When Consultations Are Free Do They Really Take Their Time or is It a Rush Thing?

A little bit skeptical about free consultations.

Doctor Answers 10

Free consultations

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

There is nothing wrong with getting free consultations. It sounds like you may ave spoken to someone in an office who charges for consults dissing those who don't as somehow not as good or thorough,  that's a bunch of bunk!  There is no correlation between charging for a consult and the skill or quality if the surgeon.  But those who do charge would love to convince you that such is the case.  I call this the plastic surgery "snob factor".if you know of aplastic surgeon with a good reputation, it may be worth sending $100 on a consult, and often the consult fee will be credited toward surgery.. Overall, I see nothing wrong with free consultations even if the patients are just shopping. After all ,we sure charge enough money for the surgery itself.  There is no reason to be piggish about it by also charging for the consult.  At least, that is my opinion!

San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

When Consultations Are Free Do They Really Take Their Time

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

These consults are a two way interview. A surgeon who rushes through a free (or paid) consult is not doing himself/herself a favor, as the patient will easily pick up on that and probably go elsewhere. 

When you ready for an in person consultation, RealSelf has listings of surgeons in your area. You should consider cross referencing the listings from the The American Society of Plastic Surgeons (plasticsurgery dot org). A listing in the ASPS website assures you that your surgeon is not only board certified,  but also is a member in good standing of the major plastic surgery organization in the U. S.

Thank you for your question, best wishes.

Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon

Free consultation skepticism

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

I'm sure your consultation experience will vary from physician to physician whether consultations are free of charge or not.  In our practice, consultations are complimentary and we plan an hour for most of them in order to be as informative as possible.  Because of the time set aside for these appointments, many offices will charge a fee in order to deter patients from not showing.  

Mennen T. Gallas, MD
Katy Plastic Surgeon

The consultation fee is usually charged to deter no show appointments

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}


Thank you for the question.  Most surgeons charge a consultation fee to deter patients that schedule consultations and do not show up.  Most of the surgeons that do you charge consultation fees usually return the consultation fee if surgery is booked.  Therefore consultation fees and time spent or quality spent with the patient usually do not go hand-in-hand.   You may be just as likely to receive a high-end consultation with a surgeon that doesn't charge a consultation fee has with one that does.

All the best

Dr. Remus Repta 

Remus Repta, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 173 reviews

Any difference in quality between free and paid consultati

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

The consultation experience varies from office to office. It is more a function of how that office handles new patient than whether they charge a fee or not. For instance, my initial consultations are free but I usually have a 45 minute visit face to face. Make sure you feel comfortable with your surgeon and the office and that you don't feel rushed

Marialyn Sardo, MD
La Jolla Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

When Consultations Are Free Do They Really Take Their Time or is It a Rush Thing? ANS:

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

I don't think it is a bad thing either way and I don't think the fee will really make some surgeons "try" harder in a consult. Each market is different in the country and you should feel very comfortable whether you paid a fee or not and the doctor should treat you the same. If you portray yourself as a serious consumer and not just price shopping, then you should be able to get an honest evaluation of the doctors practice.

John J. Corey, MD
Phoenix Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 48 reviews

Are free consultations rushed or informative?

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Thank you for the question. Unfortunately, the way that an office works varies from surgeon to surgeon. I believe that it is best for patients to feel comfortable and confident with the surgeon that they choose to perform their procedure(s). This might take 3 or more consultations with different surgeons before they finally find a physician that feels like "home" as soon as they walk into the surgeons office. It is very important to take the time to explain in detail the procedure with the patient and make sure the patient understands everything and has all of their questions answered. Although every patient is unique and a different case, a lot of the consultations are for very similar things (breasts, liposuction, brazilian butt lift, etc.), so sometimes a surgeon might unknowingly develop a script of some sort. It is best to stay away from a surgeon that you feel does not address you as an  individual patient with your own unique questions and concerns. With this being said, I do not think that a complimentary consultation should take away from the amount of care or depth of interaction given by the physician. If you ever feel rushed, I believe you should research a different surgeon that you feel will give you the time and patience that you deserve. I wish you the best!

Amy T. Bandy, DO, FACS
Newport Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 109 reviews

When Consultations Are Free Do They Really Take Their Time or is It a Rush Thing?

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

That will vary from one office to another. We do charge a fee, which is applied to the costs of surgery if the patient schedules a procedure in the next 6 months. For each office you are going to, call ahead, ask if you will be seeing the doctor who does the surgery and about how long the appointment will be. If you only see a nurse on your first visit, in my opinion that's not good enough, although that will be the case in many offices. Then it's up to you to decide how you want to be seen.

Ronald V. DeMars, MD
Portland Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Plastic Surgery Consultation

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Many patients tell me that they have been disappointed with not getting all thier questions answered during thier previous plastic surgery consultation. It seems that it had nothing to do with if they paid a consultation fee! Some even say that they only consulted with a "consulting nurse" and never met the plastic surgeon. Your experience during a consultation is very important and it should give you some indication of the type of plastic surgeon you might be dealing with in the future.

Sean Younai, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 51 reviews

Free Consultations

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Most surgeons specializing in Cosmetic Surgery offer free consultations for their aesthetic patients.  If you feel rushed and not treated as a valued patient, I would certainly seek out another surgeon.  The relationship between Dr. and Patient should be based on an ability to easily communicate with your  surgeon.  If you have difficulty communicating with a surgeon on the first visit you will probobly have more difficulty after surgery.  There should be a positive chemistry between Dr. and Patient.

Daniel H. Kane, MD
Miami 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.