Questions to Ask Your Plastic Surgeon in Baton Rouge During Your First Consultation
Choosing your plastic surgeon is one of the most important decisions patients make before having cosmetic surgery. Starting your search off Google can be helpful, but often turns out to be hectic and unyielding. You may get a massive list of plastic surgeons within your city or state, all of whom seem like seasoned specialists. Taking your search off the internet and going for some old-fashioned ‘face to face’ sit down can help break the tie. This page highlights some questions that you should ask when you visit your shortlisted plastic surgeon(s).
What procedure is the right choice for me?
You may have set your sights on a particular cosmetic procedure, but things may not always go according to plan. It is not uncommon for patients to think they need a breast lift while in fact what they need is a breast augmentation or a combined breast augmentation with lift surgery. Others may benefit from liposuction (which is a less invasive procedure) while what they had in mind was a tummy tuck. Your plastic surgeon has worked with dozens (possibly even hundreds) of patients before you and knows what is best for you. Once you present your aesthetic concerns, ask the surgeon what is the best way forward. They should be able to describe an individualized treatment plan that should yield the results you are looking for.
What is your experience level in the procedure?
Requisite education and training are the basis of successful plastic surgery. You want to work with a plastic surgeon who knows their stuff and who has the skills to get the job done. Ask your surgeon about their experience level for the particular plastic surgery procedure that you need to be performed. If they performed the procedure numerous times before, then they should have refined their skills. Also, don’t hesitate to ask what treatment methods are available and what surgical techniques they use.
Do you have before and after photos?
Most top skilled surgeons are happy to showcase their work. This is often done through before and after photos. The surgeon will show the photo of a patient’s problem area before the surgery, as well as a photo reflecting the outcome of the procedure. Some surgeons will even go a step further and use 3D modeling to demonstrate potential results using a photo of yourself. This kind of pre-demonstration is important so you can get an impression of what you may expect from your cosmetic surgery.
What is the cost breakdown for this plastic surgery?
Most cosmetic procedures are considered elective in nature and are thus not covered by health insurers. This means that more often than not – patients need to finance plastic surgery from out of pocket. You’ll need to know how much the precise procedure that you need performed costs so you can make financing arrangements. Ask your plastic surgeon to provide a cost breakdown that is customized to your treatment. Some surgeons also have financing arrangements that allow you to distribute your plastic surgery treatment costs over a duration of time. Make sure to get all the information you need so you can take figure out the financing before you commit to the surgery.
How many pre-op appointments are needed
The first consultation is usually meant for getting to know the surgeon and ask important questions about the procedure you are planning to have. If you choose to move forward with the plastic surgeon, you likely will need to attend a few other pre-op appointments before the surgery is performed. It is important to know how many such visits are required so you can plan accordingly.
How do I prepare for this procedure?
Different plastic surgery procedures have varying requirements when it comes to preparation. Almost always, you’ll need to be in good physical and mental health before you can even qualify for the surgery. You’ll also be asked to quit smoking a few weeks from the procedure, as well as avoid taking certain medication and herbal supplements.
Where will the procedure be performed?
Most established plastic surgeons perform plastic surgery procedures in an in-office operating room. Outside of the office, the surgeon may also choose to perform in an outpatient surgery center. You’ll want to make sure that the facility is accredited by The Joint Commission or other accreditation authority such as the Accreditation Association of Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC).
Will anesthesia be used?
Most surgical cosmetic procedures require the use of anesthesia. Your surgeon should be able to let you know what type of anesthesia will be used. General anesthesia – which entirely puts you to sleep – is harder to recover from compared to local anesthesia. Also, confirm that your plastic surgeon works with a board-certified anesthesiologist to ensure your comfort and safety throughout the surgery.
What happens if there are complications?
Plastic surgeons have perfected their craft and advances in surgical techniques have helped make procedures safer and more effective. But even so, there’s always a small statistical risk that complications may occur. You’ll want to know what processes and protocols are in place to care for you in case there is an emergency during an outpatient plastic surgery procedure.
How long does recovery take?
Most cosmetic procedures – particularly surgical procedures – have a significant recovery time. This means that you will need to set time apart from work and other engagements so you can focus on getting back up after the treatment. Make sure to ask the surgeon how long you should expect recovery to take so you can make plans ahead of time. Depending on the procedure, you may also be asked to lose a few pounds of weight before the surgery can be performed.
Also feel free to ask questions regarding the post-operative care required, and the kind of support you should expect from your plastic surgeon’s office. By the time you are done asking all these questions, you should be in a position to gauge whether you still want to work with the plastic surgeon or move on to the next.