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What questions should I ask during consultation?

  • jane33
  • 12309
  • 8 years ago

I scheduled a consultation with a plastic surgeon. I was hoping to ask questions that really get me a good idea if the doctor is right for me.  Any ideas on the top 10 questions to ask your doctor?

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Robert Singer, MD blogged about this topic recently. Check out

cosmetic surgery consultation tips
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The best way to get to know which surgeon is best for you is to ask for referrals from your family doctor, gynecologist, dermatologist, etc, and also ask around from your friends and neighbors and check the internet as well. Usually a couple of names pop up repeatedly as the surgeons to go to from these different resources. Avoid the radio, TV marketing - and yes the medical programs on TV whether it is your local station's health show or CNN are advertising - very much like seeing a Coke can on your favorite show. It is not a coincidence it is just marketing. As far as the top 10 question - here are some: 1. Are you board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery? 2. Do you have plastic surgery privileges at a well respected local hospital? 3.Can I see before and after photos? 4.Can I talk to your previous patients about the surgery? 5.Where will my procedure be performed? 6. Are the facilities you use nationally accredited? 7. Do you use board certified MD anaesthesiologists? 8. Are you easy to get a hold of after surgery if I have questions or concerns? 9. Will I see you during every visit? 10. Where do you get most of your patients from?
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How many do you do? What can I expect during recovery-every detail from swelling and bruising, to when will I have a complete recovery? who sees me after surgery to change dressings etc. What if I have problems. Do you have privileges in a hospital, are you certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery? Also, ask to speak with patients who have had the procedure. See how you and the doctor get along-the chemistry
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Questions for a plastic surgeon during your consultation: 1. What field are you board certified in? Plastic surgery is not the same as emergency medicine. "Cosmetic Surgery" is not a board recognized by the AMA, and (by California law) cannot be listed as "board certified" You'll never guess who is not board certified. 2. What hospital do you have credentials in? 3. Where do you perform your surgeries? 4. What is the accreditation of the facility? Medicare, State Licensed, AAAPSF ar eexamples of recognized accreditation boards. 5. Do you have an academic potition at the University? University credentials are tough to obtain and maintain. Quality standards are high. 6. How many of these procedures do you perform? The doctor should perform the procedure as a regular part of his/her practice. 7. Has the doctor published any papers on the surgery you are interested in? Not a must, but does usually indicate special expertise or interest in a procedure. 8. Have you had a malpractice judgment against you? 9. Can I have a copy of your CV? Perhaps the most important of all. A CV should contain specific information and dates. "Harvard trained" can mean summer school at Harvard; you never know until you check. 10. What societies are you in? ASAPS (American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery) and ASPS (American Society of Plastic Surgeons) consist of only board certified plastic surgeons. Just as important as the things you ask are the things you just observe: 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: 1. Go onto the medical board website for your state. You may be surprised. 2. Google the doctor. Not scientific, but you may also be surprised. 3. Go on the website to check the board certification (i.e. surgery.org) 4. Call the hospital to confirm privileges 5. 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.
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Important questions to ask when choosing a Plastic Surgeon When you are making the decision to have plastic surgery, there are a number of extremely important questions that must be answered. Chief among them are the following: What exactly is it that I want to achieve? Am I a good candidate for the surgery I'm interested in? Are there less invasive or even non-surgical techniques that could fulfill (or perhaps partially, but adequately, fulfill) my needs? What is the best technique for achieving that result that I want? Is my physician able to educate me about ALL possible surgical options? Is my physician qualified to perform the surgery I am interested in? Does your surgeon have hospital priveleges for the surgery you are interested in? Hospital Privileges? A hospital has access to information and records that the general public does not. Hospitals also have tremendous exposure to liability for procedures performed within them. They therefore will only grant surgical privileges to physicians that can demonstrate appropriate training and experience. Although many aesthetic surgical procedures are not performed in hospital operating rooms, the fact that a hospital has granted a surgeon privileges for a given procedure ensures that the surgeon has met an accepted standard of competence. It also means that your surgeon will be able to take care of you at a hospital should any complications from surgery arise.
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good advice
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I think you should quiz a plastic surgeon, cosmetic dentist, or dermatologist with questions that get to specifics about the appropriateness of a cosmetic treatment or plastic surgery procedure for you.

1. Why is this treatment right for me?
2. Have you reviewed my medical history?
3. Why is this treatment appropriate for my skin type?
4. Can you describe an excellent, average, and poor outcome from this treatment?
5. How many times have you performed this procedure in the past 6 months?
6. How many times have you performed this procedure on the body area I want to address?
7. What are your board certifications and formal training credentials?
8. What training does the attending staff have?
9. Can I review patient testimonials as well as before and after photographs?
10. What procedures are in place to deal with an emergency?

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took this from an article about hair removal (warnings about burns). The recommend you ask: How many times has this person performed the procedure? Is the person board-certified, licensed or otherwise qualified in cosmetic skin surgery? Has the person performed the procedure on the part of the body on which you are having it done? Can you look at before and after pictures of another client's experience? Can you speak to someone who has had the procedure? Are there any side effects and, if so, what should you look for and when should you be concerned?
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How much pain? How much time does it REALLY take to recover? Do you have any successful procedure examples?
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