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Important Questions to Ask Your Plastic Surgeon BEFORE Your Surgery

article courtesy Richard Chaffoo, M.D., F.A.C.S.

CLICK HERE to visit the website of Richard Chaffoo, M.D., F.A.C.S.

In these tough times, many are being more frugal when it comes to beauty, but in some cases, cutting corners can be dangerous. According to Dr. Richard Chaffoo, president of the San Diego Plastic Surgery Society and Chief of Plastic Surgery at Scripps Memorial Hospital, many plastic surgeons are slashing their prices to attract customers affected by the weak economy. But 'price shopping' with plastic surgeons can be a very dangerous practice, and lead to serious health problems. So if you're considering plastic surgery, be sure to ask your surgeon the following questions:
Are you board-certified?

Make sure your surgeon is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, the only board recognized to certify surgeons in the entire spectrum of plastic surgery. Make sure your plastic surgeon is also a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), the largest plastic surgery society in the world.
How many times have you done this procedure?

Surgeons who frequently and regularly perform the particular procedure you request have often seen the variations, nuances, and even complications which make for a well seasoned expert. Also, if a surgeon sees referrals from others in his field, he is seen as an expert by his peers, the ultimate compliment.
What other medical staff will assist with the procedure?

Your surgeon should be the primary one who performs and directs your surgical procedure. He will be assisted by various personnel such as nurses and surgical scrub techs who routinely operate with your plastic surgeon. In addition, your plastic surgeon will often use someone who is trained in anesthesia, such as an anesthesiologist or certified nurse anesthetist.
Where will the procedure be performed?

A board certified plastic surgeon who is a member of the ASPS is required to perform your surgery in a certified and accredited outpatient surgery center or hospital. This represents the gold standard for patient safety.
What type of anesthesia will be used during the procedure?

Type of anesthetic depends on the type of procedure, length of surgery, and professional recommendation of the anesthesiologist.
What are the risks associated with this procedure?

All surgery comes with inherent risks and complications. Your board certified plastic surgeon will discuss the recovery, risks, and alternative treatment options with you so that you might make an informed decision.
Can you provide me with 3-6 references to patients on whom you have performed this procedure?

Your plastic surgeon will provide you with several patients who have undergone your particular procedure so that you can learn about their surgical experience from a patient's perspective.
What is the exact breakdown of fees for this procedure?

Surgical fees. You should expect to see a clear, written estimate of your surgical procedure. This will include surgeon's fee, anesthesia fee, operating room costs, and implant fees if any.

Remember, like any other surgery, plastic surgery has serious risks. Be sure you're in safe hands by asking all you need to know pre-surgery. Knowledge is power, folks!

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