Finally taking the next step after all your internet research, you schedule an appointment with a Plastic Surgeon and nervously await the day of your appointment to arrive. In part one of this article, five tips of advice were reviewed and offered to help you get the most out of your consultation and your cosmetic procedure experience. Here are five more smart “do’s and don’ts” that you should consider.
Don’t insist that multiple, complex procedures be done all at once like they do on those “extreme makeover” type of shows. In the real world (i.e. not the TV world) people have jobs, children, social obligations, and multiple responsibilities that must be considered beyond their cosmetic procedure needs. After your procedure, it is highly unlikely that you will be placed in a five-star hotel for the next two months with your every meal and need catered to, and no responsibilities other than appearing on camera. You should be more focused on recoveries that will be simple, straightforward and limited. It is certainly much more realistic (as well as less risky) to limit the amount of surgery you are having. There is nothing wrong with having a reasonably quick, uncomplicated recovery that allows you to get back into the swing of your normal life in a streamlined way.
Do ask your doctor about recovery times and restrictions as they pertain to your particular procedure and home circumstances. If you do not have the ability to organize your affairs – business, personal, or social obligations – so that you can follow your restrictions and precautions properly, you will be compromising the success of your results. It’s that old “if you fail to plan, you plan to fail” thing. Knowing from the outset that you won’t be able to really have that full week off, or that you are already envisioning how you might have to short cut the process here and there, or you have decided which of the after-care instructions probably won’t have to apply to you, is a recipe for problems and disappointment. You’d be much better off rescheduling that procedure than going forward under such circumstances.
Don’t assume that you are an appropriate candidate for the procedure that you think you need. Ask if you are! A patient with fatty deposits but poor skin elasticity may not be a good candidate for liposuction. A patient with empty appearing, droopy breasts might be thinking “breast implants” but she might really need a breast lift. Some patients may be disappointed to find out that because of their overall health history it might be unwise and unsafe for them to proceed. Others may happily discover that they are a great candidate for a much less invasive procedure than what they originally thought they needed. Imagine learning that a lesser procedure could get you everything you are looking for but with less down time,less risk and even less cost!
Do be sure to ask what your price quotation includes and does not include. Does the fee quoted include any/all of the surgi-center or anesthesia fees or is it just the surgeon’s fee? What about liposuction garments, bras, or other supplies that might be needed? If an overnight stay is anticipated you should know what those costs involve. Some procedures (e.g. a breast reduction or simple mole removal) will necessitate a pathology specimen analysis – a bill will surely follow that may not be covered by your insurance – what will that run? Do you understand the doctor’s financial policies on any additional needed procedures, unplanned procedures, or “touch-ups”? In some states (such as New Jersey) there is also a so-called “cosmetic procedure tax” – was this included in your quote? Finally, don’t assume that all of your after-care is included (although it should be!).
Don’t be afraid to “ask around”. Salon staff people see and hear about everybody’s work sooner or later. Your local family physician or GP is also likely to have some information about reputation, background, and training of the plastic surgeons in your community. Gynecologists will have firsthand knowledge as to the quality of the results of breast augmentations. Perhaps you know someone who had a procedure or two done? Ask them directly about their experiences and who else they saw in consultation when they were deciding. Social networking sites are a great modern resource for this kind of information, too. The “rating” sites are so-so; the sites will often attract more of those who have something negative to say. Realistically, there is simply no such thing as an experienced surgeon who has been around long enough who is also perfect and has not a single patient who was unhappy in some way. You can even ask your chosen plastic surgeon if he has any existing patients who have already had the procedure that you’re considering and who would be willing to talk with you – many will be glad to share. One day, you might even be able to return that favor to someone else!
Dr. Lyle Back is originally from New York City, receiving his medical and surgical training at Rutgers Medical School, Cooper Hospital – University Medical Center, and Ohio State. He is Board Certified in General Surgery (ABS) and Plastic Surgery (ABPS). He is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons (ACS), the American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery (AACS), and a longstanding member of the premier American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS). He served as a Professor of Plastic Surgery at Temple University and St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children and performed reconstructive surgery with “Operation Smile” in Vietnam. He specializes in the full range of the most modern and state of the art cosmetic surgery procedures for the body and non-surgical cosmetic enhancement techniques available today.