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How to Choose A Cosmetic Surgeon - Important Questions You Should Ask During Your First Consultation!

Updated on November 16, 2009

Cosmetic surgery is more accessible and acceptable than ever. Back in the day, cosmetic surgery seemed to be reserved for the rich and famous. A rich housewife would go on "vacation" for a month and come back looking…well, like a new person! Today, cosmetic surgery is discussed more openly than in the past. In fact, cosmetic procedures are marketed in such a way that they are considered the "in" thing to do if you want beautiful skin, a flat tummy, bigger breasts or even a new nose! Though still quite expensive (depending on what procedure you are in the market for) many cosmetic surgeons are willing to work out payment plans making cosmetic surgery an option for many who otherwise couldn't afford it. I must point out that though cosmetic surgery can be very beneficial…it is still surgery…and with surgery comes risk.

So, now that you have decided you want cosmetic surgery you must find a GOOD surgeon. Unfortunately, many people spend more time researching what type of new car or flat screen television they should buy than they do the doctor that is going to be cutting them open. It is extremely important that you REASEARCH not only the doctor but the procedure you are considering as well. Cosmetic surgery is no joke and you definitely don't want to cut corners when it comes to your body, health and well-being!

Knowledge is power! Ask a LOT of intelligent questions and write EVERYTHING down!
Knowledge is power! Ask a LOT of intelligent questions and write EVERYTHING down!

If you know of someone who has had cosmetic surgery and they are happy with the results (in other words, they had a very POSTIVE experience) ask them for their surgeon's information. Referrals are a great place to start when searching for a qualified doctor. Once you have compiled a list of possible cosmetic surgeons it is now time to schedule consultations. A consultation is very important as this is the time in which you will be able to ask QUESTIONS. So what questions should you ask? Well, trust me, there are MANY so be sure to bring a small notebook and pencil with you so that you can write everything down (you do NOT want to forget anything!). Below are some GREAT questions that you should ask during your first visit.

Questions to ask during your first consultation!

  1. The first and probably MOST IMPORTANT question to ask your potential surgeon is what his credentials are! By credentials I mean is he or she board certified? If so, what is he or she certified in? Where did he or she go to school? What procedures do they perform or specialize in? How long have they been practicing? If he or she has a "sub-specialty" what is it? All of these questions fall under the subject of credentials and are of the utmost importance!
  2. How many times per week does he or she perform the surgery (that you are interested in)? How many times overall?
  3. Are they affiliated with a particular hospital? If so, which one? It is important to know this information in case of an emergency. Also, a hospital affiliation is one way (and a good one at that) to measure a doctor's credibility in the medical community.
  4. What are the possible side-effects and complications of the surgery that you will be having? Will there be a scar? Where will the incision(s) be made? A good surgeon should provide you with DETAILED answers to these questions. You should be suspicious of any doctor that "glosses" over these questions! All surgeries have risks and it is your right to know exactly what they are!
  5. If by chance you are NOT happy with what the doctor has done will he or she "fix" the problem for free or will there be additional charges?
  6. What does the recovery process entail? If you must take time off from work…for how long? Will pain medication be necessary? How much bruising and swelling (if any) will there be? Will it be necessary for you to hire "at-home" care for a few days or will you need to check in to a post-operative care facility?
  7. Once you have completely healed, what can you do to maintain your new appearance? Will you need to have the same procedure done again and if so…when?
  8. Finally, ask to see before and after photos of past patients. If you wish, ask if it is possible to talk to a patient he or she has performed a procedure on.

Making the decision to have a cosmetic procedure is your first step…the second (and most important, in my opinion) is finding a GOOD (if not EXCELENT) surgeon. Whether you are getting a procedure that will improve the look of your skin or one that will tuck in your tummy! It is VERY important that you do your homework and completely RESEARCH any and all cosmetic surgeons that you are considering! Though more common than ever, cosmetic surgery is STILL surgery and should not be taken lightly. There are serious risks and complications that come along with ANY surgery so it is very important that you go into your first consultation prepared and ready to ask intelligent and important questions. Good luck and by the way….I think you look wonderful….just the way you are!

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