Procedure-Specific Questions to Ask Your Plastic Surgeon
Board-certified plastic surgeons are trained in all types of plastic surgeries but that doesn’t mean all of them do all surgeries equally well. Here are some questions to help you determine if your plastic surgeon is not only well qualified in general, but specifically capable to perform the procedure you’re considering.
- Can you explain the procedure in detail, including what I can expect before, during, and after the surgery? Plastic surgeons should be extremely well-versed not only in a given surgery but also in what patients need to do to prepare, what will happen on the day of the procedure, and what will typically happen during recovery. Good plastic surgeons do their best to ensure patients fully grasp what their procedure entails and what they can expect during the process. If doctors say something you don’t understand, such as when they use unfamiliar medical terms, don’t be afraid to ask the doctor to explain. It’s your body and you have a right to fully understand what will be happening to it.
- How often do you perform the specific procedure I am considering? Plastic surgery covers most of the human body and the work of a plastic surgeon will vary from procedure to procedure. Performing facial rejuvenation, breast augmentation, tummy tucks, and Brazilian Butt Lifts (BBLs) all involve different sets of skills. It’s good to get an idea of how experienced a plastic surgeon is in the specific procedure(s) you are considering.
- What is your success rate for this procedure? While doctors will tend to put the best possible face on their past experience, if you listen closely you can get a good idea of how confident doctors may actually feel about their skills in a particular procedure. Many plastic surgeons have strong preferences about which procedures they like to perform. If a doctor seems less than enthusiastic or tacitly admits to having had somewhat disappointing outcomes, look elsewhere.
- Could I see before and after photos of patients who’ve undergone similar procedures? A picture is still worth many thousands of words and there’s no better way to see what might be possible with a given plastic surgeon than before-and-after images. While most doctors will post pictures on their website, it’s not a bad idea to ask during your first consultation if they have any other images that might show work on patients with more similar bodies or facial types.
- Do you have any patient testimonials or references from people who have had this procedure? Going through plastic surgery is not only about outcomes; patients’ experiences while they’re undergoing their procedure are also important. So is good communication before and after the fact. Reading relevant testimonials can be very helpful in determining how proficient a doctor is in a given procedure.
Want to Learn More? Call Dr. Steven Varkony.
Steven J. Varkony, M.D., is one of the Los Angeles area’s most respected board-certified plastic surgeons. He is here to answer your questions about all kinds of cosmetic procedures. Please feel free to call or email using the information at the bottom of the page. You can also visit his contact page.
Dr. Varkony’s office is located in Encino and his patients come from throughout the Greater Los Angeles area, including Burbank, Studio City, Sherman Oaks, Woodland Hills, Westlake Village, and Calabasas as well as West L.A., Beverly Hills, Brentwood, and Santa Monica.