The cosmetic surgery consultation
All cosmetic surgery should precede at least one visit with the plastic surgeon that is to perform the procedure. Once you have decided to go through with, or at least examine your prerequisites for a cosmetic surgery procedure it is time to book a consultation with a plastic surgeon.
It is important to end up in the right place. You can read more about how to do this on the information page about choosing the right cosmetic plastic surgeon and clinic for your procedure ».
It may be an advantage to do the plastic surgery in your geographical area since it facilitates your first meeting, the return home after surgery and check-ups and follow-ups.
The consultation is a very important step in your decision to undergo cosmetic surgery as well as in the results of such a procedure. It is therefore important that both you and the cosmetic surgeon you meet tackle this meeting with engagement and clear goals.
The first contact with the clinic
Your first contact with the clinic normally happens over the phone. This contact is good and allows you to create an image of the organisation by asking questions. Remember, you do not have to book a visit if it doesn’t feel right.
Examples of questions you can ask during your first contact with the clinic:
- How many surgeons work at the clinic?
- Do they have a surgeon that is specialised in the procedure you wish to undergo?
- How many such procedures has the surgeon performed?
- Where is the procedure performed?
- Is the surgeon specially trained in cosmetic surgery?
- Is the surgeon a member of a specialist association?
- Who does the visiting consultation? The surgeon or a patient coordinator?
- If I decide to go through with this cosmetic surgery are there reference patients that I can speak to?
- Will I be able to look at before and after photos of other patients that have undergone the same treatment that I am interested in?
- What is the total cost of the procedure including preparatory consultation, procedure, anaesthesia, postoperative care and follow-up?
During your consultation you will meet and talk to the surgeon (if you decide to go through with it) that will perform your surgery. The first consultation is a very good opportunity to create an understanding of your surgeon and the clinic. During this meeting with your plastic surgeon it is important to think about that he/she works for you and not the other way around.
You plastic surgeon will provide you with recommendations and suggestions. The final decision regarding whether you will undergo the procedure with them is yours. Do not feel pressured to make the decision before you are ready. If you feel pressured to book the surgery immediately then be cautious.
Good plastic surgeons are secure with themselves and their knowledge without being arrogant. A good plastic surgeon is also characterised by honesty and frankness towards their patient. If they do not feel that they can achieve the results you expect then they will tell you. In some cases they may send you to a colleague in order to get a second opinion. The most considerate plastic surgeons will in some cases send patients to other colleagues who they know will give the patient the best result. You must be able to trust your plastic surgeon. Good plastic surgeons appreciate this and do not abuse such trust.
The consultation has several aims and goals. The most important are:
- That you receive full information about the procedure, what risks are involved and the likelihood of you being afflicted with them.
- That you receive full information about how much the procedure costs, what after cycle you are to expect and who is responsible for any additional costs if complications arise.
- That the plastic surgeon has a full understanding of your physical health and your mental condition since these can greatly affect the risks as well as the final result.
- That the plastic surgeon has the opportunity to examine your body and the areas that are to be treated. By assessing your anatomical condition the plastic surgeon creates the foundation for his assessment of what surgical results he/she feels are possible to achieve.
- That you and your plastic surgeon achieve an objective collective vision regarding what results can be achieve. It is important that you as a patient have realistic expectations of your procedure and that you understand that plastic surgery is performed with the aim of achieving improvement, not perfection.
- That you receive clear answers regarding if you are a suitable candidate for the procedure and existing alternatives.
- That you feel secure with your plastic surgeons competence, understanding of your needs and the ability to give you the results you expect.
Ask questions – professional surgeons appreciate interested patients
One of the plastic surgeons most important tasks is to make the patient feel secure. Therefore a professional plastic surgeon is eager to provide you with detailed answers to your questions.
- Am I a suitable candidate for this procedure?
- Are there any alternatives?
- How many such procedures have you performed?
- What risks are involved with this procedure?
- What is the probability that I will suffer from them?
- What happens if I do?
- Who is responsible for the cost if additional surgery or other care is necessary?
- Do you understand the results I hope to achieve?
- What results can I expect?
- How long will the results last?
- What can I do to achieve the best possible final result?
- What is the total cost of the procedure?
- How long will I need to be on sick leave?
- What sort of after care will I need and what are the post surgery restrictions?
- What education do you have?
- Are you a member of any specialist association for plastic surgeons?
Be attentive to the clinics atmosphere
You learn a lot about your plastic surgeon by studying the clinics personnel which often mirrors the surgeon’s attitude towards cosmetic surgery. If the personnel do not take interest in you as a person you then you should be suspicious since this will often be the case for the surgeon also.
At a good clinic the personnel is your support network before, during and after the procedure. Since you can count on spending a lot of time with them it is important that you enjoy being in their company. Make sure that they listen to you and can give you the respect and care that you deserve.