There are few things as life-changing as having plastic surgery. Whether it’s for cosmetic improvement or to correct a health issue, plastic surgery entails a major alteration to your physical appearance, and it shouldn’t be taken lightly. Liposuction, facelifts, Botox treatments and breast enhancements are all invasive procedures, and your peace of mind depends on both the preparation and the skill of your doctor. Here are some of the questions you should ask—both your doctor and yourself—before you have plastic surgery.
It Starts With the Doctor
First and foremost, it’s important to get to know the surgeon who will be performing your procedure. It’s well worth the time to do a little research in advance of meeting with your doctor to determine if they’re a good fit. Is plastic surgery their primary practice, or do they specialize in another area? Do they have any patients who would recommend them?
For an even safer bet, seek out referrals from your primary physician, or friends and family who’ve gone under the knife. After all, who better to ask than a satisfied breast implant patient? Formulate a list of questions about the doctor’s qualifications and licensing—if they are certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, for example—and schedule brief interviews.
Your Safety During and After Surgery Is Paramount
Once you find a certified plastic surgeon with whom you have some rapport and whom you trust, that’s half the battle. The next step is to familiarize yourself with any potential post-op complications. Your plastic surgeon should be able to candidly tell you the risks involved for any surgery he or she is capable of performing—and you should never hear the words “risk-free,” because there’s no such thing. Your surgeon should be able to accurately and confidently describe what you’ll feel after the surgery, if there will be swelling, and the program of rest and medicine you’ll need to recover.
No matter who your surgeon is, there’s always a possibility that something could go wrong. As such, you want to be apprised of your surgeon’s plan and resources in the case of emergency. If you need to be rushed to a different hospital, does your surgeon have the necessary privileges to continue treating you at this new location? This is not guaranteed, and you do not want to a new surgeon to take over a plastic surgery operation, so it’s important to iron out these details in advance.
You should make it a point to cover these questions during the initial consultation, and not count on your surgeon to cover them as a matter of course—other patients may not have bothered to ask, and it may not be a part of his or her routine. Many thousands of plastic surgeries are performed each year with high rates of success; just make sure you’re in good hands before you go under the knife.