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Your consultation with your plastic surgeon is extremely important.  It’s your time to get to know the doctor, determine if you feel comfortable with him/her, and ask any questions you may have regarding the procedure(s) you are interested in having performed.  Most importantly, your consultation will help you decide if you want this particular surgeon to perform this procedure on you.

One very important question to ask is whether your surgeon is board certified in plastic surgery.  Being a member of the American Board of Plastic Surgery means that your doctor is highly qualified, skilled, and up-to-date in plastic surgery procedures.  You may ask this question of the office staff when scheduling your consultation or you may ask the doctor directly during your consultation.  You should also ask whether the doctor is a current member of any medical associations.

During your consultation, it is okay to question your doctor about his/her expertise.  You should ask if he/she specializes in any particular plastic surgery procedures.  For example, some doctors may specialize in facial procedures such as rhinoplasty or face lifts, while others may specialize in body procedures such as liposuction, breast augmentation, or tummy tucks.

When discussing the specific procedure you are interested in, you should ask how experienced the doctor is in that procedure.  You should ask how often he/she performs the procedure and how many of these procedures he/she has performed.  You may also want to ask about his/her success rate, complication rate, and safety record for that particular procedure.

It is also important for you to inquire about the steps of your particular procedure, including what options you have for anesthesia, how you should prepare prior to surgery, and what you can expect on the day of the procedure.  In addition, you will want to know what you can expect after your procedure, including:  how long the recovery time will be; what side effects and risks are involved with the procedure; when you will be able to resume normal activity, such as work or school; and how long it will take on average until you see the results.

Plastic surgery is as much an art as it is a science.  Most doctors have before- and after-photos of their previous patients, so it is essential that you ask to look at these photographs.  From these photos, you will be able to see the type of results you may be able to expect from this doctor.

Finally, your financial situation is very important when it comes to paying for a procedure.  It is completely appropriate and essential that you discuss payment options with your doctor during your consultation.  Knowing how much your procedure will cost will help you feel better prepared and help you determine if you can afford to undergo the procedure now or if you need to wait.  Many doctors offer payment packages and plans, so it is important to inquire about