If you are considering cosmetic surgery, getting the information you need and setting realistic expectations is essential. Plastic surgery is a highly personal decision, and your individual experience and results will be different from someone else’s. The following plastic surgery questions are a great start to getting the information you need to feel confident that the procedure and the surgeon are right for you.
Plastic Surgery Questions
Are you Board-Certified?
The American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS) encourages high standards for training, ethics, and physician practice in plastic surgery. The ABPS is the only one that requires 6-9 years of training dedicated to plastic surgery. Dr. Castrellón is proud to be Double-Board Certified by both the American Board of Plastic Surgery and the American Board of Surgery.
How often do you perform this procedure?
It’s helpful to know how frequently a surgeon performs a procedure. In theory, the more often we do something, the better we become. The time spent performing the surgical procedure will give them time to perfect their technique and expertise. Furthermore, ask how many years they have been practicing as a plastic surgeon. In other words, experience matters.
Can you see and discuss any before and after photos?
Before and after photographs serve as a portfolio for a plastic surgeon. They help the surgeon show how well they do their work, any post-operation healing & scarring, and the variety of results. These photographs also help potential patients visualize the results on themselves.
What are the procedural risks?
Between anesthesia, incisions, and implants, plastic surgery has its risks. Some can be easy to treat, while others can be more complex and require additional surgery. Bleeding and infections are the most common. Your surgeon should educate you on the risks involved in the procedure you are about to undergo.
How many pre-op appointments are there?
Getting ready for your surgical procedure is just as important as recovery. Your plastic surgeon may order blood work, X-ray images, fasting, or even require you to lose weight. These pre-operation details are all part of the procedure and just as important. Create a timeline with your family, co-workers, and surgical team to ensure you don’t have personal or professional conflicts.
Is there anything I need to do before getting the procedure?
From Botox injections to breast augmentation surgery, your surgeon may ask you to stop using a specific cream or lose five pounds. These instructions are crucial for the success of your treatment or procedure. Take into account how they affect your days leading up to the surgery.
Where will this procedure be performed?
You’ll want to make sure that the facility, whether a hospital or an outpatient center, is accredited by the national organizations that oversee and uphold the high standards for each type of facility. They are evaluate facilities for safety, cleanliness, efficiency, and more. It’s imperative that you understand the difference between a procedure performed at a hospital versus an outpatient center. If your doctor is performing the procedure at an outpatient center, be sure to ask about their hospital privileges in an emergency.
Does this procedure require anesthesia?
General, regional, local anesthesia, and IV sedation are all forms of anesthesia that your surgeon will speak to you about when discussing your procedure. They all have their risks and benefits, and each person will have a different reaction to them. Anesthesia of any kind requires administration and monitoring by an experienced, licensed anesthesiologist.
What is the protocol if there are severe complications during the procedure?
Even the most experienced plastic surgeon performing a more standard procedure can have complications. Therefore, it is important to ask your surgeon how a complication would be handled and which area hospitals or labs they are associated with.
What is the downtime associated with this procedure?
Most surgical procedures will require you to recuperate at home for a least a few days. You’ll want to ask your doctor for a specific timeline regarding resuming daily activities (bathing, exercising, and working), the physical experience (bruising, swelling, removing or replacing bandages), as well as any side effects (pain).
Will I receive written post-op instructions?
Again, knowing what to expect during the few days or weeks after your procedure is essential. After the surgery, you may be sleepy and/or groggy. Be sure to go over the schedule and details for pain medications and any icing or re-bandaging techniques beforehand.
Who do I call in case of a post-operation emergency?
Waking up a 2:00 AM with unexpected pain can be alarming or even scary. Make sure you and your surgeon have a plan for any post-operative emergency, no matter what time of day or night. Have a list of family or friends you can contact and hospital or outpatient center phone numbers and addresses on hand.
Asking the plastic surgery questions listed above is just a starting point. Once you get the conversation going with the surgeon, you may have even more questions. Never hesitate to ask for the information you need. Take notes and get clarification when needed. Asking questions will help you make a decision and choose the best surgeon for you.
If you’re looking for an experienced, qualified, Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon in the Miami area, get in touch today to book your complimentary in-person or online consultation.