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
References
  1. Neligan PC. Managing the cosmetic patient. In: Plastic Surgery. 3rd ed. London, England: Elsevier Saunders; 2013. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed April 28, 2017.
  2. Cosmetic procedure questions. American Society for Dermatologic Surgery. http://www.asds.net/PatientSafetyPreProcedureQuestionnaire.aspx. Accessed April 28, 2017.
  3. Questions to ask your plastic surgeon. American Society of Plastic Surgeons. https://www.plasticsurgery.org/patient-safety?sub=Questions+to+Ask+Your+Plastic+Surgeon. Accessed April 28, 2017.
  4. Neligan PC. Patient safety in plastic surgery. In: Plastic Surgery. 3rd ed. London, England: Elsevier Saunders; 2013. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed April 28, 2017.
  5. Quit smoking before your operation. American College of Surgeons. https://www.facs.org/education/patient-education/patient-resources/prepare/quit-smoking. Accessed April 28, 2017.
  6. Patient safety tips. American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. http://www.surgery.org/consumers/patient-safety/surgical-risks-overview. Accessed April 28, 2017.
  7. Tummy tuck guide. American Board of Cosmetic Surgery. http://www.americanboardcosmeticsurgery.org/procedure-learning-center/body/tummy-tuck-guide/. Accessed April 28, 2017.
  8. Ericksen WL1, Billick SB. Psychiatric issues in cosmetic plastic surgery. Psychiatry Quarterly. 2012;83:343.