Every cosmetic surgery success story starts with a successful consultation. Your cosmetic surgery experience will greatly depend on how well you communicate with your plastic surgeon and work together to achieve realistic results. An understanding of your motivation, expectations, and goals is key to forging a successful partnership. It will also help both of you evaluate whether you are the right fit for each other as well as if the procedure you intend to get is the right choice for you. The basis of this understanding and potential partnership is knowing the right questions to ask.
While there are no wrong questions to ask a plastic surgeon during your consultation, below are some key questions you should include on your list when you meet with potential surgeons.
1. Are You Board Certified?
Confirming that a plastic surgeon is board certified by the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery answers several relevant questions regarding their training, experience, and commitment to safety. However, you also want to inquire about any specific training and experience the surgeon has undergone.
2. How Often Do You Perform this Procedure?
Although there are exceptions, the more frequently a surgeon has performed a procedure or treatment, the better their expertise and specialization in it.
3. What Is the Timeline for this Procedure?
In addition to planning for recovery time, you also need to make time for pre-op preparations such as imaging, bloodwork, and other tests. Asking this question will help you get a better sense of when to schedule your procedure and what preparations you may need to make, such as taking time off work.
4. What Type of Anesthesia Will Be Used?
In addition to learning whether the procedure requires anesthesia or sedation, you should also find out what type of anesthesia they will use and who will be administering it.
5. What Are the Risks Associated with this Procedure?
Any surgery, however routine, has the potential to run into complications. As such, ask about the associated risks and the protocols that are in place to deal with serious complications.
6. Do You Have Before and After Pictures?
In addition to seeing the results of the procedure, you will also get a sense of the surgeon’s aesthetic.</p.
7. Can You Put Me in Touch with Previous Patients?
If the surgeon is not recommended by a colleague or friend, ask to speak to a previous patient (preferably one who has undergone the same procedure) to get firsthand information on the surgeon, the practice, and the overall experience.
8. What Is the Cost Breakdown?
The prices of cosmetic procedures can vary greatly from surgeon to surgeon. Ask for a comprehensive overview of the procedure, including pre-op and post-op care, so you can budget accordingly.
9. How Much Downtime Is Associated with this Procedure?
While some cosmetic procedures can be performed over a lunch break, most require some time for recuperation. Ask the doctor about the recovery time, including common side effects, so you know when you can resume your normal activities. It is also important to understand what the recovery process requires and who to call in case of any questions or complications.
10. When Can I Expect to See the Results?
Although patience is key and recovery times vary, your surgeon should provide you with a general timeline of when you can start to see the benefits of the procedure.
Ask away. There are no wrong questions when it comes to a surgical procedure that you are investing your money in. Therefore, do not hesitate to ask any question that you have—the right surgeon will not be offended. Also, be observant about how the surgeon handles your questions. This will show you the level of service and care to expect and help you determine whether the practice is a good fit for you.