By Sacha Obaid
During your consultation with your plastic surgeon, you’ll both communicate about what your expectations and goals are for your surgery and what your surgeon can realistically offer.
This is also the best time for you to learn more about the procedure, the surgeon’s skill, and the track record of the cosmetic surgery practice where you want to have your procedure. Arm yourself with the list of questions to ask about liposuction, below, and don’t hesitate to ask about anything else that comes to mind.
How often do you perform this procedure?
You’ll want to find a surgeon that performs liposuction on a regular, routine basis. An active, busy practice is a good sign that your doctor, and his or her team, has a lot of experience and is producing high quality results.
What board certifications do you hold?
It is important to find out whether your doctor is a board certified plastic surgeon or cosmetic surgeon, as this training is specific to liposuction and other cosmetic procedures. Your surgeon should be happy to discuss the extensive training they have likely received as a physician.
May I speak with a current or former liposuction patient of yours?
A great way to learn about the doctor’s practice is to get another patient’s perspective. This is also a good question to ask, even if you don’t actually follow up. A surgeon that is hesitant to put you in contact with his other patients may have something to hide. Keep in mind that your surgeon does have to keep certain patient confidentialities and may not be able to offer you a name. But many surgeons have patients who have previously offered their services for testimonials and to talk to current patients.
What are the risks of this procedure?
You should ask for a clear explanation of the risks of surgery, even the most unlikely ones. It is important that you have an understanding of what can go wrong so that you can make a well-informed and appropriate decision. Your doctor should not shy away from this question; you should expect a direct and honest, but reassuring explanation.
What is the total cost of this procedure?
Make sure you get a clear, specific estimate of the total, bottom-line cost of the entire procedure, not just the surgery itself. There may be significant charges and additional fees, so insist upon a complete, up-front accounting of what you should expect to pay. Ask about financing as well.
What can I expect on the day of my procedure?
Ask for a run down on exactly what will happen when you come in for surgery. Do you need to arrange for transportation? What should you bring? Is the doctor you are talking to the one that will actually perform the procedure? Make sure you have a clear understanding of the sequence of events.
How much time should I take off of work?
Recovery time varies for each patient, so this might be a little tough to answer, but ask for a range so that you can plan ahead. This question should lead naturally into a discussion of recovery in general, which is an important aspect to consider as you think about getting liposuction.
Armed with these questions, you’ll leave your consultation feeling reassured, well informed, and with a clear understanding of the type of practice that will be handling your procedure.