When deciding to have plastic surgery, the consultation is the time to get to know your surgeon. There are several items of discussion: ask questions about the procedure, see before and after photos and inquire about your results and other considerations, and gauge your comfort level with your potential plastic surgeon.
Come to the consult with a list of questions. This helps ensure you don’t forget to ask anything, and you get all of your questions answered. It also helps build a level of trust with your doctor.
I’ve put together five questions to ask your plastic surgeon. These are perhaps the most important, but feel free to add your own questions to the list before your consultation.
1. What Are Your Qualifications?
The trust between you and your plastic surgeon is vital. Ask about the surgeon’s experience, especially with the procedure you are considering.
Ask about his certifications. It is absolutely vital that your plastic surgeon is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, is a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, and can speak to his or her training.
2. How Often Have You Done This Procedure?
You want to know if your doctor is skilled in the procedure you’re considering. This helps you feel confident that you’ve chosen the right surgeon.
3. What Are the Potential Risks?
Surgery comes with the potential for complications. Your doctor should thoroughly explain these to you.
If your doctor promises you a risk-free procedure, this should give you pause, as there is no such surgery. Also, don’t feel “sold” on additional procedures.
Make sure you leave your meeting knowing the possible risks and complications so you can make your decision.
4. Where Will You Do the Surgery?
You want to know where your surgery will take place. Wil it be in the doctor’s office, certified surgery center or a local hospital? Will your doctor have the best instruments and staff as well as access to emergency medical attention?
You deserve the highest standard of safety and technical expertise. Along with your physician’s outstanding credentials and experience, you want to know your outpatient surgical facility is fully accredited by the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care.
In addition, ask your doctor who they will use for anesthesia. To further ensure the highest standard of safety for your procedure, find out if the people providing your anesthesia are properly credentialed.
Wondering about certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNA)? Nurse anesthetists have been providing anesthesia care to patients in the United States for more than 150 years. Fully credentialed, CRNA anesthesia providers, are supervised by board certified anesthesiologists and fully accredited to provide your care.
5. Does your Surgeon Have Hospital Privileges?
If you need to be admitted to the hospital, it’s good know if your plastic surgeon can continue treating you. You will feel more comfortable because he or she knows your medical history and the specifics of your procedure.
Your Consultation Checklist
You’ll have the best results from your plastic surgery if you have open communication with your plastic surgeon as you both work to achieve your realistic goals.
To help you both determine whether plastic surgery is the right choice for you, here is a checklist of questions to ask at your consultation:
Are you certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery?
Are you a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons?
Were you trained specifically in the field of plastic surgery?
How many years of plastic surgery training have you had?
Do you have hospital privileges to perform this procedure? If so, at which hospitals?
Is the office-based surgical facility accredited by a nationally- or state-recognized accrediting agency, or is it state-licensed or Medicare-certified?
How many procedures of this type have you performed?
Am I a good candidate for this procedure?
Where and how will you perform my procedure?
How long of a recovery period can I expect, and what kind of help will I need during my recovery?
What are the risks and complications associated with my procedure?
How are complications handled?
What are my options if I am dissatisfied with the outcome of my surgery?
Do you have before-and-after photos I can look at for each procedure and what results are reasonable for me?
Plastic surgery involves many choices. The most important is selecting a surgeon you can trust.
Expect exceptional results when you have your procedures performed by plastic surgeons certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and who are members of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. These specially trained doctors have at least six years of surgical training and experience, with a minimum of three years of plastic surgery.
When you come to your consultation, bring these questions with you, along with any others you might have. You can expect your plastic surgeon to answer your questions and provide you with the information you need to make a final decision about your plastic surgery.
If you’re interested in talking with a board certified plastic surgeon, you can request a consultation with Dr. Spann at Little Rock Plastic Surgery 501 219-8000 to learn about your options.