When should I meet with my prospective surgeon?

Stuart A. Linder, MD
Plastic Surgery
During your initial consultation you should meet your prospective surgeon. Make sure to bring your checklist of questions and concerns. In my practice, I see patients again during a preoperative visit normally about 7-10 days prior to the procedure. Informed consent forms are reviewed, signed, and the surgery and post-operative instructions are reviewed again. 



Once you have narrowed down your search, plan an initial consultation with the surgeon, during which you can get to know each other. This consultation will include a detailed interview and physical examination. To make certain the surgeon fully understands your problem and your overall health, bring the following with you: copies of any x-rays, CT scans, or MRI scans; all lab results; your medical files; a comprehensive list of any medications you are taking (or have recently taken); a list of any natural dietary supplements, including herbs, you are taking (or have recently taken); and a list of any known allergies (including latex allergy or allergy to medications). During your time with your surgeon, talk openly about your needs, and ask the surgeon what the chances are for pain relief.   

In addition to discussing your surgery in detail, be specific with questions about exercise and increasing activity. If you want to be able to play golf or tennis, ask whether it will be possible after surgery. If you are contemplating getting pregnant, be upfront and ask if this will be possible after surgery. If you cannot do your job, which entails bending and lifting, ask if surgery will help you at work. Good patient-physician communication is important for receiving the highest quality of care and the comfort needed during anxious moments before surgery. I find that many patients find it helpful to write down their questions ahead of time, so they are less apt to forget them at the time of consultation.
The Women's Guide to Ending Pain: An 8-Step Program

More About this Book

The Women's Guide to Ending Pain: An 8-Step Program

Are you one of the 80 million North American women suffering from the chronic pain of:* Menstrual cramps* Fibromyalgia* Headaches * Carpal tunnel syndrome* Back or neck pain?Starting today, you can...

Continue Learning about Talking To Your Doctor

Do’s and Don’ts for Emailing Your Doctor
Do’s and Don’ts for Emailing Your Doctor
You can order a pizza, a latte, movie tickets or your next car online…so why is it so darned hard to email your doc? According to a new report, doctor...
Read More
What should I ask I'm diagnosed with a life-threatening illness?
Dr. Mehmet Oz, MDDr. Mehmet Oz, MD
There are many questions you need to ask whenever you receive a medical diagnosis. However, when tha...
More Answers
What tips should I keep in mind while talking to my doctor?
Dr. Vonda Wright, MDDr. Vonda Wright, MD
Orthopaedic surgeon Dr. Vonda Wright shares tips every patient should keep In mind while talking to ...
More Answers
Why Should I Share My Medical History With My Doctors?
Why Should I Share My Medical History With My Doctors?

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.