If you’ve been considering plastic surgery for some time now, you’ve probably been putting a lot of effort into researching the various procedures that are available to you. While your results will be the highlight of your surgical journey, none of it will be possible if you don’t find the right surgeon for the procedure.
While a surgeon’s qualifications are exceptionally important, this shouldn’t be the only aspect that you consider during your research.
Your surgical consultation is a key part of the process and should be used wisely. Your consultation should provide you with all of the information you need to make an informed decision about your surgery.
Here are some of the most important things to consider.
What to Consider Before You Schedule Your Plastic Surgery Procedure
1. Your Surgeon’s Qualifications, Training & Experience
Even though this is not the only thing you should consider, it’s definitely at the top of the list of requirements. Your surgeon should be board-certified and have received training for several years. Their experience will also speak to their skill level so find out more about how long they’ve been practicing and how many procedures they have performed to date. You can even go as far as asking them about their extra-curricular activities, which will tell you a lot about their personality.
2. A Surgeon’s Understanding of Your Wants and Needs
A reputable surgeon will always carefully listen to your goals before they discuss the most likely outcome. Setting realistic expectations and taking the time to understand what a patient wants and needs is a sign of an experienced and caring surgeon that you can trust. If a surgeon isn’t a good listener or communicator, it might be time to broaden your search.
3. Your Understanding of the Procedure
Plastic surgeon Dr David Sharp suggests that another clear sign of a good surgeon is how well a patient understands the procedure they are enquiring about. Your surgeon should take you through a procedure from start to finish and carefully explain all the risks associated with it. It’s not always a pleasant conversation to have but it’s necessary. A surgeon who is reluctant to mention the risks probably isn’t someone you should consider.
4. A Natural Rapport
How safe and comfortable did you feel with your surgeon during your consultation? It’s important to remember that a surgical consult is not a sales pitch – it’s an opportunity for you to get to know the person who will be performing a potentially life-changing procedure on you. If at any point you feel pressured during your consultation, find your way to the door.
5. Visual Examples of their Work
Looking through photos of past procedures is also an important step in this process. Remember, each surgeon has a different style and prefers certain techniques so keep this in mind during your consultation and while you review their before and after photos. You can even check this on social media or their website before your consultation to save time. Can’t find any photos? It might be best to find another surgeon.
Plastic Surgery Consultation Checklist
A plastic surgery consultation should check all of the following boxes:
- You do have the right to ask for proof of your surgeon’s qualifications and training
- A medical questionnaire should be completed before every consultation to determine whether you are a suitable candidate
- The expected results of your surgery should be clearly discussed
- Before and after photos should be readily available
- All of your questions should be clearly answered during your consultation
- Timelines and availability should be discussed before your consultation ends
- You should walk away with all of the information you need on the procedure, including what to expect during your recovery
As a final note, remember to trust your gut during your consultation. If something doesn’t feel right, rather schedule a consultation with a second surgeon.