While cosmetic surgery has gone mainstream and is widely accepted, it’s very important to do your research before undergoing any procedure. The biggest decision is not what procedure you should have, but who will be performing the surgery. So you can be better prepared for your consultation, we have compiled a list of important plastic surgery questions you should ask your doctor before you have surgery. Please feel free to bring this article with you as a reference during your complimentary consultation.
TOP 10 QUESTIONS TO ASK YOUR PLASTIC SURGEON
1. WHAT ARE YOUR CREDENTIALS AND PLASTIC SURGERY TRAINING EXPERIENCE AND IN WHAT SPECIALTY ARE YOU BOARD CERTIFIED?
Dr. Jacobs and Dr. Warm are Board-Certified Plastic Surgeons. ASPS (American Society of Plastic Surgeons) Member Surgeons are certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and are trained specifically in plastic surgery. Both Dr. Jacobs and Dr. Warm attended four years of college, then four years of medical school followed by a Surgical/Plastic Surgical Residency for a minimum of six years. Dr. Jacobs is the Chief of Plastic Surgery at St. Charles Hospital and Dr. Warm is the Chief of Plastic Surgery at John T. Mather Hospital. The doctors operate only in accredited medical facilities, adhere to a strict code of ethics and fulfill continuing plastic surgery education requirements, including patient safety techniques. What does FACS after a surgeon’s name mean? (Fellow, American College of Surgeons) after a surgeon’s name means that the surgeon’s education and training, professional qualifications, surgical competence, and ethical conduct have passed a rigorous evaluation, and have been found to be consistent with the high standards established and demanded by the American College of Surgeons.
2. WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A BOARD-CERTIFIED PLASTIC SURGEON AND A COSMETIC SURGEON?
Being a Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon is different than a cosmetic surgeon, who might belong to any medical specialty like a general surgeon, gynecologist, dermatologist, family physician or internist and have decided they want to perform cosmetic procedures. Their training can be anywhere from no formal training to self-taught, a one-year cosmetic surgery fellowship or a handful of weekend courses on topics ranging from how to perform liposuction to placing breast implants.
3. HOW MANY PROCEDURES OF THIS TYPE HAVE YOU PERFORMED?
It is important to know the level of experience your doctor has in performing your plastic surgery procedure. While there is no specific number, results are more predictable with a surgeon with years of experience.
4. ARE THERE ALTERNATIVES TO SURGERY?
Sometimes surgery is not the only answer. You might be able to achieve the desired results through nonsurgical treatments. Ask us about the benefits and risks of these alternatives so you can make an informed decision.
5. WHAT DO I NEED TO DO TO PREPARE FOR SURGERY?
Certain surgeries require that you stop smoking, lose weight or follow a specific diet limiting the food you eat and the medications you take prior to your surgery. Over the counter and herbal products often have serious side effects and have been associated with increased bleeding and bruising. Anti-coagulants (blood thinners) are a problem, along with other prescription drugs. Always consult your medical doctor prior to changing your medication regimen.
6. WHERE WILL THE SURGERY BE PERFORMED?
Most routine surgeries are very safely and more comfortably done in an accredited office surgical facility. Accreditation by the AAAASF (American Association of Accredited Ambulatory Surgery Facilities) means the facility has been inspected and meets 100 percent of their strict criteria. Major surgeries or patients with medical problems might be performed in the hospital as an outpatient or as an overnight stay.
7. WHAT ARE THE RISKS?
Every surgery has some associated risk. Weigh the benefits of the procedure against the risks of side effects and complications (e.g. nausea, vomiting, pain, infection) before making your decision.
8. HOW WILL SIDE EFFECTS OR COMPLICATIONS, IF ANY, BE HANDLED?
At the consultation, we will discuss your risk of experiencing side effects and complications and any medications we may prescribe to minimize these symptoms.
9. HOW LONG OF A RECOVERY PERIOD CAN I EXPECT?
Some surgeries take longer to recover from than others. At our consultation we will discuss how long it will take to heal, as well as how you might physically feel immediately following your surgery.
10. WHAT ARE THE TOTAL COSTS FOR THE PROCEDURE?
Make sure to inquire about the total cost, i.e. surgery, facility, anesthesia, garments, medications and laboratory tests. Also inquire about the cost to remedy any possible complications in the rare event that one occurs. We offer many financing options that can be discussed at the consultation.