The Initial Consultation
After you have found a well qualified plastic surgeon, you will call his or her office to schedule an appointment. Policies vary, but I usually make a modest charge for cosmetic consultations (which you can confirm when you make the appointment). Your medical insurance may cover this fee in some instances. Reconstructive problems can often be billed to your insurance. Few plastic surgeons require a referral from another doctor to see you.
At the first visit, you should discuss what you wish to achieve, and your plastic surgeon will examine you, and discuss what he would advise for you.
The results of aesthetic plastic surgery are limited by the proportions and structure of your body. It will not change you into a completely new person. Nor will it revive a failing marriage or guarantee a promotion to president of your company. Discuss your expectations, so your plastic surgeon can tell you whether they are realistic.
Apart from the surgical assessment, the initial consultation is an opportunity to ensure that you feel comfortable and communicate well with your intended surgeon. It is important that you both agree on the surgical plan, and that he or she understands your goals. Good communication becomes especially important to work towards a solution if you experience a complication.
You should also receive a thorough explanation of surgical and other charges, possible insurance coverage, and policies regarding correction of complications. Many plastic surgeons also offer third party financing and accept credit cards.
Finally, you should assess your plastic surgeon’s qualifications and ability to perform the planned surgery.
Consultation Red Flags
- Unwillingness to discuss training or qualifications
- Guarantee of surgical results
- No mention of risks or complications
- Claims of unique skills and results
- Failure to listen to your wishes and preferences