For most people, making a major life decision requires a lot of thought and preparation–it’s not something they rush into. Think about it: how did you make the biggest decisions of your life? When you applied to college, you probably visited the schools you were interested in first, looked over the programs and activities they offered and compared the financial aid packages available. Before accepting a job offer, you most likely did research about the company and weighed the pros and cons of joining the team.
Likewise, deciding to have plastic surgery is a major life decision. Before moving forward with any procedure, it’s important to schedule a consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon. You might think that you are fully prepared for a breast augmentation or mommy makeover, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a good idea to dive a bit deeper and find out as much as you can before you commit. All reputable plastic surgeons require this meeting to evaluate your candidacy and get to know your goals so they can design a personalized treatment plan.
How you prepare for your consultation before plastic surgery can determine how much you get out of it and whether or not helps you take the next step in the decision-making process. Before your visit with a plastic surgeon, here’s what you can do to make the most of your pre-surgery consultation.
Review the Surgeon Before the Consultation
A consultation will help you decide if you and a plastic surgeon are a good match. But that doesn’t mean that you want to go to the consultation completely in the dark about who the surgeon is.
Do some research to learn more about them before your visit, and even before scheduling your consultation. That can mean visiting their website to learn more about their education and experience and to find out what procedures they offer or specialize in. You can also read reviews written about the surgeon on sites such as RealSelf or Yelp. Many surgeons offer pictures of past patients before and after their surgeries, which can give you the opportunity to take a look at examples of their work.
Make a List of Questions to Ask
You probably have a lot of questions about plastic surgery in general and about what you can expect from a particular procedure. So that you don’t forget to ask anything important, it’s a good idea to make a list of questions and bring it with you to the consultation.
A few questions you might want to ask could include:
- How long have you been in practice?
- Approximately how many of these surgeries have you performed?
- What is your complication rate?
- Do you recommend this particular surgery for me?
- What is the recovery usually like after the surgery?
- How much time will I have to take off?
- What will I have to do to prepare for surgery?
- What will I have to avoid after surgery?
- What happens if there are complications during surgery?
- What happens if I don’t like my results?
Ask Yourself What You Are Looking for
Another thing to do to prepare for your consultation is to ask yourself what your goals and expectations are for plastic surgery and what you hope to gain from your meeting with a plastic surgeon. You might want to look for a photo that depicts the types of changes you are hoping for to bring with you to the consultation.
Having a clear idea of what you want can help your surgeon better understand why you’re seeking surgery. It can also help them understand whether or not your expectations for the procedure are realistic or not.
Bring Along Your Medical History
For the most part, plastic surgery is only recommended for people who are in good overall health. Since your consultation is likely to be the first time your surgeon is meeting you, it’s likely they won’t know much, if anything, about your medical history.
Even if your past history is brief, it’s a good idea to write it down and bring it along with you. Make a list of any medications you currently take, including prescriptions and over-the-counter medicines, as well as any vitamins and supplements. If you’ve had surgery in the past, note the name of the procedure and when you had it.
Finally, make a list of any current conditions you have, such as diabetes or high blood pressure, and whether or not they are currently under control. Your plastic surgeon will review your medications, past surgical history, and current conditions before letting you know if moving forward with plastic surgery is a good option for you.
Dr. Paul Vitenas is a board-certified plastic surgeon in Houston, Texas. He performs a variety of body and facial plastic surgery procedures and is happy to discuss your surgical options with you and to answer your questions. To schedule a consultation with Dr. Vitenas, call 281-484-0088 today.