Questions? Call (816) 286-4126
Matt Hlavacek, MD, DDS

LOOK AND FEEL YOUR BEST

REQUEST A CONSULT

Three questions to ask your cosmetic surgeon

July 10, 2014, 2:41 am

cosmetic-surgery-consultationIt is normal to have questions before undergoing any type of surgery. However, some patients either forget to ask questions or don’t feel comfortable asking questions or expressing concern. For those seeking cosmetic surgery, it is especially important to have all of your questions answered and concerns addressed as you prepare for an elective procedure and invest your time, money, and energy. While some procedures may be less invasive than others, it is always a good idea to have a thorough understanding of your own goals and expectations, the surgeon’s abilities, and expected outcomes. During your consultation, you should feel free to ask your surgeon anything related to your procedure or concerns. Today, we present you with three questions to ask before surgery.

When will my surgery take place and how should I prepare?

It is important to understand the timeline for your procedure and to plan ahead. For some procedures, it is not uncommon to have a month or more between consultation and surgery. At Kansas City Surgical Arts, Dr. Hlavacek and his team want to be sure that your surgery goes smoothly and that you have the best possible outcome. This may mean attending pre-operative appointments such as a medical screening with your primary care doctor, lab testing, or x-rays to ensure that you are healthy enough for surgery.

In addition to ensuring good health prior to your procedure, take time to prepare your family and job for your upcoming surgery. More involved procedures such as breast augmentation require plenty of rest and restricted activity after surgery. You will need to know how much time to schedule away from work and for how long to schedule child care or pet care assistance. If you work, this may require scheduling vacation time or days off, which may not be available to you immediately.

Finally, if you are a smoker, you may need to take time between your consultation and surgery to focus on kicking the nicotine habit. Patients who quit smoking prior to their surgery and plan to continue to be nicotine-free afterward often have better outcomes with far fewer complications.

What results might I expect?

Your results will be individual to you, the area being treated, your overall health, and how realistic your goals and expectations are. It is important to communicate your goals and expectations to your surgeon as clearly as possible and that you pursue surgery for your own needs and desires and not at the request of someone else.

Many patients find it helpful to take pictures to their consultation. The pictures should be examples of the results you are seeking, but you should understand that these are only for guidance. Your results may not match the pictures exactly. Additionally, if you have photos of yourself from another point in life that illustrate the look you seek, these may also be beneficial. For example, if you have significant frown lines and would like them to be reduced, a picture of your face before they developed may be useful when discussing your goals.

In addition to sharing your goals with your surgeon, ask to see before-and-after pictures of others who have undergone similar procedures. However, keep in mind that these are just guidelines for possible outcomes. Your surgery and results are individual to you.

What will recovery be like and what follow-up is included?

It is important to know about recovery and follow-up before surgery so you can be prepared for the realities of post-surgical bruising, swelling, and restrictions. Your surgeon should discuss these post-surgical expectations with you during your consultation, as well as telling you how to manage such effects. You will need to know about any restrictions on movement or exertion ahead of time to prepare yourself and your family. This may include limits on lifting, twisting, and turning — which would impact child care and household chores as well as your job. You may also be required to limit your exercise routine for quite some time after surgery or to find alternative activities.

It is also important know about the potential risks and complications of your procedure ahead of time. During your consultation, be sure to let your surgeon know about any past surgeries you may have had and how your body coped with recovery. If you have had any adverse reactions to anesthesia, your doctor needs to know about this ahead of time. In addition, ask about what to do should a complication, question, or concern arise.

Lastly, be sure your surgeon discusses your follow-up care. How soon after surgery should you be seen again for follow-up and how often? Will you need additional follow-up appointments? After your follow-up appointments are done, what should you do if you have new concerns?

Having clear expectations and understanding of your procedure, preparation, and recovery will add to the likelihood of a pleasing experience and satisfactory results. Dr. Hlavacek at Kansas City Surgical Arts prides himself on taking care of his patients as if they were his own family from start to finish, and wants to ensure that your questions and concerns are addressed prior to your procedure. Take the first step today by call (816) 286-4126 today to schedule your consultation.