Plastic surgery consultation is an opportunity for patients to evaluate potential surgeons and to learn more about their options, benefits of each surgical maneuver, and possible risks and their appropriate contingency plan should they occur.
Meanwhile, plastic surgery experts share their tips on how a patient can get the most of his/her consultation.
The general rule of thumb is to bring along your medical history information, which ideally includes medical problems that run in your immediate family. It is important to note that elective plastic surgery is only reserved for patients with no healing problems and other conditions that can lead to undue risks.
It is also ideal that you bring all your medications, including vitamins and supplements, into the office.
If you are considering having tummy tuck or other forms of body contouring surgeries, it may be helpful that you wear or bring along your favorite or usual clothing, swimwear, and undergarment. This will allow your plastic surgeon to make the best effort to position the scars beneath your clothes or undies.
Write down all your concerns, particularly in terms of patient safety, preparations, possible risks, downtime, and wound care. Remember, there is no such thing as a silly question.
Your plastic surgery consultation is also an opportunity for you to learn about your doctor's qualifications. A good rule of thumb is to choose someone who is board certified and is doing the sought procedure on a regular basis for a minimum of five years.
Don't be afraid to ask "difficult" questions such as your doctor's complication rate (he must provide you a percentage or estimation) and his contingency plans should problems arise during or after surgery. Beware of anyone who displays "arrogance" by saying that his surgery is risk-free.
Take note that all elective plastic surgeries are not covered by health insurance, so you have to look for other financing options such as your personal savings, bank loans, credit cards, etc.
Bear in mind that choosing your surgeon should not be solely based on price; however, stay away from someone whose fees are way lower than the average.
To avoid financial troubles, most doctors agree that you should have available funds twice as much as the actual cost of your surgery. This will serve as your contingency money should you experience longer recovery and more time off work.
For more information, including a list of ASPS plastic surgeons in your community, please use our Find a Plastic Surgeon tool.