How to Prepare for Your Cosmetic Surgery Consult

A successful consultation with a board certified cosmetic surgeon will educate you about your options and put your mind at ease before scheduling surgery. Getting the most out of your consultation can be as simple as being prepared and knowing the right questions to ask.

The following checklist can help guide you through the process and ensure you take full advantage of your face-to-face time with potential surgeons.

Click here for a downloadable PDF of this list to print and bring to your cosmetic consultation.

Meeting Your Surgeon

Before you leave home:

  • Research your procedure ahead of time; click here to get started.
  • If you’re looking into breast or body procedures, be sure to wear clothing and underwear that will make disrobing comfortable and practical. (You’ll be asked to undress relevant portions of your body and don a patient gown while the doctor and nurse step out of the room.)
  • Write down any questions you have for the surgeon. For a list of suggested questions, print this checklist for comparing cosmetic surgeons.
  • Have your medical history information ready, including medical problems that run in your immediate family, and bring it with you. To make things easier, ask if you can fill out your medical paperwork beforehand.
  • Arrival at the surgeon’s office, make mental notes:
  • Is the office clean, organized, and professional?
  • Is the staff friendly, courteous, and happy to see you?
  • Is the atmosphere warm and inviting?
  • While you wait to meet the surgeon:
  • Fill out all paperwork accurately; the more comprehensive, the better!
  • Be certain to share any and all medical conditions, which can help ensure proper planning and safety before, during, and after your procedure.
  • Give a full list of medications and supplements you take and anything you ingest to support your health, including herbs, teas, and vitamins.

Meeting with your surgeon, make mental notes:

  • Does your surgeon make you feel welcome and at ease?
  • Does he/she listen to your concerns and offer feedback?
  • Does the surgeon understand your expectations?
  • Does he/she help you understand your options?

Important questions to ask your surgeon:

  • Am I a good candidate for my procedure of interest? If not, what is keeping me from being a candidate?
  • How many times have you performed this procedure?
  • What are the benefits?
  • What are the risks?
  • What board certification(s) do you hold?
  • Where will the surgery take place?
  • Is the surgical facility accredited?
  • Do you have hospital privileges? If so, where?
  • Who will perform the anesthesia and what are their qualifications?
  • What type of anesthesia is required for this procedure?
  • What are the credentials of your surgical staff?
  • How would you respond if an emergency were to occur during surgery?
  • Have you helped patients with similar physical qualities and concerns? Can you show me before and after photos of their results ?

During the physical exam, make mental notes:

  • Is the doctor courteous and professional?
  • Did the doctor seem to understand your areas of concern?
  • Has the doctor informed you of the available options for meeting your goals?
  • Did the doctor describe how they would specifically tailor the procedure(s) for you?
  • Has the doctor helped you understand what to expect?
  • Do you have reasonable expectations of your results?
  • Do you feel confident moving forward with surgery?

Financial Planning

  • If you need to finance your procedure, ask about the available options during your consultation. (Be sure to note if you are given courteous help and guidance for applying.)
  • Reference our cosmetic surgery pricing calculator to see average cosmetic procedure prices for your region.
  • Most surgeons require an initial down payment when you schedule your procedure and payment in full prior to the date of surgery. If this is a concern, be sure to discuss financing options during your consultation.
  • Prior to scheduling surgery, we recommend consulting with multiple doctors to ensure that you are completely comfortable and confident with your final decision. The right cosmetic surgeon will have the experience you need, communicate with you openly, and take the time to answer each of your questions thoroughly. To find ABCS certified surgeons in your area, click here.
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