10 important questions to ask during your cosmetic surgery consultation
You obviously want to get the very best possible results from your cosmetic surgery procedure, and part of that is being prepared. In most cases, the first appointment you’ll make is the consultation. This is your chance to ask all the questions you have and get any concerns addressed. To make the most of your time, jot down a list of questions before your appointment so you don’t forget anything. Here are 10 questions to get you started.
1. How many of these procedures have you personally performed?
Education, training, experience and proven competence are all vitally important. However, even with all the education in the world, if the surgeon has never performed — or rarely performs — the procedure you’re considering, that’s reason for pause. Be wary of statements like, “We do hundreds of these every year.” That’s great, but how many of those did YOUR surgeon do?
2. What’s your training in cosmetic surgery?
You might be surprised to learn that cosmetic surgeons and plastic surgeons complete different training programs. Because reconstructive plastic surgery is mostly focused on reconstruction or restoring function, plastic surgeons get a wealth of training in general and reconstructive surgery. Unless they seek additional coursework or fellowships, their training in cosmetic procedures may be as little as three months in some residencies.
Cosmetic surgery is focused on improving a person’s appearance. It’s about aesthetics. As such, cosmetic surgeons concentrate all of their training on cosmetic surgical procedures and nonsurgical cosmetic treatments. Most cosmetic surgery fellowships require completion of more cosmetic surgical procedures than plastic surgery fellowships do.
3. Do you have before-and-after photos?
Every practice should have a readily available collection of previous work. It’s one of the ways patients learn what to expect. Once you’re given the photos, be sure to ask how long the after shots were taken post-surgery. Especially pay attention to photos of patients with similar features or builds.
4. Will you be performing my surgery?
It’s kind of amazing, but there are practices where the doctor with whom you consult is not the doctor who will perform your surgery. In other cases, you might only be scheduled to speak to a surgical coordinator prior to surgery. If either is the case, find another practice. It’s essential that you get the opportunity to have a conversation with the surgeon who will actually perform your surgery.
5. Where will the surgery be performed?
Ask whether the surgeon performs procedures in a hospital or an outpatient facility. At Alouf Aesthetics, we perform every surgery right here in our surgical center. Our facility is accredited by the Joint Commission just like a hospital operating room would be. What’s more, at Alouf, the staff you’ve been seeing during your pre-surgical appointments is the same staff who will be caring for you when you have your surgery. When you arrive for surgery, you’re our only priority.
6. What can I do ahead of time to get the best results?
Your surgeon will have some instructions for you before surgery, and you should take them seriously. This could be everything from losing a few pounds to stopping smoking to making sure you schedule enough time off from work after the procedure to fully recover.
7. What kind of anesthesia will be administered during my procedure?
Depending on the specific procedure, the surgeon might order general (completely asleep), local (numbing the surgical site only) or sedation (you’ll be less conscious, but still awake). Find out what sort of anesthesia you can expect and what the side effects might be. Also be sure to disclose any complications you may have had with anesthesia in the past.
8. What sort of complications are possible?
Every procedure comes with possible complications. Sometimes, these have nothing to do with the surgeon at all but are caused by an underlying condition or the way your body heals. Ask what might come up during and after surgery, and who you should contact if a complication arises after surgery.
9. How long will my recovery last?
With advances in surgical techniques, recovery takes less and less time. Still, you need to be prepared to take as much time as needed to fully heal before returning to your normal routine. Be sure you have a clear picture of how long it will take to recover — and whether you’ll need assistance — before you go into surgery.
10. What’s required in terms of follow-up?
To ensure a safe and complete recovery, you’ll need to be seen after surgery. Ideally, you’ll see the surgeon who performed your surgery. At the least, you should see a member of your care team who can get your surgeon involved if something’s not healing well.
Call us today at 540-375-9070 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Gregory Alouf about the cosmetic procedure you are considering. He will answer any questions you have. It’s our goal that when you arrive for surgery, you feel prepared for your procedure and confident in our team!