One of the scariest parts of getting a plastic surgery is the possibility of receiving a botched surgery. Luckily, one of the most important factors of a successful plastic surgery story is in your control as the patient.
Successful surgeries always begin with successful consultations, and many unfavorable plastic surgery experiences could have been avoided if the patient got more out of their consultation. You should definitely be more than adequately prepared for your consultation as its your chance to figure out whether the plastic surgeon and the surgery is not only in well-qualified and capable hands, but also that it’s right for you at that moment.
While there might not be such a thing as a bad or dumb question, there are certain questions that are necessary to ask during your consultation. These questions are absolutely critical in ensuring that your plastic surgery experience will meet strong standards of quality and safety.
So, in any plastic surgery consultation, make certain that you ask these following questions (and don’t continue the process unless your surgeon provides you with satisfactory answers in return):
1. Are you board certified?
This question is of the utmost importance, and we recommend you start here. Begin the consultation by asking whether the plastic surgeon is board certified by the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery. By confirming that the surgeon is board certified, you will get the answer to many other highly importantly questions regarding the surgeon’s qualifications, experience, training, and patient safety standards.
By ensuring they are board certified, you can feel well-assured that you will undergo your surgery in a nationally-accredited and state-certified facility that upholds a very safe and professional setting. You can also ensure that your plastic surgeon has spent more than enough time going through extremely intensive and highly specialized training.
These are very important things that you need to be careful of because here in the U.S. any physician can legally perform cosmetic surgery even without any previous training in cosmetic surgery. Unfortunately, there are many under-qualified plastic surgeons out there, so make sure yours is board certified.
2. How often have you performed X procedure?
Another important question you should ask in order to avoid a bad plastic surgery is how many times and how often the surgeon performs the particular procedure you are looking to undergo. By figuring out how practiced the surgeon is in regards to a particular procedure can help you figure out how comfortable you are having them perform it on you. While they may not always specialize in your procedure, make sure they performed it before and continue to do them every so often.
You can also ask related questions with this, like whether they have before and after pictures of patients who underwent the procedure with that plastic surgeon. You can even ask if you can talk with any past patients about their experience.
Once you determine you’re talking to a well-qualified and practiced plastic surgeon, you can figure out whether you’re a good candidate for the procedure. Don’t let the surgeon cheat you out of a comprehensive answer. Remember, what’s mostly business for the surgeon is your everyday, real-life body, so don’t be scared of being extra sure.
4. What should I expect for recovery and possible complications?
This is very important in determining whether the surgery is right for you or whether the time is right for you. Make sure the plastic surgeon outlines a very extensive recovery plan you can expect to make sure it works well with you and your life at that point.
Also, when discussing possible complications, never accept any answer that basically says there are no risks or possible complications as there always are with surgery, especially many cosmetic procedures. This is also a good time to figure out whether the plastic surgeon or one of their nurses will be readily available to speak with you for any questions or concerns after the surgery.
5. How much will the procedure cost in total?
Again, it’s important to remember that this is half business for the plastic surgeon, which means any advertised or listed prices can be misleading. With facility costs, surgeon fees, and anesthesia costs among many other small fees and costs, you want to make sure you completely understand what you’re getting yourself into pricewise. Make certain that you leave your consultation with a total cost you can expect to pay so there’s no surprises when it comes time to pay (so long as everything else checks out too).
At the end of the day, what questions you will ask the plastic surgeon during a consultation depend on your wants and needs. However, the questions described above are essential to ask in every case, so make sure you don’t forget to ask those. Never feel like you’re asking too many questions, dumb questions, or the wrong questions. Surgery of any kind is a very serious matter and you need to be definite that you are putting yourself in the right situation for you.