Anyone considering cosmetic plastic surgery should do as much homework before you meet with the plastic surgeon as possible. Reading publicly available procedure information can help you prepare the right questions and give you a sense of what to expect. Additionally, what you read may not always be accurate information and therefore coming to the surgeon's office for a personal consultation is important. Bringing your questions at your consultation will give you the best chance of choosing the right surgeon for your procedure.
We've compiled a list of five important questions you should get answered before your schedule your surgery. The more preparation you do, the more confident you will be with your decision to enhance your beauty.
1. What Is the Extent of the Plastic Surgeon's Training and Reputation?
A surgeon’s education, experience and expertise significantly contribute to the results of your procedure. You should choose a plastic surgeon who is board-certified, has extensive experience, has the proper education and offers a photo gallery of before and afters for you to see. Board-certification for plastic and cosmetic surgery is especially important, because it means that the surgeon has been through rigorous training in order to ensure he has the training to perform the procedures you desire.
Naturally, the experience a surgeon has for the particular procedure in which you are interested is crucial. A surgeon who has performed any procedure numerous times means that he's likely perfected his technique to deliver a better result each time.
2. What Are the Goals of Your Surgery?
The decision to enhance your body is personal. What you hope to accomplish through plastic surgery may be quite different from someone else’s goals. The more honest you are with yourself and the more clearly you can describe the desired outcome, the better recommendations your surgeon will be able to provide. It’s OK to have one or several procedures in mind. After all, the initial consultation is an exploratory conversation, and many patients ultimately choose more than one procedure.
3. What Kind of Results Do You Expect?
You have to be realistic, whether you’re hoping for subtle change or something more dramatic. Most plastic surgeons have a large portfolio of “before and after” photos – often posted on their website – for you to review. This allows you to get a good idea what other people’s actual results look like, which also shows the range of surgical enhancements generally possible from a given procedure.
For example, if you are considering rhinoplasty, do your best to describe the way you'd like it to look. Think ahead to the end result. Browse before and after galleries to find similar results and see the various possibilities. In some cases a surgeon may have digital technologies through which he can show you what your nose will look like after a reshaping.
4. What Is Your Medical History?
You should be prepared to discuss your medical history in any detail. This helps identify any potential risks that the surgery might pose for you. It will also be important to discuss your lifestyle – whether you smoke, take medications, are a nursing mother, etc. – because these can affect the outcome of your procedure.
5. What Does Your Desired Procedure Entail?
Naturally, you’ll learn more during the consultation. The more you know about your specific options beforehand, the better prepared you will be to have a constructive conversation and make the best use of your time and the surgeon’s. As you research the plastic surgery possibilities, you may be surprised to learn how many options actually exist. And you may discover a procedure you have not considered before the consultation.
The more you know about the procedure, the background of the surgeon, your medical history, and your goals and expectations, the more likely your surgeon can meet your aesthetic goals.