Making an informed decision about whether to undergo plastic surgery of the face can be difficult, and it is easy to become overwhelmed by the vast amount of information and the plethora of choices available. One of the most important stages during any preliminary research is your initial consultation, when you have a chance to meet with a plastic surgeon to discuss your individual concerns and what can be done to address them. If approached correctly, this one meeting can set the tone for your procedure, help establish rapport with your doctor, answer all of your questions, and even help assuage your fears. Here are some important things to keep in mind before sitting down for your initial plastic surgery consultation in order to make sure that you get the most out of it.
First and foremost, openness and honesty are important. Be candid not only when discussing exactly what you want to have changed, but also in explaining your own medical history and every aspect of your health. Even seemingly minor information about key lifestyle factors can play a major role in your surgical outcome and recovery, so be prepared to discuss any current or former medical problems, drugs or even supplements you might be taking, and activities in which you are involved. This level of openness should go both ways, so inquire about your doctor’s background and qualifications as well. Anyone with a medical degree can call themselves a “cosmetic surgeon” and legally perform cosmetic procedures, but a true plastic surgeon’s residency requires years of advanced plastic surgery training and hundreds of hours of experience beyond medical school. The most qualified and highly-trained plastic surgeons will also be board-certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS), the only recognized certifying agency for plastic surgeons in the United States. With a board certified plastic surgeon you can be sure that, if any complications were to arise, you are in the best possible hands.
Secondly, a good consultation should be more than just a discussion. Any experienced plastic surgeon should be able to show you an extensive gallery of their previous work, with before and after pictures. You should be able to see the outcomes of cases similar to your own and what results you can reasonably expect to obtain. Bring in pictures of your own as well, with examples of how you would like to look or what features you particularly want to address. This will give your plastic surgeon a better idea of your specific goals and allow them to determine whether your expectations are realistic or if what you want is unsafe or unsuited to your individual aesthetic features and needs. Making sure that you and your surgeon have the same idea of what the final outcome of the procedure will be is the best way to ensure that you are satisfied with your final facial plastic surgery results.
Finally, don’t be afraid of asking too many questions. A responsible plastic surgeon will not shy away from discussing the potential risks or complications that can result from your surgery. They will explain exactly what will happen at each step of the procedure and give you detailed after-care instructions. Feel free to take copious notes for your own reference and, above all, be sure that you walk out of the office without any lingering concerns. There is no need for mystery or secrecy surrounding any medical procedure. The more open and better informed everyone is, the better the outcome will be.
If you have any questions about any of the facial plastic surgery procedures I perform, or would like to schedule a consultation to discuss your particular needs, I would welcome you to contact my office for additional information. Don’t forget to connect with me, Dr. Fernando Burstein, on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ for the latest facial plastic surgery news.
About Dr. Fernando D. Burstein, M.D., F.A.C.S., F.A.A.P.
Dr. Fernando Burstein is a well-respected Atlanta facial plastic surgeon with board certifications in both plastic and reconstructive surgery and otolaryngology (head and neck surgery.) With nearly thirty years of experience specializing in cosmetic and reconstructive facial plastic surgery procedures, Dr. Burstein has served as the chief of plastic and reconstructive surgery at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and as a clinical professor of plastic and reconstructive surgery at Emory University. He has authored and published more than 100 articles and book chapters on facial plastic and reconstructive surgery and has been honored as one of Atlanta Magazine’s Top Doctors, a peer-nominated award in the field of plastic surgery, for the past seven consecutive years.