There’s something about elective surgery that often makes people uneasy about having a first consultation with their plastic surgeon. Unlike a sickness that needs medical attention, this surgery is a matter of choice, and patients may feel apprehensive about their decision, worried about the results or wonder if the money would have been better spent elsewhere.
But you have already come this far, and the best way forward is to attend your first consultation feeling excited, optimistic and well prepared. The procedure may well be the best decision you have ever `elected’ to make for your own happiness, confidence and sense of self.
The surgeon should answer all your questions, make sure you fully understand the procedure, discuss finances and give you his or her most realistic opinion on what you can expect.
But you have to do some homework to get the most out of this consultation. You don’t want to go home feeling like you forgot to discuss this concern or ask that really important question you had made a mental note of.
To help you with the preparation, we have put together a checklist of 6 things you should do before you meet your board-certified plastic surgeon.
# 1: Do Your Research
It is highly unlikely that you’re showing up for a first consultation without having done any. But just to reiterate the point, do some research on your procedure of choice. Understand the pros and cons and read about the experiences of other people who have already undergone it.
Equally important, research the plastic surgeon you’re choosing to go with. The outcome of your procedure depends a bit on the experience and expertise of the surgeon, and you cannot afford to slack on this homework.
# 2: Dress For The Occasion
No, you don’t have to impress the surgeon with your sense of fashion and style. Just wear loose, simple clothing that’s easy to take off and put on because the surgeon will have to do a visual analysis of whichever body part you want the procedure on. If the surgery involves the face, it is best to leave off any heavy makeup for the day.
# 3: Know Your Medical History
Make a list of medical problems that may run in your family, because you’ll be asked about it. Make a list of your own medical problems and all the medications you currently take. It might be a good idea to ask to fill up the medical forms in advance, so if you need to get in touch with a family member to clarify something, you can do so from the comfort of your own home.
Also, if you’re a smoker or use any recreational or addictive substance, make sure your doctor knows about it. He or she isn’t interested in judging you, but only in formulating the best plan of action suitable to your current health condition.
# 4: Have Your Questions Ready
Don’t expect to find questions after you’re at the clinic. Make notes of questions about the doctor’s qualifications (like how many similar cases he or she has performed), and about the procedure itself. No question is too small or too insignificant, so don’t be embarrassed about what you’re putting down.
# 5: Be Ready To Discuss Finances
If you’re interested in knowing what financing options the clinic has to offer, ask. Make sure you fully understand the breakdown before you leave the clinic. There should be no surprises afterward because you weren’t paying attention to the fine print.
# 6: Be Aware Of Your Surroundings
It is easy to be overwhelmed during a first consultation on account of nerves, but do remember to take mental notes about how you feel after you show up.
Did the clinic look clean and well maintained? Was the front office staff informed, courteous and helpful? And what about the surgeon? Did you feel confident and cared for while he or she talked you through the procedure?
These are very important `gut feelings’ to take into account because you’re trusting your body to this establishment. If at any point you feel uncomfortable or some red flags go up, be prepared to walk away. If the staff or the plastic surgeon did not make you feel comfortable and at ease, this is not a good match.
There are other surgeons in your city or town who are as qualified as this one. Follow your heart and never settle for second best. After all, your health is on the line here, and cosmetic surgeries are not without risks.