Plastic surgery is a major commitment with lifelong results. As a consumer and patient, you should screen all of your options before deciding which surgeon is worth your time and money. All it takes is a look at a surgeon’s qualifications, ethics, communication skills and safety protocols – a far easier undertaking than you probably realize. Ask the right questions and you’ll find the right surgeon.
Questions to Ask Your Plastic Surgeon
- Are you board certified?
Members of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) and the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS) are required to continue their educations and stay up-to-date on the latest procedures and protocols. Be sure your plastic surgeon is board-certified and committed to providing the highest standards of care.
- How much experience do you have with this procedure?
Even if you schedule a consultation with an approved doctor, that doesn’t guarantee that he or she is capable of performing the procedure you want. Make sure to ask if he or she routinely undertakes the surgery you’re considering, and select the surgeon whose answers provide you with the most peace of mind.
- What are the risks of this procedure?
A plastic surgeon needs to be transparent with you about the possible risks of any procedure. Every procedure has some hazards attached, particularly if anesthesia is involved, so rule out any doctor who makes absolute safety claims or refuses to acknowledge the risks.
- Do you conduct health assessments before committing to surgery?
Likewise, never work with a doctor who does not screen your overall health before approving you to go in for plastic surgery. Illness, injury or allergies are not always deal breakers when moving forward with a procedure, but they can certainly be issues that cause surgeons to reject or delay a patient’s request. An ethical doctor will have your body’s best interest in mind and won’t place you in harm’s way if your health screenings reveal potential problems.
- What affiliations do you have with other medical facilities?
Many plastic surgeons are directly associated with and perform surgery in local hospitals and clinics. Ask your plastic surgeon about each facility he or she is affiliated with and request certifications, accreditations and health code reports.
- What is the cost of and the revision policy for the procedure?
Don’t commit to a price or a payment plan that doesn’t work with your budget, or to a plastic surgeon who does not have a patient-friendly policy regarding revisions. Seek out a surgeon who is both qualified and affordable. Make sure you know what to expect, especially if follow-up surgeries require additional payments.
- How long will it take me to recover?
Every patient’s recovery time is different, so be realistic. If you can’t forego certain activities or exposures while healing, you may need to reconsider the procedure you’re considering.
About Dr. Livingston
Dr. Chris Livingston is an award-winning, board-certified plastic surgeon experienced in a wide range of cosmetic and reconstructive procedures. He and his expert staff are available to answer any questions you may have about whether or not plastic surgery is right for you, and help you learn more about making the choices that work best for your money, your time and your health. Contact us today for a consultation.