Considering aesthetic surgery? You need to do your research and become an informed consumer.

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Cosmetic Surgery Consultation-How to Prepare, What to Ask and What to Expect (Part-1)


Intimidating and scary is how a cosmetic surgery consultation may seem. Hopefully, after you read my article you will be prepared for anything!

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Going on a consultation for cosmetic plastic surgery can be intimidating. My hope is that this article will help you feel more confident about the whole process. It is important to be prepared and to have completed most of your research before you go. There is no point in going on numerous consultations only later to find out that the credentials of the surgeon arenít acceptable. The importance of evaluating the physiciansí credentials can not be over emphasized. Please read my previous 2-part article on Whose Hands Do I Choose? , which goes over how to check your physicians credentials. Before you make a decision to have surgery you should seek more than one opinion, preferably three.

Once youíve done your research and selected a physician for a consultation you need to be prepared with a list of questions. This written list is extremely important because it is very easy to feel intimidated and forget what you want to ask. Remember that the reason for a consultation is for you to be evaluated and for you to have a complete explanation and understanding of what is involved including all of the risks. The doctor should spend a good amount of time with you during the consultation. If the doctor concludes that you are a good candidate for the procedure, different treatment options should be discussed.

You should be prepared to ask these questions.

  1. How is the procedure performed?
  2. Are there any reasons why I am not a good candidate for this procedure?
  3. Ask if there are alternative procedures.
  4. How often does the surgeon perform the procedure that you want? A few times a month is not enough.
  5. How long will the surgery take?
  6. What type of anesthesia will be used?
  7. When can you go home?
  8. How long is the recovery?
  9. When will the healing be completed?
  10. Ask about incisions. Where will they be located and how bad can the scarring be?
  11. Ask about all the risks or complications. There are risks with every procedure. Full details should be provided.
  12. What is the total cost including hospital fees and other extras?
  13. What is the policy if you back out regarding fees?
  14. Ask to see before and after pictures, however be aware that these can be touched up.
  15. Ask if you can be referred to other patients who have had the same procedure.
  16. When can you return to full normal activities, including exercise?
     

You should be prepared to tell the doctor about your complete medical history. This includes any allergies you may have and any medications you are on, including birth control pills, vitamins and any other over the counter medication.

You should feel comfortable with the answers and not feel as if you are being sold a used car. Trust your instincts. If you donít feel good about the physician or what he is telling you, thereís a reason. Generally a good physician will not talk you into a procedure that has nothing to do with the part of the body that is troubling you. Unless, for example you go in for a face-lift and the doctor explains to you that you need a neck lift as part of the procedure. That would be a reasonable suggestion. But if the physician recommends a nose job or a breast augmentation when you havenít even mentioned it, I would be extremely wary. If youíre offered computer imaging it may be interesting. However, remember the computer is not doing your surgery, the surgeon is. What you see, may not be what you get!

In part two of this article, I will discuss other important aspects of your consultation that need to be addressed, including where your surgery is to be performed.

Continue to Part 2 ____________________________________________________________


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