5 Things to Look out for During Cosmetic Surgery Consultation:
I’m sure most of you know how to research a board certified plastic surgeon in your area. The information age has made it easier and easier for patients these days to find a qualified cosmetic surgeon. Finding a surgeon online via research is one step however how do you know of that surgeon is right for you. Here are some things look out for when you are at your consultation.
1. Before booking the appointment, ask if there is a consultation fee. Most surgeons charge $100-$200 for a consultation which in most cases will give you plenty of time to discuss all of your questions and concerns. You can also ask if the fee is applied to your procedure or treatment. By determining a consultation fee, you can set aside a few hundred dollars outside of your surgery/treatment budget to visit a few offices in your area; that way you can compare surgeons in your area.
2. When you arrive to your consultation, make sure the front desk staff is friendly and accommodating. Going to a consultation can make most patients nervous, especially if you’ve never had a consultation before. Most offices understand that “first timers” can be nervous and by creating a friendly atmosphere the front desk staff can help ease your nerves and actually make your visit fun!
3. Write down your questions. By doing this, you will ensure that all of your questions are answered. Most people think they will remember their questions however, with all the “hustle and bustle” you may forget half of what you want answered. Plus, during your consultation you will be given a lot of information about different procedures and you may become overwhelmed. By writing down your questions, you can ensure that you will stay focused. By the end of your consultation, if all of your questions are answered, you should feel at ease, less nervous and more excited about your pending treatment/procedure.
4. Make sure you are comfortable with your surgeon. This is the most important step because during your surgery/treatment process, you will be communicating with your surgeon quite often. If you’re having surgery, you will create a relationship that will last for up to 1 full year. If you are having dermal fillers, Botox or laser there will be a continuous relationship for as long as you decide to maintain your treatments. Be sure that your surgeon is answering all of your questions in an answer that you can understand (not medical jargon), ensure that your surgeon is putting you at ease, not making you more nervous or anxious. Lastly, make sure that you like their overall personality. Finding the best surgeon for you is like dating, you interview a few candidates and you make your decision based on certain qualities that are important to you.
5. After your consultation with the doctor is complete, there should be a second half of your consultation which is meeting your Patient Care Coordinator (PCC). A PCC is the liaison between you and your surgeon to ensure that all the “I’s are dotted and T’s are crossed.” Your patient care coordinator should be helpful, friendly and should know how to answer your questions as good if not better than your surgeon. PCC’s should have experience with many different patient experiences and should be able to give you detailed accounts of how you will feel before and after surgery/treatment, risks, benefits and should also be able to give you pricing and surgical booking information. Patient Care Coordinators are usually the back bone to all good cosmetic surgeons’ offices. They not only help the surgeon but most importantly they are an advocate for the patient (you!)
Remember, your cosmetic surgery consultation experience should be informative, relaxed, pressure free and most importantly fun. By applying these 5 steps to your next visit, you can ensure that you are optimizing your consultation while getting the most information possible in a short period of time. By choosing cosmetic surgery you are making the best investment in the world, you are investing in you.