Five Important Questions to Ask Your Plastic Surgeon

I love being a plastic surgeon, but I also enjoy educating my patients. It’s my job to make sure that all of my patients’ questions are answered and that they feel comfortable with their decision to move forward with their procedure.

Below are some questions that I encourage all potential patients to ask, whether it be of me and/or Dr. Krochmal or of any other plastic surgeon. It’s important to do your homework and get all of your questions answered before making such a significant decision.

  1. What are your credentials?

What qualifies your surgeon to perform your procedure? Start by asking if he or she is board-certified in plastic surgery. ASPS member surgeons are certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and are trained specifically in plastic surgery. They operate only in accredited medical facilities, adhere to a strict code of ethics, and fulfill continuing plastic surgery education requirements, including patient safety techniques.

  1. How many procedures of this type have you performed?

In addition to knowing your plastic surgeon’s credentials, it is important to know the level of experience he or she has in performing your plastic surgery procedure. Don’t hesitate to ask how many rhinoplasties he or she has done if you are considering rhinoplasty for yourself. And ask to see “before” and “after” photos, as they are helpful and seeing what kind of results the doctor has achieved. You can even ask to speak to some of his or her patients who have undergone the same procedure that you are considering.  Most reputable doctors will have a list of patients that have agreed to be called to share their experience.

  1. Are there alternatives to surgery?

In some cases, surgery is not the only answer. You may be able to achieve the desired results through nonsurgical treatments. Ask your plastic surgeon about the benefits and risks of these alternatives, so you can make an informed decision. You may be surprised with what can be achieved through non-invasive options.

  1. What do I need to do to prepare for surgery?

This is a very important question as some surgeries may require that you lose weight, stop smoking, or stop or begin taking certain medications prior to your surgery. When you have this discussion with your surgeon, you should also mention the vitamins, supplements and any over-the-counter or prescription medications you may be taking.

  1. What are the potential risks?

Every surgery has some associated risk. Be sure to weigh the benefits of the procedure against the risks of side effects and complications (i.e. length of recovery time, nausea from the anesthesia, vomiting, pain, possible infection, etc.) before making your decision. Dr. Krochmal and I are upfront and honest with our patients regarding all possible side effects and risks.

In my next blog, I will include 5 more important questions to ask your plastic surgeon regarding post-op and recovery times.