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The Consultation: What You Need To Know Before Going To The Plastic Surgeon

By Danya B. Hoenig, PA-C

You think you might want to improve some aspect of your appearance. Now what do you do? To help you make your decision, various sources are available that can provide you with details about plastic surgery. For instance, countless pages exist about plastic and reconstructive surgery on the Internet. Some of your friends or co-workers may also share their cosmetic surgery experiences with you. Television, magazines, and newspapers offer story upon story about new techniques and advances in plastic surgery. But the most valuable time you will spend is during the consultation with your doctor. Through this interview, you will gain specific information about the surgery, the doctor, the recovery, and the results. Equally important, you will get a sense of your comfort level with the surgeon, his or her skills, and bedside manner.

During your consultation, the doctor will listen as you express your needs and concerns relating to plastic surgery. Try to be as specific as possible when explaining what you would like to have changed, and why. The physician will examine you and assess your anatomy- specifically, the skin, muscle, fat, bone and supportive structures. He or she will take into consideration your medical history and previous surgeries, your age and health status, and your desired outcome. Together, you and your doctor will formulate a plan that fits your specific needs and lifestyle.

During your consultation, you will have the opportunity to ask questions. The following questions can be used as guideline to insure that you are well informed before making the important decision of whether or not to proceed with surgery.

The Doctor
  • Where and when did you get your medical training?
• Did you do any additional training or fellowships?
• Are you board-certified? In what specialty?
• Do you routinely perform the procedure I want?
• How many of these procedures have you performed?
• Do you have privileges at a hospital to perform the procedure I’m considering?
• Do you teach other doctors your techniques?
• Have you published any papers or books?

The Surgery
  • What surgical technique will be used? And why?
• How long will the procedure take?
• How much pain is involved?
• Where are the incisions?
• What type of anesthesia is used?
• Will the procedure take place in the office, surgery center, or hospital?
• What are the risks and potential complications?
• What can I do to minimize my risk of complications?
• What are the alternatives to this procedure?

The Recovery
  • Will I have to stay overnight at a hospital or nursing facility?
• How long will the swelling and bruising last?
• When can I shower?
• When can I drive?
When can I go back to work?
• When will I look “normal”?
• When will the scars heal?
• When will the final results be seen?

The Results
  • Can I look at before and after photographs?
• What results can be expected?
• How long will the results last?
• Will the procedure ever need to be repeated?
• Will the results be obvious?

The Costs
  How much will this cost?
• What do the fees include?
• What is not included in the fees?
• Is there a discount if several procedures are performed at once?
• Will insurance cover part or all of this procedure?
• How do I reserve a surgery date?
• When is payment due?
• Do you accept credit cards?
• Is financing available?

Of course, the decision to have plastic surgery should not be taken lightly. Before making any decisions, learn what you can do to prepare for surgery, and ask yourself…
  • Do I feel comfortable with the doctor?
• Did the doctor take the time to explain the procedure?
• How receptive is the doctor to my questions?
• Is the staff friendly and cooperative?
• Did I provide all information, completely and honestly?

Once you have had all of your questions answered, you will be prepared to make a decision. You may actually decide not to have surgery at all, or to postpone surgery for a while. On the other hand, now may be the right time to embark on a journey to a more beautiful you.

Related Articles

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Do Your Eyes Make You Look Tired?
Facial Expression and Eyebrow Position
Fill 'er Up!: Facial Rejuvenation and Contouring Using Cosmetic Fillers
The Mid Face Lift - Now There's 33% More To Facial Surgery

Danya B. Hoenig, PA-C is a licensed and certified Physician Assistant specializing in the field of plastic and reconstructive surgery. Her husband, Dr. Jonathan Hoenig practices in Los Angeles, California where he provides the most advanced and innovative techniques in facial plastic surgery and facial rejuvenation today. To learn more about facial plastic and reconstructive surgery, visit us on the web at http://www.la-plastic-surgery.com, email info@drhoenig.com, or phone toll free 866-HOENIG9.


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