure that yours align. 

Pay attention to the surgeon’s before and after patient photos (which they should have readily available). Do the results he or she creates look too subtle, too obvious, or just right? Do their patients achieve results you’d like to emulate? If your philosophy and goals don’t match at the outset, it’s likely you won’t be satisfied with the results of your plastic surgery in Raleigh.

What plastic surgery procedures in Raleigh are offered by Synergy Face & Body?

Rhinoplasty (Nose Job)

A rhinoplasty, or as it’s more commonly called, a “nose job,” is a surgery to change the shape and/or size of the nose. Often, patients elect for a rhinoplasty if they feel the shape, size, or features of their nose disrupt their facial harmony. 

At Synergy, we are confident in our ability to help patients with this delicate, precise plastic surgery in Raleigh. Dr. Hughes can help to correct a crooked bridge, prominent bump, wide tip, or any other nasal feature that you find disruptive or bothersome! 

Recovery from rhinoplasty is relatively pain-free. Most patients afterwards report minimal swelling and only experience an overall “congested” feeling rather than pain. The procedure is an outpatient surgery and most patients can return to work within 10 days.

Brow Lift

Also called a forehead lift, a patient might have a brow lift if they have a low brow, a sagging brow that causes wrinkles, an asymmetrical brow, or if something else about the structure of their brow area causes them to feel less than confident. 

If your goal is to eliminate forehead wrinkles, this procedure offers results you cannot achieve with Botox® or fillers alone. This is also a great procedure to have alongside a facelift or eyelid surgery (more on these procedures below) for an overall refreshed and more youthful look.

The procedure is an outpatient surgery and initial healing typically takes 10 to 14 days. After your plastic surgery in Raleigh for a brow lift, you will have some swelling, bruising, numbness, and tightness in your forehead for the first week. 


As we age, our skin becomes less elastic and fat deposits decrease in some areas, which can create a worn, tired look. A facelift in Raleigh involves repositioning and tightening loose skin on each side of the face to return a more youthful facial contour. 

If you are seeking to address visible aging of the face, including the formation of jowls, drooping of the cheeks, laxity or banding in the face and neck, or marionette lines, a facelift from Synergy Face & Body may be the ideal procedure for you.

A facelift is the plastic surgery procedure with one of the longest associated recovery times. Though the surgery is commonly an outpatient procedure, your face will be wrapped with bandages for several days to reduce swelling and bruising. Most patients need to take 2 to 3 weeks off work and full recovery takes about 6 months. The good news? You can expect the results of your facelift to last 10 or more years!


FaceTite in Raleigh is an FDA-approved treatment that delivers radiofrequency (RF) energy beneath the surface of the skin to stimulate collagen production, tighten existing collagen fibers, and dissolve fat. 

If you are looking for a less invasive and costly solution to addressing skin laxity on the face and neck, FaceTite might be the perfect procedure for you! This is also a procedure that can be paired with liposuction of the face for more dramatic results, or with RF microneedling to stimulate collagen on the superficial level.

We perform FaceTite in our office in a quick, 45-minute procedure. We make a small incision in the treatment area, though you do not have to worry about any stitches or a scar. You will be awake during the treatment, but you will be numb with a local anesthetic. You can expect to experience slight bruising and swelling for up to 10 days, and we may require you to wear a compression garment for several days. 


Known as “Baby FaceTite,” AccuTite is another treatment in the Radiofrequency Assisted Lipolysis (RFAL) family that eliminates fat and tightens skin. AccuTite is ideal for smaller pockets of excess fat and lax skin on the face and body. 

Common areas we treat with AccuTite in Raleigh are the brows, nasolabial folds, lower face, neck, armpit fat, bra fat, knees, upper arms, and inner thighs. We insert a probe under the skin with an electrode on top of the skin. Radiofrequency energy flows between the two, liquefying fat and tightening the skin.

AccuTite is a quick procedure that we can complete in about 20 minutes in our Raleigh office. We provide patients local anesthesia to ensure their comfort throughout the treatment. Recovery time is also much quicker than FaceTite, with most patients returning to normal activities within 3 days of treatment. 

Eyelid Surgery

Over time, the eyelids stretch and the muscles supporting them weaken. Many experience droopy eyelids, sagging eyebrows, and bags under their eyes. Blepharoplasty, or eyelid enhancement surgery, can be performed on both the upper and lower lids to help patients look more awake and youthful. 

With our eyelid surgery, we can repair droopy eyelids, and remove excess skin, muscle, and fat to help patients appear more alert and younger. Additionally, eyelid surgery can correct impaired peripheral vision caused by severely sagging skin.

