The 10 Questions You Should Never Fail to Ask Your Miami Plastic Surgeon
- 09 January 2017
- Dr. Mark Broudo
Now that you have decided to start your Miami medical tourism journey and scheduled a few initial consultations with various plastic surgeons, the next thing to do is to prepare your list of questions for your doctor.
Though you should be all ears during the consultation, it shouldn’t be a one-sided affair on the part of your surgeon, as there may be things about your surgery that he isn’t telling you – unless you ask about them.
The following are the 10 most important questions that you should ask your plastic surgeon before committing to getting a surgery.
Are you a board-certified plastic surgeon?
One of the most important questions that you should ask a plastic surgeon is his certifications. You might be surprised that in the United States, any licensed physician can perform cosmetic surgery, regardless of his specialization and experience. For all you know, you’re getting a tummy tuck from an ophthalmologist.
There are several certifying boards for plastic surgeons, but only one is considered as the gold standard and recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties: the American Board of Plastic Surgery. When a cosmetic surgeon has been certified by this organization, it means that he has completed extensive specialized training in the plastic surgery field.
How many times have you done this procedure?
Job recruiters always pay a premium for experience, and there is no reason why you shouldn’t do the same when looking for a plastic surgeon. Though there are always risks associated with every procedure, it’s still better to get a nose job from an experienced plastic surgeon rather than a novice.
Knowing that your chosen plastic surgeon has done the procedure at least a hundred times to a variety of patients and have perfected his technique will give you peace of mind while undergoing your surgery.
Who will assist you in the operation?
Of course, plastic surgeons don’t operate alone. They have a supporting team that’s going to help him accomplish the job.
If you know the qualifications of your surgeon, then you should also know how skilled and experienced his supporting team is. Ask about the assistant surgeon and the anesthesiologist. Ask if there’s an emergency staff who’s going to assist in case a problem arises. It’s also helpful to know if there are any medical students or interns involved in the operation, especially if the procedure is being done in a teaching hospital.
Where will this surgery be performed?
Surgeries can be performed in a hospital, outpatient ambulatory clinic, or inside the doctor’s office. It all depends on the complexity of the procedure and your overall health condition.
In general, comprehensive procedures should be done in the hospital. They might be more expensive, but you can be sure that there’s emergency staff who can immediately attend to your needs in case something goes awry.
Always ask your surgeon if he has hospital privileges since hospitals usually have strict requirements before they will grant a surgeon operating privileges.
How much will my procedure cost?
Admit it or not, the cost is one of the biggest factors that will influence your decision in choosing a surgeon. The total cost of a cosmetic procedure is not only comprised of surgeon’s fees. It also includes anesthesia, operating room expenses, lab fees, materials involved, and other variables.
While the cost should not be your sole basis for choosing a surgeon, it is imperative to know how much a procedure costs to see if you can afford it. Take note that most plastic surgeries are elective, so you can’t rely on your insurance coverage.
What type of anesthesia will you use?
All cosmetic surgeries require some form of anesthesia, so it’s important that you know which type is going to be used in your surgery and the risks involved in it.
There’s general anesthesia, which is highly risky but is usually necessary for complicated procedures like body lifts and liposuction. Only highly trained specialists can administer and monitor the effects of general anesthesia.
Another option is IV sedation, which is usually safer than general anesthesia and can be used in many single-procedure surgeries.
For minimally invasive surgeries, local anesthesia may be used. It is the safest type of anesthesia and requires only a short recovery time.
What are the risks associated with this procedure?
Every surgery carries its own set of risks, and your surgeon should be transparent about that. Your surgeon should tell you if you are susceptible to certain complications, like excessive blood loss, nerve damage, and adverse anesthesia effects.
More importantly, your doctor should refuse to operate on you if your risk is too great. For instance, you should not undergo surgery if you are a chain smoker since smoking interferes with wound healing. Your doctor should advise you to stop smoking at least six weeks before your scheduled procedure.
What is my recovery like?
Understanding the recovery process will help you cope with life after your plastic surgery. That’s why it’s important to ask your surgeon about it before surgery so that you can properly prepare everything you need while you still can.
Expect some downtime especially after complex procedures, like liposuction and breast reconstruction. You won’t be able to do work for some time, so be sure to take some time off of work. You should also ask your surgeon about specific restrictions in your diet and lifestyle, such as the avoidance of heavy lifting and strenuous exercise for around six weeks after surgery.
Can you show me before and after photos of your previous patients?
Experienced plastic surgeons keep a portfolio of sorts containing before and after photos of their previous patients. You should ask to see these photos so that you have a realistic idea of the possible outcomes of your surgery.
While this shouldn’t be treated as a guarantee that your surgeon will successfully complete the procedure, this is still a way to gauge the capabilities of your surgeon and whether or not he can make you look more aesthetically pleasing.
Can you provide me references to previous patients who had this surgery?
To make sure that your surgeon is not fabricating the proof of his experience, why not try asking him for at least three patient references? Most legitimate plastic surgeons can provide you with such as they are confident that their patients will give nothing but fantastic reviews about them.
Talking to previous patients will also give you valuable insight on your surgery – what to expect, how to recover, and how to maintain results.
Memorized all the questions you need to ask? Schedule a Free Consultation with one of Face + Body Cosmetic Surgery’s double-certified plastic surgeons and they would be happy to answer your questions thoroughly.