Choosing a plastic surgeon involves putting a lot of trust in someone you don’t know very well (yet!). The good news is that once you find the right surgeon, you’re likely to develop a fantastic ongoing relationship. Taking those first steps can be a little scary, though, and it pays to do your research and to take your time before you schedule your first procedure.
When you meet with a plastic surgeon for the first time, it’s your chance to get to know them and find out if they can help you reach your goals. It’s easy to get tongue-tied and forget all the questions you have, so bringing a list of questions to ask a plastic surgeon is a great idea. Not sure what you need to know? Here are some questions you should definitely put on the list.
Are you board-certified?
When it comes to questions to ask a plastic surgeon, this one tops the list. Board-certified surgeons have gone through rigorous training and examination processes to become certified. Their level of skill and integrity is unparalleled. You probably won’t have to ask this question during a consultation, though–board-certified surgeons typically mention their credentials on their website. You should only request consultations with board-certified surgeons.
How much experience do you have with this procedure?
As with all specialties, it takes a lot of time and practice to become an expert in any given procedure. Some surgeons only do facial procedures. Others do only plastic surgery of the body. And some surgeons narrow it down even further, specializing in only one procedure!
What’s most common is that a surgeon will perform only facial or body surgery, but will also have a few procedures he or she is known for. You want to choose a surgeon with the skill, experience, and expertise to help you get the results you want. Dr. Buckingham, for instance, is a facial plastic surgeon specializing in minimally-invasive techniques, rhinoplasty, and facelift surgery.
Where will my procedure be performed, and who will give me the anesthesia?
Reputable plastic surgeons follow all rules and regulations, providing surgical services at accredited surgical centers or hospitals and working with licensed anesthesiologists. You should insist on working with a surgeon who puts your safety at the top of the priority list. If the procedure will be performed at the surgeon’s office, ask to take a look at the facility.
What can I expect before and after my procedure?
Picking your plastic surgeon is the most important step in the process, but you’ll also need to be committed to caring for yourself before and after surgery to ensure you optimize your results. Part of that process is becoming educated on what you’ll need to avoid or how you’ll need to prepare before surgery and what you can expect after surgery. Getting the information as soon as possible will help you get ready, take enough time off to recover, and ensure there are no surprises.
Will this procedure help me reach my goals?
A plastic surgeon with your best interests at heart will always tell you if they think the procedure you want won’t help you reach your goals. In that case, they’ll usually help you choose an alternative. Plastic surgery planning is a collaborative process. You need to give input and be open to your surgeon’s recommendations. Be clear about what you want and be sure to ask if an alternative might be better for your needs.
What are the risks of this procedure?
When you first think about questions to ask a plastic surgeon, you might not be thinking about risks. But all cosmetic treatments have risks and it’s important to understand them before moving forward. A plastic surgeon who tells you there are no risks is not being truthful. Ask about the risks for the procedures you’re interested in so that you can weigh the pros and cons of each treatment.
Got Questions? Ask Dr. Buckingham
Dr. Edward Buckingham is a renowned board-certified facial plastic surgeon in Austin, TX. He is the founder of Buckingham Center, a plastic surgery center dedicated to minimally-invasive techniques and superior anti-aging results for patients. If you have questions about a specific facial procedure or are interested in facial plastic surgery in general, it may be a good idea to call Buckingham Center and schedule a consultation with Dr. Buckingham. He can answer your questions and help you design a custom treatment plan. For more information, call 512.401.2500 today or fill out our online contact form.