What should I ask at my consultation?
Posted December 26, 2018
Our philosophy at Bellissimo Plastic Surgery & Medi Spa involves not only providing excellent care for our patients but also educating them so they can make the best possible choices regarding their medical care. Dr. Antimarino encourages patients to ask questions and will spend time going over the dynamics of each procedure until the patient feels confident in their understanding of the information given.
We asked Dr. Antimarino, “What are the top 3 questions you are asked during a consultation and what should we be asking?”
Here is what Dr. Antimarino told us:
The top three questions I am typically asked during a consultation include:
What is my downtime (from daily activity)?
When can I return to work?
How much will the procedure cost?
A consultation is an opportunity to ask any questions you might have about the procedure you are interested in and provide you with the answers to help you decide what is best for you regarding a surgical procedure. There is no right or wrong question nor should a patient be made to feel uncomfortable when asking their questions. Choosing the correct surgeon for you is as important a decision as deciding to move forward with having surgery. Research should be done prior to your consultation about the surgical procedure as well as the surgeon you are meeting with. Take note of their staff, they will be assisting you should you choose the doctor they work for. Is the surgeon easy to communicate with? Do you feel comfortable during the consultation and do you feel that you are understood and in agreement when discussing your desired outcome?
Downtime, as well as an estimated return to work date, are both important as you will have to manage your recovery around those answers. Talk with the surgeon about your responsibilities, both in the home as well as your career, so that they understand how this may impact your recovery.
The cost of the procedure is typically discussed without the surgeon as they should not have anything to do with the financial arrangements. A patient care coordinator acts as a liaison between the practice and the patient. Their job is to put together all the paperwork which may include laboratory data and pre and post-operative appointment scheduling. They will also schedule the surgical date. Financial information is discussed with the patient care coordinator and they will review the cost of the procedure, the down-payment and available lines of credit.
Questions that should be asked would include:
What are the surgeon’s credentials?
The surgeon should be board certified in plastic surgery. It is also recommended that the surgeon is accredited by the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) which further verifies added experience in aesthetic surgery.
Where is the surgical facility and is it an accredited facility?
The surgical facility should meet state and federal safety criteria. Remember that these are elective procedures and safety should be of the utmost concern.
What is the surgeon’s experience with this procedure?
The surgeon’s experience with a procedure will provide a level of competence as they will be familiar with the surgery as well as any variables that may be associated with it.
Is there another alternative available?
Educating the patient should be a priority in a practice and that includes discussing if a procedure will meet the desired results of the patient or if they should consider another alternative. The surgeon should be able to discuss non-surgical as well as surgical alternatives with the patient, even if they are not available at that practice.
We encourage patients to speak up and be their own advocate when considering any type of elective procedure. A consultation is just another step in the right direction of education and preparation. Would you like to schedule one for yourself? You can do so here, or give us a call at 844-496-6647.