Wondering what to ask your surgeon about your upcoming cosmetic surgery?
The decision to undergo cosmetic surgery is not one to be made lightly. It is extremely important for patients to educate themselves about all aspects of the procedure they want, such as how it is performed and what should be anticipated during the recovery period. You should also get to know your surgeon by inquiring during your consultation about their medical credentials, experience, and preferred surgical techniques. The board-certified plastic surgeons at Romanelli Cosmetic Surgery in Huntington, NY, have compiled a list of important questions that patients can pose prior to their procedures.
Are you board certified?
Make this the very first question you ask your cosmetic surgeon. It may be surprising to learn that in the U.S., licensed physicians are legally allowed to perform cosmetic procedures regardless of whether they have ever had any specialized training in this field of medicine. Knowing that a surgeon is board certified by the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery (ABCS) helps to ensure that he or she has received proper training, boasts adequate medical experience, and is dedicated to keeping patients safe. Per ABCS requirements, only those surgeons who perform procedures at facilities that are licensed and fully accredited by the state can be certified.
How often do you perform this procedure?
When you know which type of cosmetic surgery procedure you want to have done, or are able to determine with the surgeon’s assistance which will best suit your needs, be sure to ask how many of those procedures he or she performs each week, month, or year. In this case, more is definitely better. If these make up the bulk of his or her practice, the surgeon likely is knowledgeable about the latest trends and techniques associated with the procedure and has a good amount of experience performing it on numerous patients in the Long Island area. Both of these factors can make for a better aesthetic outcome.
May I see before and after photos?
At Romanelli Cosmetic Surgery in Huntington, NY, viewing before and after photos is an important part of every patient consultation, as it provides insight about what can possibly be achieved with their own procedures. The photos also may provide clues about the surgeon’s experience and skill levels. Be sure to look very carefully at the before photos, keeping an eye out for those that feature patients with whom you share similar features such as body size and build. Then, analyze the after and decide whether or not the procedure turned out favorably. Do their hips appear noticeably slimmer following liposuction? Is the resulting scar from a tummy tuck acceptable? You should also take note of results that you do not like and make the surgeon aware so that a similar outcome for your procedure can be avoided. Ideally, results will appear consistent from photo to photo, but are not “cookie cutter” in nature since cosmetic surgery procedures and their outcomes should be customized. An adept surgeon will take into account each patient’s individual anatomy and preferences and tailor their surgical techniques accordingly.
What risks are associated with this procedure?
As with any surgery, there is some risk involved with cosmetic surgery procedures. These can vary greatly depending on several factors including the overall health and lifestyle choices of the patient, as well as the type of procedure that is being performed. A reputable surgeon will assess those risks and, given that most cosmetic surgeries are elective, advise patients in the Long Island area whether it is reasonably safe to proceed. This is part of the reason why serious complications resulting from cosmetic surgery do not arise frequently. In any case, the surgeon should be upfront while informing you about the number or percentage of complications he or she has experienced while performing any given procedure. This information may serve to bolster your confidence in their experience and skill set or ultimately cause you to reconsider the surgery altogether.
What type of anesthesia will be used during the procedure?
One of the greatest risks associated with any type of surgery involves general anesthesia, which must be administered by specialists who also are tasked with monitoring patients throughout the procedure. It is particularly important to address with your surgeon at Romanelli Cosmetic Surgery in Huntington, NY, the type of anesthesia that will be employed. Local anesthetics are considered a relatively safe option and may be used if the surgeon wishes to continue communicating with you throughout the procedure. However, this may not be a viable option for patients who undergo invasive surgery. Regional anesthesia, such as the epidurals commonly used during labor and delivery, only numb a specific area of the body. Frequently referred to as “twilight sleep,” IV sedation is often used during cosmetic surgeries.
What will the recovery process entail?
A pressing question for most Long Island-area patients is how they will look and feel as they heal from surgery. The answer provided by your surgeon should include estimates about how long it may be until you are able to resume normal daily tasks. It may be necessary to wait weeks or months before returning to work, tending to your children without additional assistance, or reestablishing your exercise routine. Any necessary restrictions on movement should also be covered. Tummy tuck patients, for example, are prohibited from lifting any items (including children) for one or more weeks following surgery, as doing so could cause internal damage and impede healing. Learning as much as possible about the anticipated recovery process may also be beneficial in helping determine whether the timing is right for you to undergo a procedure.
Do you have additional questions?
Asking the right questions of a cosmetic surgeon during your consultation may increase the odds that you will experience a successful procedure and achieve the results you desire. Patients who are informed often are more confident about the decisions they make regarding their surgeries as well as in the capabilities of their physician. The board-certified plastic surgeons at Romanelli Cosmetic Surgery in Huntington, NY, encourage you to contact them with any questions you may have as well as to schedule an appointment to discuss how specific cosmetic surgery procedures may benefit you.