How you prepare

Questions to consider before pursuing cosmetic surgery:

  • What are my motives for wanting to change how I look?
  • What are the specific attributes of my appearance that I want to change?
  • Do I have realistic expectations about the results of the surgery?
  • What aspects of my life will be affected such as family, work, travel and social obligations?
  • Is this a good time in my life to have cosmetic surgery?
  • Have I talked about my concerns and questions openly with my doctor?

Questions to ask the cosmetic surgeon:

It is a good idea to bring a notepad to write down answers.

  • What are your qualifications?
  • How long have you been board-certified?
  • How many procedures have you done similar to the one I'm considering?
  • What other health care professionals will be involved in my care?
  • What results can I expect?
  • Will I need a physical examination prior to surgery?
  • Are there risks unique to my health history?

Questions to ask about a procedure:

  • What does the procedure do? What does it not do?
  • Is this the right treatment for me? Are there other procedures I should consider?
  • What are the risks and complications associated with this procedure?
  • How long is the recovery period?
  • Can I expect much discomfort? What are my pain management options?
  • Will I have any scars and if yes, what will they look like?
  • If my procedure requires stitches, when will they be removed?
  • What kind of activity restrictions will I have following surgery?
  • How long before I can go back to my regular routine?
  • How long before I see the final results of my surgery?
  • How long will the results last?
  • How much does the procedure cost?
July 19, 2017
  1. Neligan PC. Managing the cosmetic patient. In: Plastic Surgery. 3rd ed. London, England: Elsevier Saunders; 2013. Accessed April 28, 2017.
  2. Cosmetic procedure questions. American Society for Dermatologic Surgery. Accessed April 28, 2017.
  3. Questions to ask your plastic surgeon. American Society of Plastic Surgeons. Accessed April 28, 2017.
  4. Neligan PC. Patient safety in plastic surgery. In: Plastic Surgery. 3rd ed. London, England: Elsevier Saunders; 2013. Accessed April 28, 2017.
  5. Quit smoking before your operation. American College of Surgeons. Accessed April 28, 2017.
  6. Patient safety tips. American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. Accessed April 28, 2017.
  7. Tummy tuck guide. American Board of Cosmetic Surgery. Accessed April 28, 2017.
  8. Ericksen WL1, Billick SB. Psychiatric issues in cosmetic plastic surgery. Psychiatry Quarterly. 2012;83:343.