Questions to Ask Your Plastic Surgeon: Playing it Safe

Questions to Ask Your Plastic Surgeon: Playing it Safe

(The First in a Series) 

Choosing a plastic surgeon might be one of the most important decisions of your entire life. It’s crucial both to the outcomes you’re likely to benefit from as well as your safety and well-being.

Once you’ve looked around online and checked out recommendations on social media sites or from people you know, the next steps will be to look at their website and schedule an initial consultation with the doctor who seems like the best candidate. While a good plastic surgeon will have plenty of questions for you about your medical history and desires for the procedure, it’s important to come armed with questions of your own to help confirm that the doctor will be a good fit.

Dr. Steven Varkony is a highly experienced Los Angeles plastic surgeon who understands what patients need to know before going forward with a procedure. This post will be the first in a series providing suggested questions with brief explanations of why we think they are worth asking. This time we’re focusing on the single most important factor – your safety.

  1. What is your educational background and where did you receive your training in plastic surgery?The most important part of the safety equation is choosing a qualified plastic surgeon. Most doctors will have information about their educational background on their website but online CVs can be overwhelming or may not tell the whole story. Asking your prospective plastic surgeon about their training will help you get a more complete picture of the doctor’s background and attitude.
  1. Are you board certified in plastic surgery?Board certification is the most effective way to ensure that your surgeon is fully up to the task of performing your procedure. Most board-certified plastic surgeons will mention their board certification on their websites but it’s still a good idea to confirm their status.There is also something known as a board of cosmetic surgery. Any doctor can join this board. You don’t need to have done a specialization in plastic surgery.
  1. What type of anesthesia will be used? Who will be administering it?All plastic surgeries will involve some form of anesthesia but the type and amount will vary greatly depending on the procedure, the patient’s health situation, and their personal preferences. Doctors should be able to explain what they have in mind for you and why they think it’s the best choice.In most cases, anesthesia will go beyond a local anesthetic and will involve some sort of sedation. If so, an anesthesiologist is necessary to ensure your safety. Just as with your plastic surgeon, you want to make sure that the anesthesiologist will be board-certified and has a good reputation.
  1. Where will the surgery be performed? Is it an accredited surgical facility?Plastic surgeons may perform operations in either hospitals or surgery centers. If it’s the latter, make sure it is an accredited facility. This means it has voluntarily submitted itself to an accrediting organization that has verified that the center lives up to a set of health and safety standards. If the doctor is trying to cut corners by using a non-accredited facility, this surgeon may not be a safe choice.
  1. What measures do you take to ensure patient safety with this procedure?Beyond the questions above, asking plastic surgeons about the safety precautions they personally take with your specific procedure will give you a good idea of how conscientious the plastic surgeon is when it comes to your welfare. A plastic surgeon who isn’t doing everything possible to keep you safe is one you should avoid.

Learn More with Dr. Varkony

If you are interested in having plastic surgery, Dr. Steven Varkony performs the full range of plastic surgeries ranging from facelifts, tummy tucks and breast augmentation to VASER ultrasound liposuction, labiaplasty, and Brazilian Butt Lifts. He will talk to you about the procedure(s) you have in mind and give you the information you need to make an informed decision. Call the number below or inquire by email at

Dr. Varkony’s offices are in Encino but his patients come from throughout the Los Angeles area including Reseda, Tarzana, Calabasas, Studio City, North Hollywood, and Burbank as well as Beverly Hills, Brentwood, and Santa Monica.

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