Seeking professional advice on plastic surgery benefits should be one of the first steps in your preparation work. Spending time to find a reputable plastic surgeon is only one part of the process. Doing some soul-searching to have a solid idea of what your goals are with cosmetic procedures is the first of several tasks you’ll want to do before your first consultation. By gathering the appropriate information and documents, you will have a more effective appointment with your plastic surgeon.
Figure Out What You Want and Why
What physical feature do you hope to improve with cosmetic procedures? Thinking about what your ideal body would look like while considering possible anatomy limitations is a good start. From there you can decide where you most want to get work done first. Do not hesitate to bring pictures that look like what you are hoping to achieve.
Understanding what drives you to get plastic surgery is also helpful.
The more clearly you can communicate your goals to your plastic surgeon, the more accurate their feedback will be. This can make the process of finding the right surgery and/or treatment easier.
Do Your Research
Once you know which body feature you want to get plastic surgery on, you can do some preliminary research about the procedures that can help to improve it.
Your research can investigate:
- How the surgery is performed
- What the possible complications are
- What results you can expect
- What the recovery process is like
Understanding how a specific surgery goes can make the first consultation a more productive experience for you. It can also help to narrow down your search for a plastic surgeon as some of them specialize in certain procedures or body areas.
What Are the Plastic Surgeon’s Qualifications?
- Board Certification (you should always choose someone certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery)
- Advanced Training and Education (including specialized training, fellowships, and residency)
- Professional experience (including for the procedures you are interested in)
- Before/After photo galleries (especially “before” photos that may look like you)
- Positive patient reviews
- Awards and Honors
Gather Your Medical History
You always need to bring your full medical history to the first consultation. Reviewing it can impact what your plastic surgery options are, and which ones are the most appropriate to meet your goals.
Your medical records should include:
- Any illnesses or conditions you have/used to have
- Any medical condition of your immediate family members
- Any current prescription and over-the-counter medications
- Any supplement you currently take
- Any previous surgery
- Any allergies
Besides bringing detailed medical records on the day of the appointment, you may also ask the practice if you can fill out the necessary paperwork ahead of time.
Prepare Your Questions
While you do your research, write down any questions that come to mind. Bringing them to your first consultation will help you remember to ask them to your plastic surgeon. It is important that significant interaction happens and that you feel comfortable discussing any topic relating to your surgery.
During your consultation, you and the plastic surgeon will review your goals, medical history, and the various procedures that they consider to be good fits for your situation. This discussion, as well as how they answer your concerns, can help you decide whether you want to have them perform the surgery.
Questions you may want to ask your plastic surgeon include:
- What are the risks of the procedure? The benefits?
- How frequently do you perform this procedure? How many times have you performed it?
- Where will my surgery be performed, and what are the qualifications of the anesthesiologists?
- Am I a good candidate for the procedure I’m interested in?
- If there is a better option to address my issues, what results can I expect?
Having an idea of the possible cost of the procedure you want can help you plan accordingly and save money if necessary. Make sure to have all the information about your surgeon’s prices during or after the first consultation. Most plastic surgeons require a down payment and full payment before the surgery.
Do not hesitate to ask the plastic surgeon’s practice if they offer financing options. If the price they ask for remains too high for you, you may schedule consultations with other doctors, but you shouldn’t pick a plastic surgeon based on the lowest cost. Always choosing a board-certified surgeon is the safest option and waiting for quality care will be worth it to get the looks you want.
Dr. Yuly Gorodisky of West Coast Plastic Surgery Center is a board-certified specialist who can help you get the appearance you want with surgical procedures and non-invasive treatments. Call today at (805) 978-8545 or use our online form to schedule a consultation!