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Articles


43 Questions You Need To Ask A Plastic Surgeon During Your Consultation Appointment
...and BEFORE You Decide on a Doctor

Virginia Center for Plastic Surgery

article courtesy Eric Desman, M.D.

CLICK HERE to visit the website of Eric Desman, M.D.

The purpose of an in office consultation is to give both you and the Doctor an opportunity to get to know each other. The following questions can be used as a guide to help you through the process of getting comfortable with the doctor's skill, experience and bedside manner.

Before you have plastic surgery, you will meet with your surgeon for a consultation. Most plastic surgeons charge a consultation fee, since they are providing a professional evaluation, recommendation and explanation of procedures. Others offer free consultations. Be sure to ask about fees when you make the appointment.

During the consultation, you will want to discuss your goals with your surgeon. Your surgeon will examine you and advise the best procedure to achieve your desired results.

The surgeon should:

  • Answer all of your questions thoroughly and clearly
  • Ask for your reaction to recommendations
  • Offer alternatives, where appropriate, without pressuring you to consider unneeded or additional procedures
  • Welcome questions about professional qualifications, experience, costs and payment policies
  • Make clear the risks of surgery and possible outcomes
  • Give you information about the surgery you want
  • Leave the final decision to you

You also have the right to expect that your surgery will take place in a surgical facility or hospital that is safe and well-equipped. Facilities with accreditation from a recognized accrediting organization have demonstrated that they have appropriate equipment and staff to safely monitor patients and deal with potential complications. Ask whether the facility your surgeon uses is accredited, or is in the process of being accredited.

43 Questions You Need to Ask During Your Consultation:

1. What made you decide to become a cosmetic plastic surgeon?

2. How long have you been practicing as a cosmetic plastic surgeon?

3. Are you certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery? If so, how long?

4. When are you required to take your recertification exam? If not required, when are you planning to electively take exam?

5. What was your medical specialty before you chose to practice Cosmetic Plastic Surgery?

6. Have you ever been disciplined by a board or by the state?

7. What is your favorite procedure to perform and why?

8. How may [insert procedure here] have you performed?

9. How many revisions of your own work, on average do you perform?

10. Have you or would you be willing to perform this procedure on a loved one of family member?

11. Would there be any reason that I would not be a good candidate for this surgery?

12. What are the complications of this particular procedure?

13. Are there other techniques, newer ones perhaps, that I am not aware of?

14. How long to you recommend I take off from work, school, etc. to heal properly?

15. Will there be much pain?

16. What types of medications will I be given and which pain medications do you normally prescribe?

17. Do you perform surgeries with the patient under general, light, sleep sedation? Which do you prefer and why?

18. I have heard that general anesthesia makes the patient sick to their stomach, is this true? What can you do to lessen its effect?

19. Do you have a patient referrer list so that I may contact one of your past patients and speak to them?

20. Do you have many repeat patients and referrals?

21. How many of these procedures do you perform, on average, annually?

22. Will there be much bruising or swelling?

23. When should I expect to look normal again?

24. Will I have scarring? If so, how bad will it be?

25. Do you have hospital privileges, should I choose to undergo my procedure in a hospital?

26. Will I have a anesthetist or a doctor of anesthesiology if I have general anesthesia?

27. What side effects are possible with [insert procedure here] ?

28. What tips do you have for me to ease some discomfort and pain?

29. Must I abide by any special diet, both pre-operatively as post-operatively?

30. I take [your medications, including birth control pills]. Will this have any effects on my surgery, anesthesia, or recovery?

31. I take [your herbal supplements]. Will this have any effects on my surgery, anesthesia, or recovery?

32. What would you do if I had a complication?

33. If my results are not what I wanted, what is your policy on revisions? Can I have that in writing?

34. Do you believe my expectations can be met?

35. What if I change my mind and back out, will my money be refunded?

36. If I have an emergency the night after surgery, what should I do?

37. If an emergency arises, will you be the attending physician?

38. If I have stitches, when will they come out?

39. Are there any hidden costs that I should know about? For lab work, postoperative check-ups, additional medications, compression garments?

40. If I need anything after hours, how will I be able to get in touch with you or your staff?

41. What is your protocol on post-op care?

42. Do you offer financing? Do you expect full payment up front. Can I pay in increments?

43. When will I be able to walk, exercise, run or participate in contact sports?


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