4 Essential Topics for your Plastic Surgery Consultation
If you are researching a plastic surgery procedure you’ve probably seen advertisements for a consultation with the surgeon. The consultation is your first meeting with a doctor and is a very important step in your journey. A consultation can be similar to an interview – you are interviewing the surgeon to be sure you are comfortable with him/her and his/her skills and the surgeon is interviewing you to be sure you have realistic expectations and are in the right state of mind for the procedure.
No matter what procedure you are inquiring about, there are certain topics you should cover during your consultation:
- Physician’s Background: The number one question to ask your plastic surgeon is, “Are you board certified by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons” and the answer must be “Yes.” The ASPS is the largest organization of plastic surgeons in the world and all 5,000 members adhere to guidelines of continuing medical education and a strict code of ethics so you are getting the best doctor.
- Hospital Privileges: All ASPS surgeons are required to operate in accredited surgical facilities that have passed vigorous tests to ensure quality equipment and staffing. Most surgeons have privileges at several facilities and you will want to know where those privileges are so you can choose the best fit for you (i.e. the closest location or the hospital you’ve visited before).
- Risks/Recovery Time: Online research before visiting a doctor is important, but the consultation is a good time to get questions answered that you couldn’t find during your research. Risks and recovery are the two main aspects of the procedure you want to understand fully before moving forward with a procedure and choosing a doctor.
- Cost/Financing: Cost will most likely be your main concern at a plastic surgery consultation. You can research average costs online but your cost may be completely different than your neighbors. When doctors price out procedures they take into consideration what procedure(s) is needed, how long the procedure will take, the patient and any additional special circumstances.
A consultation is your time with the doctor and you don’t want to waste a minute of it.