Eyelid surgery is a relatively quick outpatient procedure that we offer as part of our comprehensive menu of services for plastic surgery in Raleigh. Most patients will experience bruising and swelling during the first week of recovery and will require 1 to 2 weeks off work in order to heal. 

Breast Augmentation

The decision to have a breast augmentation is personal. Yet breast augmentation is one of the most popular choices for plastic surgery in Raleigh! 

Some of the most common reasons include the desire to have larger, fuller breasts, to correct asymmetry, to improve the shape of the breasts, or to feel more confident in and out of clothing.

At Synergy, we most commonly perform breast augmentations with either silicone or saline breast implants. Breast augmentations are infinitely customizable, and with the help of our 3D imaging technology, we will help you determine the perfect size and shape for your body.

This outpatient plastic surgery in Raleigh typically causes soreness and swelling for 5 to 7 days post-op. Most patients able to return to work within a week and return to regular exercise after four weeks.

More about breast augmentations at Synergy

Breast Lift

We commonly pair breast lifts with breast reduction or breast implants to help women achieve perkier, more youthful-looking breasts, though the surgery can be performed on its own, too. 

Breasts transform with age, pregnancy, and breastfeeding, which can often cause sagging or asymmetry. Patients come see Dr. Collins and the team at Synergy Plastic Surgery in Raleigh to rejuvenate their breasts and feel more confident in their bodies. 

A breast lift is an outpatient procedure and causes relatively minimal discomfort when performed alone. Patients recover at different rates, but many find they can return to work within 5 days and are fully healed within 6 weeks.

Breast Reduction

Disproportionately large breasts can cause problems in the neck, back, and shoulders, including significant difficulty carrying out daily activities and exercise. These effects may become so severe that a woman will seek plastic surgery in Raleigh—more than likely, for a breast reduction.

During breast reduction surgery, Dr. Hughes removes excess breast tissue and skin while bringing the remaining tissue back together to create a natural breast contour. We often pair this procedure with a breast lift to give the patient even more confidence in their new breasts.

Following this outpatient surgery, we will require you to wear a surgical bra for several weeks and you may have a tube inserted in each arm to drain excess blood and fluids for about a week. Patients may need to take up to two weeks off work and are fully healed within 6 weeks.


No matter how much you diet or work out, you can still have hereditary pockets of fat that resist your efforts. The only way to permanently eliminate these unsightly bulges on the thighs, hips, waist, abdomen, arms, calves, inside of the knees, or under the chin is with plastic surgery in Raleigh. 

Liposuction, the most popular choice for removing stubborn pockets of fat, is not a weight-loss procedure. Rather, it is precise, surgical body contouring. This procedure is most successful in patients with a BMI of 30 or below. At Synergy, Dr. Hughes performs various types of liposuction, depending on the patient’s unique goals and medical history.

This is an outpatient surgery that usually causes moderate soreness and swelling for a few days. We may instruct you to wear a compression garment to aid healing and plan to take 4 to 7 days off work to rest.


Much like its RFAL family members FaceTite and AccuTite, BodyTite uses radiofrequency energy to liquefy fat and tighten the skin. This is a perfect alternative to liposuction for those who want a less invasive and costly procedure.

Ideal candidates for BodyTite treatments are healthy adults with some fat and moderate skin laxity that they would like to address. Using BodyTite in Raleigh, we can treat loose skin on the abdomen, upper back, arms, thighs, knees, and breasts. 

We can perform this procedure in our Raleigh office under local anesthetic. Each treatment area takes approximately 30-45 minutes. You can expect your skin to feel tender after your appointment, with some swelling, bruising, and redness. Most patients require one week to 10 days for adequate recovery before returning to low-impact activities.

Tummy Tuck

Also called abdominoplasty, a tummy tuck surgically eliminates excess skin to improve the contours of the abdomen. Patients commonly come to Synergy for a tummy tuck because they are seeking plastic surgery in Raleigh after dramatic weight loss or after having children. 

A tummy tuck produces a firmer, younger-looking abdomen to create an overall slimmer and more toned appearance. The procedure can also help repair diastasis recti, or a separation of the stomach muscles, which is common after childbirth.

We consider a tummy tuck a major plastic surgery procedure. Afterwards, you can expect that your abdomen will be swollen and sore for several weeks. You may also have a drain tube inserted and wear a compression garment after surgery. You will definitely need a friend or family member to help you get around for 5 to 7 days.Plan on taking one to two full weeks off work.

