Your Cosmetic Surgery Consultation
A consultation is equal parts interview, learning experience, and time to see the possibilities of what cosmetic surgery can achieve for you. It’s a two-way conversation that should help you answer three big questions:
- Is cosmetic surgery the right option for me?
- If so, which procedure or procedures are appropriate?
- Which surgeon do I want to perform my procedures?
You get these answers by meeting with a plastic surgeon and her staff and asking more detailed questions. Expect each consultation to last 1 to 2 hours. Here’s a basic rundown of what a plastic surgery consultation should include.
1. Check in with the front office staff
First, you’ll check in with the front desk. If you received paperwork in the mail ahead of time, they will collect it now, or you may spend a few minutes filling out forms. If the practice uses electronic medical records, you may be able to complete forms via a patient portal before your appointment time.
2. Meet with the medical assistant
When you are called back to begin your appointment, you will first meet with a medical assistant (or a nurse in some practices), who will review your medical history with you and help you get settled. Be thorough and honest about your medical history, as well as any medications, supplements, or recreational drugs you are taking—it’s crucial that we have an accurate picture to ensure your safety.
3. Meet with the plastic surgeon
Now it’s time to meet the plastic surgeon. If you are visiting a multi-surgeon practice, confirm that you are meeting with the surgeon who would be performing your procedure. Expect to talk about:
- What you want to change about your body, and why you want to change it
- How you feel about your body now, and how you would like to feel after plastic surgery
- Your goals: what do you want to look like after surgery, what specific changes would you like to see
- Which procedure(s), if any, can help you achieve your goals
- What results you can expect from each procedure
- What’s involved in the surgery (anesthesia type, incisions, recovery timeframe)
- The risks and possible complications from surgery
- Your medical history (be open and honest for your safety)
Ready to meet with Dr. Clark? Contact us now to schedule your consultation.
In addition, the surgeon should answer questions you have about the procedure and her credentials and experience. You’ll have your own questions, but here are a few to ask every surgeon:
- How long have you been performing plastic surgery?
- How many times have you performed the procedure(s) I am having?
- How frequently do you perform these procedures?
- Where will my surgery be performed, and who will administer anesthesia?
- Are there any other options to address my issues? If so, what results can I expect?
4. The surgeon will examine your areas of concern
You’ll remain in your own clothes for most of the consultation. If your area of concern is on the breasts or body, the surgeon will leave the room while you change into a robe and return to examine the area following your initial discussion. Your nurse will remain in the room during an examination.
Examinations may involve measurements, but you won’t have to complete any bloodwork. At Granite Bay Cosmetic Surgery, we hold off on taking “before” photos until you have scheduled surgery, during your pre-op visit—we don’t want you to feel pressured at all!
5. Meet with your patient coordinator
Your patient coordinator is your liaison between you and the practice. She makes sure your questions are addressed quickly as you consider your options before surgery as well as throughout your surgery and recovery process. She will also help you with scheduling pre-op appointments, your surgery date, and post-op appointments.
6. Discuss pricing and financing options
The practice should provide a detailed price quote for the procedure you are considering at the conclusion of your consultation. Verify that this quote includes every cost you’ll incur:
- surgeon’s fees
- operating room costs
- anesthesia fees
- devices such as breast implants or compression garments
- follow-up appointments
Also, ask how long that quote is valid. Most surgeons allow a few months so you have plenty of time to think about your options. You’ll also have an opportunity to discuss payment and financing options with the practice’s financing specialists and place a deposit on your procedure if you’re ready to move forward.
7. Find out the next step
The staff should let you know what your next steps are before saying goodbye. If you are ready to schedule surgery by the end of your consultation, that’s great. But don’t feel obligated to make a decision immediately—if you aren’t sure, go home and think about what you want.
8. Lather, rinse and repeat (if necessary)
Sometimes one consultation isn’t enough to feel 100% ready to move forward. New questions may arise as everything you discussed at the consult sinks in. If so, call and ask for a second consult. If or when you do schedule surgery, write down all of the questions that pop up and bring them with you to your pre-op appointment to address with your medical assistant, nurse, and/or patient coordinator.