Plastic Surgery Consultation: What You Need to Know


Cosmetic surgery can completely change your appearance, your sense of confidence, and your outlook on the world; it’s no exaggeration to say that a plastic surgery procedure can be a life-altering event in the best way. As such, it’s certainly not something to enter into lightly. Before any kind of surgical procedure, it’s prudent to make sure you know what kind of surgery you need by finding the right board certified plastic surgeon; what kind of results you can expect; and, most of all, what you need to do in order to stay safe and healthy before, during, and after the procedure. Getting an estimation for how much the procedure will cost you is also important.

The best way to do this is to have a surgery consultation, meeting with a skilled plastic surgeon at Charlotte Plastic Surgery to discuss the options available to you. At Charlotte Plastic Surgery, we make the complementary consultation a prerequisite for all of our surgical patients. We want to get to know you, talk through the different procedure options, and make sure you’re a good candidate for a safe and effective plastic surgery. All of that happens through a one-on-one surgery consultation.

Hear from Dr. Kevin Smith in this short video on how to get the most out of your plastic surgery consultation:

Building The Relationship Between Plastic Surgeon and Patient

When a patient comes in for a plastic surgery consultation, they usually have a certain idea about what they want to achieve—which body part(s) they would like to improve, and what they ultimately hope to look like. What they may not know is how to achieve those results. That’s largely what the consultation is about—creating a road map, showing patients the best path to the results they are after.

During the complimentary consultation, you can expect your plastic surgeon to ask you a few key questions:

  1. What do you want out of the plastic surgery process? It cannot be stressed enough: what you hope to achieve may not be attainable through the procedure or process you have in mind. Your physician can clarify expectations and propose the best procedure to address your wants and needs.
  2. Is the outcome realistic? Your physician will have a good sense of what’s really possible through plastic surgery—and while your surgeon will work with you to ensure you’re happy with the outcome, he or she will also steer you clear from false hopes or overly ambitious expectations.
  3. Is the procedure safe? At Charlotte Plastic Surgery, patient safety is always our top priority. Some patients may not be good candidates for a procedure, simply due to their overall physical health. During the consultation, we can zero-in on any patient safety issues that might be present.

Learn more from Dr. Stephan Finical by watching this short video on how to prepare for your plastic surgery consultation:

Generally, a plastic surgery consultation is by nature a give-and-take experience. You may tell the physician what you want, your physician may modify the plan or offer some alternatives to consider, and you can respond accordingly. Together, you’ll generate trust, build a relationship, and ultimately arrive at a place where you both feel confident and comfortable about the road map you’ve built together.

Another way to think about the consultation: it’s an exchange of information. You’ll obviously have much to tell your doctor about the look you’re trying to achieve, but it’s equally important that you’re ready to listen and learn as the doctor shares information about different procedures, the expected results, and the recovery time.

Tips for Your Plastic Surgery Consultation

As you prepare for this give-and-take conversation and planning, here are a few specific tips to consider:

  1. You should always be prepared to give a full medical and surgical history. This is all part of our broader emphasis on patient safety—we want to make sure you are truly a good candidate for a safe and healthy procedure.
  1. You may need to stop some medications before surgery—even OTC medications and vitamin supplements. Again, this is critical to ensure that you heal fully and properly. Come to your consultation with a full list of any and all medications you take. And if a particular prescription you take is medically necessary, we will work with your prescribing physician to see if discontinuing it can be done safely.
  2. We ask that you bring some photographs to the consultation which can help your physician better understand what you’re aiming for. Old photographs of you in your youth are especially helpful with facial rejuvenation procedures. And photos of the look you hope to achieve can be helpful for breast augmentation, abdominoplasty, and other breast & body procedures, allowing you and your physician to visualize and brainstorm together.

Finding the Best Plastic Surgeon

Another key component of your plastic surgery consultation: it will provide you with the opportunity to make sure you’re selecting the right plastic surgeon for you. Some specific questions for you to consider:

  • How will the physician respond should something unexpected happen?
  • Will your physician and his/her team be there for you over the long haul?

To answer these questions, you’ll want to do plenty of research on the reputation of the plastic surgeon. In addition, we’d recommend asking to see before-and-after photos from previous procedures. A good surgeon will be happy to furnish you with these images, and to answer any questions you may have about the practice. Along the same lines, always ask about board certification. You should only go with a plastic surgeon who is properly credentialed through the American Board of Plastic Surgery.

Finally, you’ll want to get a financial assessment. There are a couple of components to this:

  1. What is the cost of the surgery and is financing available?
  2. What is an honest recovery time? (How long will you be out of commission, and how much time will you lose from your job?)

Again, it is reasonable to expect that either your surgeon or your Patient Care Coordinator will be ready to answer these questions candidly and straightforwardly.

Plastic surgery opens up a lot of possibilities—and the best way to explore those possibilities and make the transformation decision is to meet with a team of renowned plastic surgeons to have a consultation.

At Charlotte Plastic Surgery, we are serious about these meetings, and always happy to meet new clients and share with them some of the available options. If you’re seeking some of the best plastic surgery doctors in the Charlotte area, we invite you to come meet with us at Charlotte Plastic Surgery today!