Cosmetic Surgery For Dummies
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Searching for a cosmetic surgeon is more manageable when you use a clearly defined system to make the choice — consider all options and weigh them cautiously. If you’re consulting with a cosmetic surgeon and any of the following red-flag situations occur, you might want to consider looking for a different surgeon:

During an appointment or pre-consult

  • The phone isn’t answered promptly or is answered by a machine.

  • No one takes time for your call; the doctor’s staff is abrupt or downright rude.

  • You don’t receive promised information materials before your consultation.

  • You can’t get your questions answered because the staff isn’t knowledgeable or says “the doctor will tell you everything at consult.”

  • You can’t find out a ballpark fee. How can cost be a secret?

  • You find out you won’t be meeting with the surgeon at your consult. Don’t waste your time.

At the consultation

  • You wait too long, which can be a sign that the physician doesn’t respect your time. If this happens, you must decide whether you can add an hour of waiting to every visit. If a physician is running late but apologizes because it’s unusual, then you don’t necessarily need to be concerned.

  • You feel like just a number. Neither the doctor nor his staff is friendly or taking time to get to know you. You feel like you’re known only as the breast aug in Room 3.

  • Your doctor isn’t listening to what bothers you or adds procedures that you’re not sure you want. He’s giving you one-size-fits-all answers when you want a tailor-made surgical plan.

  • The practice can’t show you before-and-after pictures, or if the doctor is in a group, the staff can’t tell which doctor did the surgery pictured.

  • You don’t receive a written fee estimate at consult, or the practice doesn’t have written policies for costs related to secondary surgery.

  • You feel negative energy in the facility. You see examples of disinterest in you by the doctor or staff or notice unrest in their interactions with each other. Staff members contradict the surgeon’s recommendations for you.

  • You feel pressured into scheduling surgery that day. This is a big decision, so you need time for reflection.

When making your decision

  • If something about the technique or recovery is sounding too good to be true, it probably is, especially if other surgeons disagree.

  • The practice does nothing to follow up after your consultation — no phone calls, no letters. Do they care?

  • Your gut is telling you no. If something doesn’t feel right, trust your instincts. Second consults may help you feel more comfortable. Or continuing until you find the right surgeon and staff may be the best solution.

About This Article

This article is from the book:

About the book authors:

R. Merrel Olesen, MD has over 30 years of plastic surgery experience. He has written patient information and informed consent materials used by millions of patients. Marie B.V. Olesen has worked with hundreds of plastic surgery practices to help them understand how to meet the needs of cosmetic surgery patients.

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