Frequently Asked Questions
The success of any cosmetic surgery hugely depends on the finer details and how well the doctor can utilize his/her expertise to address them. How satisfactory the whole procedure will be, however, is mostly in the hands of the patients. Remember that as a cosmetic patient, the doctor has to do what you want. They are all about improving how well you look, and the only person in the best position of identifying which look will be desirable to you is no one else but yourself. This, therefore, means that the consultation sessions leading up to the surgery are very crucial. It is at this point that both you and the doctor get the opportunity to exchange as much information as possible regarding the entire procedure.
As the cosmetic patient, you should utilize this time to get all your concerns addressed. This surgery is going to completely change how you look be it on a temporary or permanent basis and making sure that you have all the relevant information beforehand will help to reduce chances of disappointments and frustrations significantly. History shows us that patients who tend to ask a lot of questions regarding their specific cosmetic procedure usually end up being more satisfied than patients that don’t. Just think about it, how well will a surgeon be able to give you the results you are looking for if you don’t feed him with all the relevant information? How will the doctor even know whether the surgery you are seeking will give you the needed results if you don’t thoroughly communicate with your surgeon? Remember that the operation is going to have a visible impact on your body and hence anything going wrong or against your expectations will not only affect your outlook, but it will also change how you feel about yourself. Such patients then end up spending even more in secondary corrective surgeries.
To help you overcome all these problems, here is a list of all the questions that you just can’t afford to not get a satisfactory answer to before going under the knife.
1. Are you certified by the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery?
Why is it important to ask this question? First of all, knowing that your surgeon is certified by the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery will right away fill you with a sense of confidence in the doctor which is very important. Secondly, it will help in answering other even more crucial questions.
If your surgeon is certified by this board, then you are guaranteed that they have undergone extensive training gaining all the relevant experience and expertise necessary to perform cosmetic surgeries. I don’t know about you, but most of us would do anything to be operated on by such a doctor. Before the ABCS certify a surgeon, they make sure that they have undergone at least 12 months of fellowship training in the field followed by a residency in a relevant medical specialty. Additionally, ABCS only issue practicing certificates to surgeons who have secured accredited and licensed facilities. This is vital to every surgeon, and you just can’t fail to overlook its importance for various reasons. If your surgeon has a state licensed facility, it means that they have all the right equipment and technology to perform all the necessary cosmetic surgeries. This is not just essential in delivering the needed results but also goes a long way towards ensuring the entire procedure is safe and free from any serious medical complications.
One of the biggest flaws in American medical licensing policies is that any physician licensed is legally allowed to perform a plastic surgery even if they have zero training in cosmetic surgeries. If you fail to confirm ABCS certification, therefore, you can quickly end up as an experiment to an untrained physician, and we don’t need to tell you how terrible that can turn out into, do we?
2. How experienced are you in performing the procedure I want?
Cosmetic surgery is a continually advancing industry with new procedures being created almost every year. The field is hence vast, and it’s vital to know that a single doctor can’t be experienced in performing all the procedures. Yes, they could be trained in that, but experience in performing a procedure is arguably even more crucial than the training. Most surgeons also tend to specialize in specific procedures alone. It’s essential that you ask your physician how frequently they have performed the operation you are seeking. The more they are experienced in that procedure, the higher the chances that they are going to deliver exceptional results.
Specialized surgeons are also likely to be more equipped with the latest technological gadgets and techniques of performing these surgeries. They are also in a better position to tackle any potential complications should they occur. Such a physician is also likely to have more pictures of the before and after surgeries which are essential when patients are trying to show the kind of impact they want after the plastic surgery.
3. What’s the type of anesthesia that will be used and who will administer it?
Every cosmetic procedure requires administration of anesthesia, but the type of anesthesia varies depending on the complexity of the procedure and the patient’s preferences.
The most types of anesthesia used include local anesthesia that is usually given to the patient already under sedation and the general anesthesia which is most preferred in complex operations or when you are undergoing multiple procedures. Local anesthesia is used for moderate or mild procedures and has various advantages like shorter recovery period. Having full knowledge of the exact type of anesthesia to be used with its pros and cons will help you to prepare adequately for the procedure.
The other thing just as important as knowing which anesthesia will be used is identifying who will be administering it. It is best that the person is giving you the anesthesia be a board certified anesthesiologist (MD/DO). It can also be applied by a certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA). Why is it vital to have a qualified and accredited anesthesiologist do this? On the hands of a team of dedicated anesthesiologists, you are guaranteed that you’ll be well monitored and taken care of throughout your surgery. These professionals will also make it possible for the surgeon to perform his procedure undistracted while you remain safe and pain-free until the desired results are achieved.
Make sure that your cosmetic surgeon proves that anesthesiologists are certified. The good news is that board-certified cosmetic surgeons always hire and work alongside other licensed and well-trained anesthesiologists
4. What’s the recovery period like?
Whether you are a fulltime worker or on a long vacation it is crucial to know how the recovery period will be like for various reasons.
One, most cosmetic surgeries usually require its patients to stay away from strenuous activities, and in some cases, you may even be asked to stay away from lifting and other similar physical activities. Understanding what your recovery will be like regarding your specific procedure, will hence help you to seek in advance any help necessary to avoid interfering with the procedure’s results.
Secondly, some complex cosmetic surgeries will require you to stay away from work for days or even weeks. Will your employer be okay with you taking such a long leave? These are the questions that will be answered after your physician has clarified how long the recovery will take. It can also assist you in determining whether you are okay with staying away from work and other personal or family activities or if you should consider postponing the cosmetic surgery.
It is also at this point that surgeons can tell you about potential side effects or complications that can arise during recovery. It’s always advisable that a patient is fully aware of all potential adverse effects before undergoing plastic surgery to see if they are okay with taking the risk. After receiving this information, you can share all your concerns with your physician who should be able to tell you about potential alternatives or another way forward.
5. What is the cost of the procedure?
Cosmetic procedures are never covered by insurance carriers unless under exceptional conditions. You should hence, be prepared to incur all the necessary charges and that is why it is important to know how much the procedure will cost.
Typically, a cosmetic price is inclusive of the surgeon’s fee, expenses of the operating room, anesthesia used, and any additional items used in the procedure, e.g., implants. The price, therefore, is never uniform and other than depending on the complexity of the procedure and expertise of the operating surgeon, the geographical location of the facility will also play a role in determining how much the procedure will costs. You can always expect cosmetic surgeries to cost a lot more in major cities compared to other remote locations.
We understand that the cost of cosmetic surgery is an essential factor, but you are encouraged never to make a decision based on the price tag alone. Just think about it, why would an experienced and board-certified surgeon located in L.A offer his/her services at an extremely low price? It is always advisable to stay away from such surgeons because chances are they are unlicensed, and any outcomes they provide are likely to be disappointing. Neither should you blindly trust the expensive surgeons because high prices never guarantee quality results.
You are always encouraged to note down the above and any other questions you have before making your first appointment. Efficient consultation sessions could just make the difference between a stunning plastic surgery outcome and a disappointing one.