Your first appointment with your plastic surgeon may cause you to feel anxious or nervous. You are excited to be on your way to new breasts, a thinner waist, or sleeker thighs, but at the same time, this may all be a new experience for you. Feeling nervous during your initial consultation is normal, but for some patients, excess anxiety can make decision-making about the surgeon and the procedure difficult. Here are tips you can follow to get the most out of your consultation.
Before you see your surgeon for the first time, make a list of questions or concerns that you hope to discuss during the consultation. By writing them down ahead of time and bringing the list with you, you can tick off each item as it is discussed and make notes about the answers and information provided by your surgeon, ensuring that every item is addressed.
Even before you schedule your consultation, do some background work and check your surgeon’s credentials. Why waste time going to a surgeon only to find out that they aren’t properly accredited to perform the types of procedures you are seeking? This is important since many people confuse cosmetic surgery with plastic surgery.
Although the two fields overlap in some areas, plastic surgeons have obtained far greater and more specialized training specifically in the field of plastic surgery. A cosmetic surgeon, however, can simply be any doctor who has taken brief training courses, even as little as a weekend seminar in some cases, and call themselves a cosmetic surgeon. Check to see that your surgeon is board-certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery at a minimum. Plastic surgeons who specialize in certain types of surgery or procedures may have even more certifications and credentials.
Get stuck on the details
Your plastic surgery consultation is a great time to get caught up in the details. When discussing your desired procedure, make sure your surgeon goes over everything related to your procedure and answers all of your questions. If your surgeon seems to either rush you, dismiss your concerns, or tells you that you don’t need to worry about the details, they might not be the ideal surgeon for you.
At a minimum, your surgeon should be happy to discuss:
- The pros and cons of your procedure
- Pre-operative testing and requirements
- The surgery itself
- Alternative recommendations
- Various options available for your procedure
- Your medical history, medications, and allergies
- Your past surgical experiences
During your consultation, your surgeon should also provide you with a collection of before-and-after photos so you can review photos of others who have undergone the same procedure while pointing out how different patients’ results may be similar or different from what your surgeon would expect for you. Your surgeon should also inspect that area of your body relevant to your surgery, and may mark your body to help illustrate the surgical process and potential results. Expect to also have body measurements and before photos taken for your file. These details will help guide your surgeon in designing and performing your surgery and treatment plan.
Your time, energy, and money are valuable. You have a right to expect your surgeon to respect all three. Be fully open and honest during your consultation and expect your surgeon to be straightforward as well. If you feel as if your surgeon isn’t telling you everything you need to know, is minimizing your concerns, or is trying to give you the hard sell, consider whether they are the right match for you. If you ever feel unsafe, insecure, or don’t have a good feeling about your consultation or surgeon, consider consulting with someone else.If you have been considering plastic surgery and are ready to take the next step, please call Monarch Plastic Surgery today at (913) 663-3838 or (816) 436-3262 to schedule your consultation. It is our goal to address all of your concerns throughout your plastic surgery journey. We look forward to meeting you.