Greater Washington Plastic Surgery Associates | Vineet Mehan, MD, | Earl M. Johnson, Jr., MD,

What to Consider Before Going Under the Knife

As consumers, we spend an incredible amount of time and energy before making any major purchase. We talk to realtors before buying a house, read Consumer Reports before choosing a car, and consult with friends and family before finalizing plane tickets.

As patients, though, we are often overwhelmed with the number of decisions to be made before committing to a procedure. Particularly for first time patients, these important tips that can help guide the process.

Do your homework

Even before you meet with a cosmetic surgeon, it is important to educate yourself on the different procedures that are available. The more informed you are, the more empowered you become to make the right decision. You should know the potential risks of any surgery you are considering. It is also important to ask about recovery time and additional expenses. Request to see before and after pictures so you know what to expect. Most surgeons will even allow you to talk to other patients that have had the same procedure.

Find a good fit

Choosing a surgeon is a personal decision. Take your time and select someone with whom you feel comfortable. Your surgeon should spend plenty of time answering your questions and addressing your concerns. You should feel at ease with their bedside manner, but also confident in their skills. You should not hesitate to ask your surgeon about his training and experience. Many doctors offer cosmetic procedures but are not formally trained by an accredited program. It is important to verify that your surgeon is Board Certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery.

Buyer beware

It is always exciting as a consumer to get a good deal, but be careful of anything that sounds too good to be true. Often, saving money means getting an inexperienced surgeon. Also be wary of physicians offering procedures for which they are not qualified. If you are unsure, you can check to see if the hospital has credentialed the surgeon for the specific procedure in which you are interested. Finally, you should never feel pressured by your doctor to sign up for surgery. An aggressive salesperson is often looking out for their own interests, not yours.

After doing the research and finding a surgeon, you will inevitably be more confident in your choice to undergo cosmetic surgery. Just as with all other major decisions, this time invested will pay off.

Posted in: Patient Education

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