Thinking about a NoseJob/Breast Aug/Lipo/Tummy Tuck? … Butt Implants?
I go with a lot of my clients to their consultations and watch a lot of procedures with Dr. Russo. My wonderful friend called me at 8 this morning to ask me what she should ask at her consult (apparently she forgot I am NOT a morning person). I jumped out of bed though, because I remembered I had a lists! I love lists ALMOST as much as I love white boards!
I know Plastic Surgery isn’t for everyone, but I think if you are contemplating it, you should be prepared from the beginning; starting with the right surgeon can make all the difference in the world! (I am very partial to Dr. Russo, who, by the way, gave me this list).
Plastic Surgery: Making the Best Decision
Brief important plastic surgeon qualifications
Please check out www.plasticsurgery.org to see if your surgeon is ASPS accredited. If they are ASPS accredited you are in good hands.
Each ASPS member must meet the following:
- At least five years of surgical training and a minimum of two years of plastic surgery training.
- Board certified by The American Board of Plastic Surgery or The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.
- Trained and experienced in all plastic surgery procedures, including breast, body, face and reconstruction.
- Peer-reviewed for safety and ethical standards prior to attaining the honor of active membership.
- Only operates in accredited facilities.
- Use your head not your heart in making the selection.
- Bring before and after photos, if possible, to show what you want.
- Research the doctor, call other patients for recommendations.
- Get a recommendation from your bariatric surgeon.
- Meet the doctor and get to know him or her; you trust yourself to his or her care, so you need to feel comfortable with the person.
- Use the term “reconstructive surgery” with your insurance company, since “plastic surgery” is often considered to be “cosmetic” or “elective” and hence is not covered.
Questions to ask:
1. Are you an ASPS member surgeon? If he or she answers “yes” you can rest assured that your surgeon is board certified in plastic surgery, has hospital privileges and only performs surgery in accredited facilities.
2. Are you board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery or The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada?
3. Do you have hospital privileges to perform this procedure? If so, at what hospital? Is the surgical facility accredited?
4. Am I a good candidate for this procedure?
5. What will be expected of me to get optimal results?
6. What are the risks involved with my procedure?
7. Will I need to take time off work? If so, how long?
What you should ask about the procedure
8. What is the simplest and safest surgery to help me achieve my goals?
9. How is the surgery performed?
10. What is the expected length of operation?
11. Are other options available?
12. What results can I expect, and how long do the typical results last?
13. Where will scars be located, and how noticeable will they be?
What you should ask about your surgeon’s experience
14. How many times has the surgeon performed this procedure?
15. How long has the surgeon been performing this procedure?
16. How many times per year does the surgeon perform the procedure?
17. How many patients have required re-operation or touch-ups?
18. What complications may occur?
19. How frequently do these complications occur?
What you should ask about logistical matters
20. What preparation is required the day before and morning of surgery?
21. Should my regular medications be taken on the morning of surgery?
22. What time should I arrive at the surgery location?
23. Should someone drive me?
24. Should someone wait at the surgery location or come back later?
What should you ask about emergency plans
25. What emergency plan and equipment are in place to provide for my needs in the event of an emergency?
26. Are the surgeon and staff certified in Advances Cardiac Life Support? (ACLS)?
27. Does the surgeon have admitting privileges at a local hospital should problems arise during my office surgery? (Call the hospital to confirm)
28. How would I be transported to this facility?
29. Has an adverse event ever occurred in the past?
What should you ask about the recovery process
30. What kind of care will I require?
31. When will I be able to go home? Is an overnight stay required, or is one available if I prefer?
32. Who will attend me in the case of an overnight stay?
33. Will I need someone to drive me home?
34. If a problem arises after I go home, who answers calls after hours and on weekends?
35. If I need to be seen after hours, where will this occur?
36. If I need help in my home, is a private duty nurse available? At what cost?
37. Are any special garments, medications, or diets required during the recovery period?
38. How much pain/swelling/bruising is to be expected? How long are these likely to last?
39. How long does the entire healing process last?
40. How many follow-up visits are necessary?
41. Who performs the skin care/post-operative follow-up/suture removal?
42. When can I wear makeup?
43. When may I return to exercise/bathing/driving/normal activities/work?
44. At what point will I feel comfortable in a social setting?
45. What if I am dissatisfied with the results or with the degree of changes achieved?
46. If touch-ups are necessary when would that be performed?
What about fees
47. Does the cost depend on where my surgery is performed?
48. Will I need to see another physician prior to surgery for examination or testing because of a preexisting medical condition?
49. Who pays this cost? Will my regular family doctor suffice?
50. If a complication causes me to be transported to a hospital or stay overnight, who pays for this additional cost?
51. If I request multiple procedures, can they be performed at the same time? What are the cost savings?
52. What options are available for payment?
53. Does the office accept credit cards?
54. Is a payment plan available to patients?
55. What is the refund policy should I change my mind after paying in full?
56. Is my surgery covered by my insurance plan?
After discussing all of the factors involved with your proposed procedure with the surgeon, you should have a sense of whether or not the surgeon is right to you. Take note of and consider whether the surgeon:
- Listen and understand your priorities, opinions, and requests?
- Communicate concern, compassion, request and honesty?
- Instill confidence in you?
- Display confidence in his or her ability to care for you?
- Seem distracted, or come across as arrogant or curt?
- Seem patient and willing to spend time to answer all your questions and discuses your concerns?
- Condescend; talk down or under estimate your intelligence?
- Make eye contact or continually jot down notes in the chart as you spoke?
- Display positive body language?
- Confuse you or offer clear explanations?
- Appear to be selling you the procedure?
- Adequately discuss any preexisting medical conditions you might have?
- Encourage your family to participate in the consultation and decision-making process?
- Feel that you have established forthright communication and a positive rapport with the surgeon?
- Trust your life to this surgeon?
- Feel the Surgeon is acting in your best interest?