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As with any surgery, cosmetic surgerys carries a risk potential. The profession of cosmetic surgery exists as well-advised patients and well-trained doctors and surgeons around the world firmly believe that the inherent benefits far outweigh the potential risks. A vast, vast majority of cosmetic surgeries are completed to fantastic results and fully satisfied patients and in the unlikely event that an error or accident occurs whether acute or prolonged, there are many means of correcting these. Techniques continue to improve and best practices continue to evolve. On the whole, the product of cosmetic surgeons are a large number of very satisfied patients whose lives have changed in ways small and large.

Before scheduling your procedure, Dr. Siegel suggests potential patients consider the following:

Consult Doctors That Specialize

Before you make a final decision to have surgery, it’s best to seek more than one opinion, and ideally three. After you’ve researched and selected a physician for consultation, be prepared with a written list of whatever questions you might have.

During the consultation, you are required to be advised of the risks of the procedure, even if they may not appear on websites. This should take up a good amount of the discussion, along with an evaluation of your candidacy for the procedure. If your doctor determines you are indeed a good candidate for the procedure, various treatment options should be discussed. There is more than one procedure to address most cosmetic concerns, and there are often multiple ways that each procedure can be done. Typically, only one of the many options is the most perfectly suited for you.

Questions to Ask Your Cosmetic Surgeon

  • What procedures do you specialize in most?
  • Do you see any conditions that make me anything less than a great candidate for this procedure?
  • Are there alternative procedures with similar or better results?
  • How often do you perform this procedure? Approximately how many such procedures have you done?
  • How long will my surgery take?
  • What type of anesthesia is used?
  • Where will the incisions be located? How visible is scarring likely to be?
  • When will I be able to return home?
  • What are the risks and complications? What do those mean exactly?
  • How long will my recovery be?
  • When will healing be fully completed?
  • When can I return to full normal activities, like exercise?
  • What is the total cost (including hospital fees and any other extras)?
  • What happens if I cancel my appointment before the procedure?
  • Can I see some before and after pictures of your work?

Your Preparations for Appointment

Be prepared to let the doctor know about your complete medical history including allergies and medications you might be taking. Birth control pills, vitamins, herbal supplements and natural remedies are also important to make known. For the most part, it is unlikely you will be required to stop taking many or most of these before the procedure, but letting your doctor know of them is important as one may trigger a red flag while another might be totally safe.

Trust Your Instincts

The answers you get should inspire trust. And it goes without saying that your conversation with your cosmetic surgeon should be comfortable. Do you like his or her personality and confidence? Does it feel like you are being sold on something, or informed about it? A good cosmetic surgeon is likely to help you understand, for instance, why you might benefit from a neck lift along with a face lift, or if the face lift alone will accomplish your cosmetic goals.

Where Will Your Cosmetic Surgery Be Performed?

Where your surgery will be performed is important.

Cosmetic surgery can be done in a hospital, a mobile surgical facility, or in the office. Each has its pros and cons. A hospital-based surgery guarantees the best resuscitation equipment and an operating room that meets strict standards. But it comes with an increased cost.

If your cosmetic surgeon delivers in an outpatient setting surgery, check that it is accredited by the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC), the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO), or the American Association for Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgical Facilities (AAAASF). Accreditation guarantees the facility’s director is board-certified in a surgical specialty and holds hospital privileges, and that your anesthesia will be given by a board-certified anesthesiologist or certified registered nurse anesthesiologist.

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