Plastic surgery is always a serious endeavor. People are often embarrassed in these situations and are afraid to ask questions. Others find doctors to be intimidating and do not want to risk offending them with questions. Patients should always exercise their right to know about what is going to happen to them during and after surgery. The plastic surgery consultation is always a good opportunity to become more knowledgeable about the procedure that you will undergo and be better prepared for recovery.
- The first thing that you should be concerned about is the level of experience that your surgeon has and whether or not he or she is board certified. For many people, this is a hard question to ask because they feel like they might offend the clinician. You should feel that you have a right to know everything you want about a person who will be making incisions on your body. You can ask the office staff to supply a copy of the doctor’s credentials.
- Sometimes, it is not easy to ask these questions even if you are not afraid of surgeons. Many plastic surgery patients do not meet their surgeon until right before the operation. Instead, they pass through a series of nurses and assistants until the day of surgery. Do not let this happen. Insist on meeting the surgeon and asking these questions beforehand during the first visit. Surgery is a big step for anyone and a direct discussion with the surgeon is essential. Do not let the office staff tell you that it is acceptable to meet the surgeon only if you schedule a procedure.
- You should ask about recovery before you are actually in it. Critical information to have will be the typical total duration of recovery. You also want to know when you can return to normal, day-to-day living and when you can actually return to work. Depending on the type of job that you have, your surgeon’s answer will differ. Your doctor can also share with you some expectations for scarring.
- Prior to surgery is also a good time to know whether you should schedule any dates to return for follow-ups and the removal of sutures.
Ask any and all questions that come to mind. You should feel comfortable having this procedure. Most doctors will be glad to answer questions during your plastic surgery consultation about what they do.