While many have experienced the ongoing benefits of a mineral essential facial or body work at the nearby spa, you may be in the market for something more in depth and permanent, such as a mini-face lift, liposuction, or overall full-body lift. If you are considering plastic surgery patient, or are in search of a new doctor, it's important to choose your surgeon wisely. Like you would any major purchase, it's important to ask the right questions and make an informed decision.
Your neighborhood plastic surgeon may have a plush office, great marketing pieces, and the latest technology, so he has to be the best, right? Not necessarily. There are many things to consider, besides the comfy office chairs. It's important to know as much as possible before going under the knife - such as the surgeon's skills, experience, and credentials. The following are questions to ask before deciding who will perform your procedure:
1. Are you Board Certified?
There are several certifying boards for plastic surgeons, as well as surgical societies of which a surgeon may be a member. The gold standard is The American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS). This certification indicates the surgeon has achieved extensive specialized training which speaks to his or her commitment to excellence and superior knowledge. You may also verify the surgeon's certification online at the ABPS Website.
2. How many times have you done this particular procedure?
So many people don't think to ask this question, perhaps because they don't want seem rude in questioning a surgeon's experience. But how important are your looks? Always ask about the surgeon's level of experience, especially if you are undergoing a newer treatment.
3. What other medical staff will assist with the procedure?
Who is going to be a part of your surgeon's surgical support team? What are their qualifications? Who will be administering and monitoring the anesthesia? If your procedure will be performed at a teaching hospital, will there be any medical students or interns involved in the case? It's important to know who will be a part of your procedure.
4. What are the risks associated with the procedure?
Typically, the biggest risk to a patient during a procedure is from the general anesthesia. This type of anesthesia requires a highly trained specialist to administer and monitor the effects on the patient. The safest option is to use a localized anesthesia. This may be recommended if the surgeon has a need to communicate with you during the surgery. However, most procedures are not possible with only a local anesthetic.
5. Can I see before and after pictures of patients on whom you've performed the same or similar procedures?
First and foremost, ask your surgeon if the images shown to you are actual patients of this particular surgeon. Plastic surgeons sometimes use "stock" photos in their promotional materials. Or a supplier of a particular piece of surgical equipment might provide surgeons with photos showing the results that have been achieved using their technique or equipment.
6. What is the complication rate with this procedure?
A surgeon should be able to tell you how many complications they have had with your particular procedure, without violating the privacy of his or her other patients. Your surgeon should be able to provide an actual count or percentage rate so that you feel comfortable about making the most informed choice as possible.
7. Can you provide me with 3-4 references to patients who have had this procedure?
A surgeon should be able to provide you with nothing less than the glowing reports of satisfied patients. These references may also be able to provide you with insight on what to expect from the experience in regards to recovery, pain management and downtime.
8. What is the breakdown of fees for this procedure?
In addition to a surgeon's fee, you will also be paying anesthesia fees, operating room fees, lab fees, and more. Request a written breakdown along with the total, so you' completely aware of the bottom line before proceeding.
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