How to Prepare for Your Initial Surgical Consultation

Attractive young woman smiling and lying on side propping her head with hand

At my Boston plastic surgery practice, I spend a great deal of time during the initial consultation getting to know the patient and helping him or her to feel relaxed and comfortable. I understand that your first consultation for plastic surgery can be intimidating and possibly overwhelming. If you’re planning your first conversation with a surgeon, being thoroughly prepared might help ease your anxiety.

Here are a few tips for helping you prepare for your initial consultation.

Do your homework. A good surgical outcome starts with being an educated consumer. Examine your prospective surgeon’s credentials, ensuring he or she trained at exceptional institutions, and is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. Compare the doctor’s training to that of other surgeons in the area. Remember that the consultation isn’t just about the surgeon evaluating you for candidacy. It’s also an opportunity for you to evaluate the surgeon and find out if he or she meets your standards.

Review the surgeon’s photo gallery: Most credible surgeons have before-and-after photo galleries readily available on their websites (you can find mine here). Take the time to browse, paying special attention to cases whose “before” photos most resemble you. This can help you envision the type of results you can expect from a particular surgeon. Feel free to print these photos or pull them up on your phone during your consultation, as this can also be a good tool for helping the surgeon visualize your goals. Additionally, my breast augmentation patients in Boston have the benefit of previewing multiple possible outcomes through the use of Crisalix 3D imaging technology, which can be very helpful when selecting implants.

Gather questions in advance: In the days and weeks before your appointment, jot down the questions you want to ask your surgeon as they come to you. This simple tip ensures you won’t forget anything once you’re face-to-face with the doctor. Don’t hesitate to bring your iPad or reference notes on your phone.

Take a look around: Consider how comfortable you are in the office and with the staff. Does the office look and feel professional? Are the support staff helpful, knowledgeable, and warm? Does the surgeon spend ample time with you and make you feel understood and valued? These clues can help you predict what your experience with this practice will be like. It’s important that you feel safe with and trust both the doctor and his or her team.

If you are still uneasy or have unanswered questions after your first consultation, do not hesitate to schedule further consultations–either with the same surgeon or with others for comparison. Any good surgeon will take as much time as is needed to make sure that a patient feels informed, prepared, and confident proceeding with treatment.

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