During an initial plastic surgery consultation, evaluate your conversation as honestly as possible. Does the doctor listen to what you want and what your goals are? Some doctors may hear your first comments about what you want to change, then immediately start offering solutions. But you want to be sure they hear and understand what you want for your body, not what they think you need. As you talk, evaluate whether the doctor understands what is motivating you to make these changes. The doctor may be able to offer different and better solutions once the entire picture is understood.
Don't be afraid that you are asking too many questions. That is what the initial consultation is about. Continue to ask until every question you have is thoroughly answered. Don't let the doctor get away with technical jargon, either. Ask him to explain your procedure in layman's terms, and expect to receive quality printed brochures and patient information fliers to take with you.
In order to have a good consultation and an eventual good outcome, you must be upfront and honest with your doctor about every aspect of your health. This includes any current or former medical problems, drugs or even supplements you might be taking, and activities in which you are involved. The doctor must know about your lifestyle and what kind of individual you are in order to give accurate predictions of your surgery and recovery. It is a surprise to most patients that something as minor as taking a particular over-the-counter supplement can lessen their chances of a good outcome, but it is true, so be sure to include every aspect of your health in the initial evaluation.
More Answers from Stuart Linder, MD