Questions to Ask During Your First Plastic Surgery Consultation
Choosing to undergo plastic surgery can be one of the most physically and mentally transformative decisions a person can make. Much of the procedure’s success depends on finding the right specialist to address your specific aesthetic concerns.
Here are a few things you should consider when reviewing a plastic surgeon’s experience and credentials. If his answers to these questions are not satisfactory, keep looking – you’ll find that it’s worth speaking with several professionals before going under the knife.
Are you board certified?
You may be surprised to learn that not all doctors who perform cosmetic treatments are specifically trained in plastic surgery.
In many cases, board certification is what distinguishes a cosmetic doctor from a real plastic surgeon. Make sure that you are in the hands of a qualified professional by asking if he or she is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS), an independent organization that was created to help consumers make educated choices before undergoing aesthetic and reconstructive procedures.
Note that minimally invasive treatments – injectables such as Botox and fillers, namely — can in some cases be safely performed by non-certified professionals. But for anything requiring a scalpel, make sure your doctor has the proper credentials.
What is your area of expertise?
Just because your doctor is a board-certified plastic surgeon doesn’t mean that he is equally proficient in all aspects of the profession. For example, some plastic surgeons are recognized for their expertise in breast implant revision, whereas others specialize in deviated septum surgery and other facial procedures.
Take a look at your doctor’s website, and pay special attention to the patients’ reviews and pictures: although a plastic surgeon may list a wide range of surgical treatments on his site, you’ll most probably find that a large number of his patients underwent a specific type of procedure for which he is better known.
Also ask your doctor about the number of times he’s performed the specific procedure you’re interested in, and when he started practicing – obviously, you’ll want to go with a seasoned professional rather than trust a less experienced surgeon.
Where will the surgery be performed?
You should also be mindful of the medical facilities themselves, and favor doctors whose surgical centers have been adequately certified. One organization to know about is the Joint Commission, an independent, not-for-profit organization that accredits and certifies some 20,000 health care organizations and programs in the United States.
Also consider the logistics of accessing the medical facility where your procedure will be performed – is it on the same premises as the surgeon’s practice, or will you need to travel further to get there?
What’s included in the cost of this procedure?
Your primary criteria in choosing a plastic surgeon shouldn’t be the price – be weary of discounted offers, but also bear in mind that paying more doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll benefit from better care.
Several factors can have an incidence on the total cost of your plastic surgery procedure. The surgeon’s expertise, the clinic’s location (prices are generally higher in large metropolitan areas), and hidden fees such as anesthesia, medication and aftercare should all be taken into consideration.
In short, don’t be nervous about discussing cost right from the start, and ask to get your quote in writing.
One final consideration is personal recommendations – advice from your general practitioner or someone you know and trust can help you find an experienced plastic surgeon you will feel good about. Good luck!
Author Bio : Chris Barry is a staff writer and senior editor for Zwivel. He has written stories on everything from motorcycle gangs in the Caribbean to traveling the USA with Ringo Starr. His articles have been published in such high – and sometimes low – profile publications as Vice, Maxim and The National Post.