You’ve identified one or more aesthetic goals and know that, to achieve them, you need the help of a plastic surgeon. You are now at Step One of your makeover journey, and potentially the most important step. Regardless of the procedure you may want to have, the plastic surgery consultation is your starting point, and a starting point for which you want to be prepared. It is not uncommon for a patient to feel a little bit anxious when they schedule their first visit. Understandably, there is a mix of excitement and uncertainty to having plastic surgery. We have found that the most informed patients, the most prepared patients, are the most confident patients. Here, we offer a few tips that can help you prepare for your plastic surgery consultation.
Learn about Your Procedure
It is your surgeon’s job to know the ins and outs of every plastic surgery procedure they perform. It is your responsibility to choose a plastic surgeon who meets this expectation. Before your first appointment, educate yourself about your procedure, how it works, incision types, expected downtime, and so on. You may even research which type of anesthesia is commonly used for your procedure, as more surgeons are performing procedures without general anesthesia. If, as you’re learning about your procedure, you come up with questions, jot them down to ask your surgeon. When you ask these questions, pay attention to how you feel with your surgeon’s response. Do they make you feel heard and understood? Do they provide clear and concise answers that demonstrate their compassion as well as their skill?
Gather Photos as Reference
Part of the excitement of plastic surgery is envisioning how amazing you will look and feel after your procedure. Reference photos can be both beneficial and harmful, so you much approach them in the right way. Reference photos are guideposts, they can help you express to your surgeon what you want to achieve. They are not literal depictions of how your face or body will look, though. A plastic surgeon cannot and will not make you look completely different. What they can do is bring out the best in your appearance based on your expressed desired outcome and your unique facial or body proportions.
Research Your Plastic Surgeon Before Scheduling a Consultation
It is not enough to select the surgeon that is located closest to your home or even one that has been recommended by a friend. If an acquaintance has had the very same procedure you want to have and they experienced a positive outcome, you have some degree of confidence but still need to do your research and gain your own trust with this physician. In addition to browsing the doctor’s website and before and after gallery, look at their CV. Make sure they are a board-certified plastic surgeon and observe the extent of their education and training in their field. Do they have professional associations? Do they have a teaching position or position of leadership among their peers? These are all signs that the doctor is committed to continued professional growth. Finally, read or ask for patient reviews. It is the patients’ experiences that are most indicative of the surgeon’s skill and bedside manner.
Meeting Your Surgeon
When you first meet a plastic surgeon, you are in the position of learning even more about your procedure, what it can do for you, and how you feel about your doctor’s demeanor. Questions you may want to ask a prospective surgeon include:
- How many times do you perform this procedure every year (or month)?
- Where will the surgery take place?
- Am I a good candidate for my procedure?
- What is your expected outcome?
- What are the benefits and risks?
- How would you respond if an emergency were to occur during surgery?
Ultimately, you have the final say about when to move forward with plastic surgery and with whom. The good news is that there is no rush, you can take all the time you need to choose the right provider for you. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Trussler, contact our Austin office at (512) 450-1077.