What questions to ask during consultation?

As a plastic surgeon what are a few key questions someone should be asking of their potential PS when they are mtg with them & trying to determine if they want to have their surgery with them? What should I look for in a PS? Thanks.

Doctor Answers 11

What questions to ask during consultation?

Great question.    First, do your homework.   Check the credentials and reviews of any of the plastic surgeons you are interested in interviewing.    Make sure they are board certified in plastic surgery rather than certified in another specialty but perform "plastic surgery" procedures.  It is also important to see what other patients have experienced.Second,  you should feel comfortable asking any questions you feel are important.  Your surgeon should be someone who carefully listens to your goals and expectations.  You should feel a bond with this person.Third,   ask who does their anesthesia and in what type of facility do they perform their surgeries. (Hospital vs. Surgery center).   Either type of facility is reasonable as long as they are accredited.   You can check on the facility and anesthesia credentials on line as well.I have added a link to a "surgeon checklist" on my website that may assist you as well.Hope this helps.

Finding the right surgeon

Far more important than the technique is the skill and experience of your plastic surgeon. Choose your surgeon rather than the technique and let them explain why one technique may be better than another. 
See the below link on some suggestions on finding the most qualified Plastic Surgeon for a TT

What questions to ask during consultation?

Thank you for the good question. I would suggest that you start by asking your surgeon about board certification (exactly what discipline) and experience level. I would also suggest that you focus on questions regarding concerns such as pros/cons/risks/complications associated with any proposed procedure. It will also be important to learn about recovery period details.   Also, achieving a sense of realistic expectations when it comes to outcome and returning to postoperative activities will be important. ***Ask to SEE lots of examples of their work AND preferably speak/see patients who have had similar procedures done. The tummy tuck operation is an extensive operation involving significant physical and psychological recovery often underestimated by patients. Some general advice I give my patients undergoing tummy tuck surgery may be helpful to you:
1. Make sure you are doing the procedure for the right reasons (for yourself) and that you have realistic expectations. Be aware that an improvement in the “problem area” may not translate to an overall improvement in your life situation. You are bound to be disappointed with results of the procedure if your motivation for doing the surgery is not internally driven.

2. Time your surgery carefully; generally, it is not a good idea to have surgery done during or immediately after a stressful period in life (for example divorce or death of a loved one). The additional stress of surgery will undoubtedly be more challenging to deal with if a patient's emotional reserves our already exhausted. Remember, that an improvement in your physical appearance will not translate to an improvement in your life situation.

3. If possible speak to patients who have undergone similar procedures and query them about the toughest times of their recovery period. Any practical hints previous patients can provide may be very helpful.

4. Make sure you are aware of potential complications that may arise how to reach your surgeon if necessary.

5. Make sure you have a strong and patient support system (several people if possible) in place who have time/patience to take care of you. Arrange for professional nursing if any doubt exists regarding the availability and/or stamina of your caretakers.

6. Be patient with the healing process, understanding that it will take several weeks to months to feel “normal” again. It may also take many months/year to see the end results of your surgery.

7. Be prepared to distract your mind with things of interest such as books, magazines, and movies.

8. Expect less of yourself; do not go back to work, school or chores too early and let others take care of you (for a change).

9. Pick your surgeon carefully (a well experienced board-certified plastic surgeon) and trust in his/her advice. Keep in close communication with your surgeon and do not hesitate to communicate questions/concerns and the emotional swings that you may experience.

10. Resume all medications that you were using preoperatively when cleared by your plastic surgeon and stop the use of narcotics and sedatives as soon as feasible after surgery.

11. Keep in mind the end results as you go through any tougher emotional times after your surgery.

I hope this, and the attached link, helps. 

Best wishes.

Your consultation

Hello and thank you for your question. It is very important that you thoroughly research your surgeon before committing to surgery. It is a good idea to research your surgeon's educational background, online reviews, before & after pictures, and speak with anyone who you may know who has had surgery with that surgeon. During your consultation, make sure that you don't feel rushed and make sure that you have adequate time with your surgeon and not just their patient coordinator or nurses. If the majority of your consultation is spent with someone other than the surgeon, this is usually not a good sign. The most important aspect is to find a surgeon you are comfortable with. I recommend that you seek consultation with a qualified board-certified expert surgeon who can evaluate you in person.

Best wishes and good luck.

Richard G. Reish, M.D.
Harvard-trained plastic surgeon

Richard G. Reish, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 67 reviews

Tummy Tuck Questions

Thank you for your question and good for you for doing your research. First, I always recommend seeing a board certified plastic surgeon. Important things to cover with your surgeon is down time, whether they use a drain or not and what their plan is for scar management. It's also important to go over your expectations for your result to ensure that you're not underwhelmed or unsatisfied with your result. In addition, I recommend looking at your PS before and after photos. That can really help give you an idea of their results.

John Allan Ness, MD
Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 35 reviews

Questions during consult

You need to feel comfortable with your plastic surgeon and their office staff. You are not only having one surgery but an ongoing relationship.You need to confirm your plastic surgeon is properly trained and board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery which usually ensures they are a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) and the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) if they are primarily cosmetic. We are members of both.They should also be very comfortable with the procedures you are interested in.

Questions to ask

Thank you for the question.It is important for a prospective patient to be comfortable with their surgeon. Asking about their experience with the procedure that you seek is a must. Also very important is to ask if your surgeon is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. There are other boards that people claim certification in, but the requirements for those "boards" are not as stringent as the ABPS. Ask if your surgeon has hospital priveliges to perform this procedure in  a hospital setting.  Any doctor can basically do anything in their office. A hospital has strict requirements on training and certification before granting a surgeon operating priveliges. If your doctor does not have priveliges to do the procedure in a hospital, even if they were going to do it in their office operating room, ask why?   A safe plastic surgeon will always maintain operating privileges at a local hospital in case complications come up. If your doctor does not have priveliges at a hospital, and you have a complication requiring hospitalization you may be on your own if your doctor isn't on staff at the hospital. I applaud you for doing your due diligence!Best of luck to you,


You want a board certified plastic surgeon who is on staff at a decent hospital near where you are having surgery. If the surgery will be done in their OR -- who certifies it. Also the DR should have experience in doing the procedure you want. 

William B. Rosenblatt, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

How to choose a tummy tuck surgeon

First and foremost, make sure they're certified by the American Board of plastic surgery, and no other "board" this is the only real plastic surgery board that signifies that a physician has had 5-7 years of surgical training instead of a few weekend courses.  As well, asking about their experience, the number of procedures they perform.  Very importantly, make sure you get a good feel from your surgeon, that you connect with him or her.  Establishing this relationship is very important and I would recommend that you visit with a few surgeons before you make her final choice.
Best of luck! Dr. Subbio
Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon
Newtown Square/Philadelphia, PA

Christian Subbio, MD
Philadelphia Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 49 reviews

Consultation Questions

Board Certification, Experience, Reputation, Cases Performed, Patient Safety (Board Certified anesthesiologist, medicare certified ambulatory surgery center), Patient Satisfaction Reviews, Pre/Post Operative pictures, "Bedside Manner" (personality), Details of Surgery/Recovery, and Cost. Best wishes!

George C. Peck, Jr, MD
West Orange Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

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.