You’ve probably started researching surgeons to consider if you’re considering facial plastic surgery for the first time. Most cosmetic surgeons will offer free consultations before you commit to any procedure. If a surgeon does not offer a consultation, look for one who does. You may have only one consultation with a surgeon, or you may request a follow-up consultation before making a final decision.
However, for the initial consultation, you should ask the same, thorough questions of each surgeon. This will help you compare them and make the best decision for you.
Here’s what you should do to make the most of your facial surgeon consultations:
Research cosmetic surgeons
Start the process by researching cosmetic surgeons in your area who specialize in the procedure you’re interested in. Qualify the surgeon by making sure they’re board certified for that speciality / area of the body. If the surgeon has before and after pictures on his or her website, look through those to make sure they produce good results. You can also read the surgeon’s reviews on sites like Real Self, Facebook and Healthgrades.
Set up consultations with at least three surgeons
If this is your first facial surgery and you don’t already have a trusted cosmetic surgeon, we recommend setting up consultations with at least three of the potential surgeons you researched. This will give you a good idea of what kind of surgeon you’ll feel comfortable with, the costs of the surgery in your area and what type of results you’ll see.
Research your procedure
If you know more about the procedure(s) you’re seeking before meeting with a surgeon, you’ll feel more at ease during the consultation. This will also help save you time as you go through the consultation process. Of course, the surgeon should answer any questions you have about the procedure.
Fill out the paperwork beforehand
When you set up the consultation, ask the secretary or nurse to email or fax you the medical paperwork. Share any and all relevant information to help guarantee a safe and successful surgery. Doing this before the appointment will save you time when you get to the consultation and help you focus on more important things.
Make notes about the doctor’s office
When you arrive at the consultation, make notes (mental or written) about the office. Ask yourself: Is the office clean? Are the nurses, doctors and secretaries friendly and organized? Do you feel comfortable? You will experience these things again during your pre- and post-ops, so you’ll want to make sure this is the right place for you.
Ask your surgeon thorough, detailed questions and write down his or her answers.
Questions we recommend asking include:
- Do you specialize in facial surgery? You’ve probably already answered this question in your research, but double-check and ask the surgeon to ensure you have a specialist.
- What is your experience with this procedure? How many times have you done this procedure? You want a surgeon with extensive and documented experience doing the procedure in question.
- Is this procedure right for me? Find a surgeon who is honest with you. If the procedure you request isn’t right for you or won’t produce good results, he or she should tell you — or even refuse to do it.
- Do you use and stay educated on innovative plastic surgery practices? The surgeon should be able to give examples of innovative techniques they use and conferences on the subject they’ve recently attended.
- Can I see your before and after photos? Even if the surgeon doesn’t have before and after pictures on their website, they should at least have a binder full of examples of the specific procedure for you to look through. Have the surgeon point out examples of past patients with similar physical qualities to you.
- How will you prioritize my concerns? Your surgeon should ask you questions like: Why are you here? What would you like to change? What results will make you happiest in the end?
- What happens if the surgery doesn’t go as planned or if I’m not happy with the result? How many surgeries have you performed that have needed to be re-done? Most plastic surgeries go as planned, but find a plastic surgeon who will be honest with what steps he or she will take if you’re not satisfied.
- Where will the surgery take place? And is it an accredited facility? You can even visit the hospital or surgery center to make sure you’re comfortable with it ahead of time.
- Who will perform the anesthesia? Research the anesthesiologist to make sure he or she is qualified and has good reviews.
Download our Q&A sheet before you attend any consultations.
Print off a copy of the Facial Surgery Consultation Guided Questions for each consultation, and then compare answers. Congrats! You’re on your way to a successful, educated cosmetic surgery experience.