How common is it to have a cosmetic consultation and not meet with the plastic surgeon?

Have had 2 consultations. Wanting lipo. Not once have I ever went in and met the actual plastic surgeon. My 1st consultation I was told that I did not need lipo. Instead I needed breast implants. My most recent consultation. The person who saw me (not plastic surgeon) suggested I get a tummy tuck instead. She said I did not have too much fat or skin to remove. My main probleam was a diastasis recti. I am confused.

Doctor Answers 24

Plastic surgery consultation

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I'm glad you turned to real self for your concerns because your experience is definitely not the norm. You pay good money for quality plastic surgery so without discussing your goals and being examined by the plastic surgeon you would be missing out on appropriate recommendations. I'm sure there are several qualified plastic surgeons certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery in your area so I would encourage you to see another consultation. Best of luck

Is it Common Not to Meet With the Plastice Surgeon in a Cosmetic Consultation?

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You should not feel confused. You have not been getting quality information, because you have not had a chance to meet with, and be examined by, someone who actually has the education, knowledge, and experience to give you a well informed recommendation. You should be very wary of any practice where the person making treatment recommendations is not the surgeon who will be doing your operation.

While my staff is knowledgeable and supportive, and I rely on them to provide both myself and the patient with quality information, I personally see every new patient who comes in for a consultation, and I am the only one who makes recommendations regarding possible surgical treatment options. I can't imagine doing it any other way. You are putting yourself in their hands and there is no reason not to expect that a surgeon would have the courtesy, respect, and concern for your well being, that they would devote sufficient time and energy to assessing your concerns and making appropriate treatment recommendations.

My suggestion would be that you should do some further research and find a well qualified surgeon who is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and who will take the time to do a thorough evaluation and provide you with a well informed treatment plan.

How common is it to have a cosmetic consultation and not meet with the plastic surgeon?

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Thank you for your question. My immediate response is that of suspicion. Every clinic runs a little different, but there is not a single patient that comes to my clinic for a new consult who does not get to meet and discuss things with me personally. My other concern is that you went to discuss liposuction and one place told you that you needed breast implants and the other place told you that you needed a tummy tuck. Now there are instances when the procedure can be dictated by the exam and your specific needs, but it also makes me suspicious that they are not listening to you. 

My advice is to go on the American Society of Plastic Surgeons website surgeon finder (link provided) and put in your city. This will give you a list of qualified plastic surgeons in your area. Get a couple consultations with people on that list and see if you do not have a different experience.

Best of luck!

How common is it to have a cosmetic consultation and not meet with the plastic surgeon?

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Dear always25

Although it is not unreasonable to meet with office staff first in order to provide a more efficient experience, not meeting with your surgeon at all is certainly odd and unusual.  Although plastic surgery is elective and in this context aesthetic in nature, it is still the practice of medicine and physician patient relationship is of utmost importance.
Look for experienced and well trained surgeon certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. Meet with enough physicians until you feel you have found the right doctor for you. 

Afshin Parhiscar, MD
Bay Area Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 58 reviews

How common is it to have a cosmetic consultation and not meet with the plastic surgeon?

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You will find that different plastic surgical practices are managed differently.  Personally, I think that the most important decision a patient makes is careful selection of his/her plastic surgeon. Therefore, not meeting with the plastic surgeon during the consultation process seems counterintuitive to me. Good advice requires making an appropriate diagnosis followed by treatment recommendations;  it seems obvious to me that this is best done by an appropriately trained/experienced surgeon.

I would suggest that you seek additional consultations with board-certified plastic surgeons;  as you make the appointments, make sure that you will be meeting with the plastic surgeon. Ask to see lots of examples of his/her work and preferably meet or talk with other patients who have similar procedures performed. Best wishes.

Didn't meet the surgeon

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If you don't meet with the plastic surgeon on your first consult, I would run like hell.  If the surgeon has no interest in seeing you before surgery, what are the chances he or she will want to see you if you have a problem?  This is not acceptable at all in my opinion.

Ronald J. Edelson, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Consultation Experience

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I have not heard of a consultation experience like this.    I would continue to interview other plastic surgery practices and find a practice that treats you well and the physician spends the necessary time you need to make a well informed decision.  I wish you a safe and happy surgical result!

Dr. Gill

Paul S. Gill, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 95 reviews

How common is it to have a cosmetic consultation and not meet with the plastic surgeon?

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Hopefully it is not too common, as it makes no sense to me. There are some offices that are in fact part of a chain of liposuction "clinics" where your consultation is not with a plastic surgeon but with an office person who is paid a commission to sign you up for surgery. You may not meet the surgeon until the morning of surgery. Perhaps a more common scenario is where you are scheduled for a consultation with a nurse or patient care coordinator, and only if you are a candidate and are a "serious customer" will you be scheduled to come back to meet with the surgeon. This supposedly saves the "busy surgeon" from wasting their time with consultations that are not going to lead to surgeries.  Perhaps I am old fashioned, but I do my own are going to a consultation, not to be sold a procedure, but to meet with a doctor and benefit from their training and experience and obtain a medical opinion. Keep looking!

Abdominoplasty | Tummy Tuck

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Thank you for your question about tummy tuck.

I would be very wary of any place that you go for a consultation and do not meet the doctor. Buyer beware!

To be sure, see  and actually meet two or more experienced, board-certified Plastic Surgeons for a complete evaluation to make sure you are a good candidate and that it is safe for you to have a tummy tuck or related procedure.

I hope this helps.

J. Jason Wendel, MD, FACS
Nashville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 221 reviews

Run Away!

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 If you're considering having a cosmetic procedure, and have had two consultations but have yet to meet the surgeon, find a new surgeon.  I'm aware of a number of practices around the country that are not even owned by physicians- some of which are scams and others are dangerous. Seek out the advice of a board certified plastic surgeon. Ask your primary care physician or OB/GYN for a possible referral. 

F. True Lansden, MD
Key West Plastic Surgeon

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.