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22 questions to ask before your facelift

  • 4 months ago

When you're going on consultations with board certified plastic surgeons about your upcoming facelift, it really helps to have a list of questions ready. Here are several points of discussion to broach with your prospective PS. Please add other thoughts you may have in comments.

1. What boards are you certified by? (ASAPS and ASPS are both great answers!)

2. Were you specifically trained in the plastic surgery field?

3. Do you have hospital privileges and if so in what hospitals?

4. What percentage of your practice is devoted to facelifts or facial plastic surgery?

5. What training does the attending staff have?

6. Where do you get most of your patients from?

7. Am I a good candidate for a facelift?

8. Are there less invasive or even non-surgical techniques that could fulfill (or perhaps partially, but adequately, fulfill) my needs?

9. Can you describe an excellent, average, and poor outcome from this treatment?

10. Can I see before and after photos of facelifts you have done?

11. Can I talk to your previous patients about the surgeries they've had done?

12. Are the facilities you use nationally accredited?

13. Do you use board certified MD anesthesiologists?

14. What procedures are in place to deal with an emergency? 

15. Will I see you during every visit?

16. How long will my surgery last?

17. What lab tests and health clearances are required before I have this surgery?

18. What are possible complications after a facelift?

19. How often do these complications occur?

20. Are you easy to get a hold of after surgery if I have questions or concerns?

21. How much pain/discomfort/bruising/swelling can I expect post-op?

22. No really, how much pain/discomfort/bruising/swelling can I expect post-op?

And here are some great tips from Brent Moelleken, MD:

1. Did the doctor review your medical history (allergies, medical history, past surgeries, etc.). Was he/she a real doctor or a salesman?
2. Were you pressured to sign up, or was the session informative and now you can take your time to make your decision
3. Did the doctor listen to your needs?
4. Did the surgical plan make sense? Did it stand out among your consultations as being exceptional? Was it unique and tailored to your needs or "boiler-plate"?
5. Did you get a good feeling about the surgery and the doctor? Many of the hard luck stories you read about on the blogs start with "I knew I shouldn't go ahead with the surgery but..."
6. Do the before-after pictures reflect a look you like?

Then a little bit of homework:
A. Go onto the medical board website for your state. You may be surprised.
B. Google the doctor. Not scientific, but you may also be surprised.
C. Go on the website to check the board certification (i.e.
D. Call the hospital to confirm privileges
E. Call your internal medicine doctor and ask his opinion

Why so much hassle over just having plastic surgery? Because it is that important. Even after all of the above, rely on your gut instinct... and don't proceed until you feel comfortable.

Comments (4)

I a m sure someone has mentioned this, but I brought in pictures of myself in profile and front from about age 23, 32, 38, 40, 45 just to let him see. He caught onto one in particular and commented on how great my jawline was...I don't think he was convinced before seeing the picture or how full my face was at one point. I th Pictures are worth a thousand hair and plastic surgery...and that way the ps can really know your expectations as well.
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Thank you for that! I thought about looking for some pictures. Now I definitely will take some with me!
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It really made a difference especially for facial structure and such!
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What a great suggestion. Even though I've been seeing my PS for many years he has never seen the me I was even 11 years ago. It is amazing when you look back to see what Mother Nature and the general stresses of life can do to one's face. I have one photo where I'm holding my nice (who is ten now) as a baby - I can't help but think I looked so rested and happy. People are always telling me to "smile" or my favorite "why are you mad?" Someday they will know what we all go through every time we look into the mirror and think "where have I gone?". I haven't committed to surgery yet but it is high on my list for a winter procedure when most folks are hiding out from severe weather - what better time to heal.
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