If you are considering cosmetic surgery, you have possibly done some research but have many different questions. When you have reached the point that you are ready for a consultation, you should come prepared with clear questions. It is a good idea to write them down so you do not forget anything important. These are the best questions to ask your plastic surgeon.
1. What are your credentials and what is your experience as a plastic surgeon?
Among the top of your questions to ask your plastic surgeon should be regarding credentials. Your primary care physician with refer you to a plastic surgeon but it is still important for you to build a relationship of trust. Ask the surgeon if he or she is “board-certified” as a plastic surgeon. Surgeons who are members certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery have been specifically trained to perform cosmetic procedures. They work in accredited medical facilities, have a strict code of ethics to follow, and have plastic surgery continuing education requirements to fulfill, including patient safety techniques.
2. How many procedures of this type have you performed?
Knowing the surgeon’s level of experience will help you to feel confident that you will be happy with the results.
3. Are there alternatives to surgery
Although you may have already decided on a procedure it is always a good idea to get the input of the surgeon. There may be ways to achieve the same results with nonsurgical treatments. The surgeon will be able to discuss the risks and benefits of surgery and the alternative so that you are able to make an informed choice.
4. What do I need to do to prepare for the surgery?
In some cases, you may be asked to stop smoking, lose weight, or follow a specific diet prior to a surgical procedure. You may also be required to limit or stop taking certain medications. It is important to inform the surgeon and anesthesiologist if you have any allergies or conditions for which you take medication. Also mention any vitamins, supplements, and over-the-counter medications.
5. What are the risks?
There is risk with any surgery. Talk to the surgeon about risks so you can weigh the benefits against the risks before you make a decision.
6. How can I manage post-surgical side effects and complications?
Some side effects of surgery are easier to handle than others. Ask the surgeon that the possible side effects are and ask inquire about any medications he may prescribe to ease the healing process.
7. How will side effects or complications be handled?
If you have side effects or any complications once you are home, you will need to know who to call. Your surgeon will tell you who will be available to answer questions or address concerns. You will also want to ask if there will be additional costs incurred if you need additional treatment.
8. How long should I expect the recovery period to last and what should I expect?
Each surgery will have a different recovery period so find out what yours entails. Ask how long it should take to heal and what to do if it does not seem to heal within that time frame. Also, ask how you can expect to feel so that you know what is “normal” for the surgery you have had done.
9. Will I need to be off work or avoid any of my other daily activities?
Make sure to ask your surgeon what you can and can’t do after the surgery so that you do not slow your recovery time by trying to perform tasks that your body is not ready for. Every surgery has a different recovery period and your activity level will depend on the procedure.
10. Where and how will you perform my procedure?
Some surgeries are done in an office while others are done in a hospital. It often depends on the length of the surgery and the preference of your surgeon.
Vishal Kapoor, M.D. and Robert Schlenker, M.D. FACS are board certified plastic surgeons in the Beverly Hills area. If you have any questions about specific procedures or if you would like to book a consultation, they would be happy to help you.