Arm Lift

Arms have a tendency to gather excess fat or skin, creating a look that may cause a loss in self-confidence or avoidance of certain clothing. An arm lift is an effective and permanent way to contour your ideal arm shape. 

An arm lift is commonly paired with liposuction to remove excess fat before tightening and sculpting the arm. This plastic surgery removes excess tissue and fat from the upper arm and helps our patients feel more confident in swimwear and other clothing that requires bare arms.

Following the outpatient surgery, your arms will feel very tight. You will need to wear compression sleeves to keep swelling down and restrict your movement. Most patients require 2 or more weeks out of work and will take around 6 weeks to feel normal again.

Thigh Lift

The thighs are an area of the body we find most people feel self-conscious about, especially after a major weight loss. If you have an excessive thigh circumference that makes it difficult to find clothes that fit, or if you have excess skin on your thighs, a thigh lift from our plastic surgeon in Raleigh may be ideal for you.

There are multiple ways to customize a thigh lift for your individual needs. We will discuss the best option for you, based on your unique needs and goals, during an initial consultation for plastic surgery in Raleigh. We commonly add liposuction to thigh lifts to eliminate any excess fat under the skin before providing a more flattering contour.

After this outpatient procedure, patients experience soreness, bruising, and swelling. We will require you to wear compression garments and a drain to promote healing afterwards. You will probably need a friend or family member to help you around the house for several days. Plan on taking around 2 weeks off work.

Body Lift

If you have undergone a life-changing weight loss, and are now self-conscious about the excess, loose skin that has appeared all over your body, it may be time to reward yourself for your hard work with plastic surgery in Raleigh. 

Dr. Hughes performs upper, lower, or full-body lifts for patients. A lower body lift, also called a belt lipectomy, aims to tighten and contour the buttocks, hips, and thighs. With an upper body lift, we treat the arms with an arm lift and contour the breasts with a breast lift. A full-body lift combines both upper and lower lifts, along with contouring the skin around the waist. 

A body lift is a very extensive surgical operation that we offer as part of our plastic surgery services in Raleigh. Therefore, it may require an overnight stay in the hospital. Since we tailor the procedure to each patient and combine several surgical procedures, plan for about a month off work and three months off strenuous activities.

Mommy Makeover

Few, if any, life events cause bigger changes to the body than pregnancy and childbirth. Especially after having multiple children, a woman may feel that she doesn’t recognize her own body anymore, causing a significant decline in self-confidence. 

Luckily, plastic surgery can help eliminate excess fat, skin folds, and stretch marks, as well as correct sagging breasts or belly “pouches” that seem to stay despite diet and exercise. 

Mommy makeovers are not one size fits all. We customize our mommy makeover plastic surgeries to each patient depending on her unique goals and needs. Most commonly, we perform a combination of breast augmentation, breast lift, liposuction, or a tummy tuck to give these mommas their mojo back.

Come to Synergy Face + Body for the best plastic surgery in Raleigh

If you’re dissatisfied with your appearance and are ready to take the next step to feeling confident in your skin again, come talk with us about plastic surgery in Raleigh.

We are dedicated to providing the best plastic surgery services for our patients and we pride ourselves on upholding the highest standards in patient care and safety. Here are a few other reasons patients choose Synergy for plastic surgery in Raleigh:

The Latest Technology & Research

When you visit Synergy Face & Body, you can rest assured knowing your patient experience is backed by the most current research and technology available. 

Our team frequently attends ongoing training & seminars, and we invest large amounts of our time and money in procuring the latest imaging and surgical technologies for your convenience and well-being! 

Experienced Board-Certified Surgeon & Expert Team


Dr. Hughes, our Medical Director and resident Plastic Surgeon, is Double Board-Certified in Plastic Surgery and has completed a prestigious plastic surgery fellowship under world-renowned plastic surgeons.

Our incredible plastic surgery staff has dozens of years of combined experience providing top-notch patient care to ensure that you feel safe and comfortable before, during, and after plastic surgery in Raleigh.

Meet the entire Synergy Face & Body team

Top Patient Care

At Synergy Face + Body, we are committed to the individual care, safety, and satisfaction of each of our patients. Dr. Hughes, along with each member of our highly trained staff, are honored to play a role in your journey. 

Our success is not measured by the number of patients we treat, but rather by the quality of our results and the number of people we can help look and feel their best. 

If you are ready to experience what we can do for you with plastic surgery in Raleigh, use our virtual consultation tool to tell us about your unique areas of concern or contact us to schedule your free, in-person consultation today!

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