Preparing for cosmetic surgery appointments can be as important as having the elected procedure performed. Follow these 10 steps to ensure that you are properly prepared and that you make the most of your initial consultation.
Step 1 – Your Requirements
It is essential to be very certain regarding what you want to change and how you want to change it. Research the different types of procedures that may meet your requirements before making an appointment. Knowledge is power and if you go into a consultation knowing what you want you can discuss the different options available with the surgeon in an informed manner.
Step 2 – Finding A Surgeon
Once you have decided what you want, you can start looking for a qualified, skilled and experienced surgeon. Keep in mind that some surgeons specialize in performing certain procedures or are simply more experienced than others. It is preferable to find a surgeon that is skilled in the specific area or procedure that you want. For example, a surgeon who regularly performs a rhinoplasty (nose job) may not be as skilled at performing a tummy tuck.
Step 3 – Making The Appointment
If you are looking to find an expert surgeon, it is more than likely that they are very busy and it may be months before they are able to fit you in for an appointment. So schedule a consultation as soon as possible and ensure that you are put on the waiting list should there be any last minute cancellations.
Step 4 – Scope Out The Rooms
If possible, make your cosmetic surgery appointments in person so that you can scope out the consulting rooms. Consider whether you are treated in a professional manner and that you feel comfortable with the surroundings. Are the rooms sanitary and hygienic? Do the staff exude an air of confidence and professionalism?
Apart from choosing a cosmetic specialist who is qualified skilled and experienced, you should also feel comfortable with your doctor and his staff as well as trust them. Follow your gut feel and if something doesn’t feel or look right, don’t go ahead with your cosmetic surgery appointments and rather reschedule with another practitioner.
Step 5 – Questions And Concerns
Make a list of all the questions and concerns that you have in preparation for your cosmetic consult. This will help ensure that you don’t forget any of the important questions you need to ask as well as provide you with as much information as possible.
Step 6 – What To Expect
Find out what you should expect at your initial consultation. You may need to complete a medical information form when you arrive at your appointment so make sure that you have all the necessary information available. They will require personal information, medical insurance information as well as a medical history.
This info will include whether you have any allergies, medical conditions, are taking any medications and have had any type of surgery and operations in the past (not just cosmetic). If possible, find out if you can complete all the necessary documents before your actual consultation arrives to save time.
The doctor will first discuss the type of procedure that will be most suitable and perform a physical exam. It is advisable to wear loose clothing that is easy to remove if you are planning for a cosmetic operation on your body. The doctor will discuss your medical history as well as your questions and concerns.
Step 7 – Keep A Record
You may want to take a notepad and pen along to the consultation or record the conversation if the doctor will allow this. You can keep important notes that you can refer to at a later date.
Step 8 – Lower Your Expectations
While cosmetic surgery is the ultimate means of altering your appearance, it is not a miracle cure and can’t provide absolute change. So lower your expectations before the consult and don’t expect the doctor to be able to turn you into Kate Moss if you are 5ft tall and curvy.
Step 9 – Financial Planning
Not all medical insurance or plans will cover the cost of elective surgery and you will probably need to pay for it yourself. So find out what the entire procedure will cost including:
- – The surgeon’s fees.
- – Theatre fees.
- – The anaesthetist (if necessary)
- – Hospital, clinic or other facilities will charge especially if you need to stay overnight or a few days in order to monitor your recovery or if there were any complications.
- – The cost of all medical materials, drugs and other disposable tools that will be used.
- – Fees for any specialists that may need to attend the operation or assist you in recovery afterwards.
- – Cost of each of the necessary cosmetic surgery appointments.
Ask your doctor if they provide financing where you can pay for your cosmetic operation on a monthly basis. If your appointment is months down the line, you can start paying before you have had your initial consultation. Discuss other financial options with your doctor.
Step 10 – Location
It isn’t always possible to get cosmetic specialist consultations near where you live, especially if you are opting to use the best doctors who could be located far from you. Make sure that you are able to make the necessary travel arrangements to and from the various consults as well as for accommodation should this be required.
Keep in mind that you will have follow-up consults after the surgery while you are recovering. Choose accommodation where you will be comfortable and relaxed and that will enhance your healing. There are centres that are specifically dedicated to providing care and a healing environment after surgical procedures that may be your best option.
Remember that just because you are having an initial consultation does not necessarily mean that you have decided to go through with the entire process. Don’t feel pressured into making a decision and go home and consider all the facts carefully. Many people who are certain that they want a cosmetic procedure often change their minds after the first consultation.