Five questions to ask your doctor before considering surgery
By Zipporah Sandler
As I move closer and closer to sixty, I find myself looking older than I feel. I want to be able to look in the mirror and see the real me, not someone who looks tired on the outside, but vibrant on the inside. I’ve walked into my neighborhood med-spa for the brochures, but how do I really know what’s best for me?
Where do I begin? Am I old enough for a face lift? Will one of those “liquid lifts” that I hear my neighbors talking about be sufficient to freshen up my look? Can I afford it all? Rather than walk in to a facility and put myself at risk, I’ve decided to make a list of what to ask my doctor before making a decision that could impact my looks.
1. Are you board certified? – We hear it all of the time. Make certain that your doctor is “board certified,” but certified by WHOM? With dentists and dermatologists, and even OB/GYNs offering to perk up your face, how do you know WHICH certification they have? Your dentist may very well be certified – in DENTISTRY, but go the extra mile and make sure that not only is he or she is a diplomate of the American Board of Plastic Surgery, but also a member of ASAPS. Check with the American Board of Medical Specialties, they’ll be able to tell you if your doctor is certified in plastic surgery. www.certificationmatters.org
2. Rather than tell, ask, ask, ask. – Your doctor may have more options than you had imagined. Ask his or her honest opinion. If you’d like to take a conservative approach, let them know. If a permanent solution is what you’re after, go over all of the options. You may be surprised to learn that there’s more available to help you look your best than you had initially considered.
3. How many times have you performed this procedure? How many do you do a year? – I’m a firm believer of practice makes perfect, and I for one want a surgeon who’s at ease doing a particular procedure, even if it’s a temporary injection. As the patient, I need to know that I’m putting myself in the hands of the BEST medical professional around.
4. May I see before/after photos of YOUR work? – I don’t want to see the pictures that come with the brochure. I want to see the outcome of the actual procedure that I’m inquiring about on one of the doctor’s patient’s. Even better, is there a patient of yours who’ll take the time to talk to me about what the procedure and recovery was like for them?
5. What can I expect after my procedure? – Find out just what the follow up care entails. How will you feel? When do I see my doctor again? What if I’m not happy with the outcome? Knowing the answers BEFORE you begin this journey will make it a lot easier both on you, your doctor, and your family.
Most of all you should have a connection with your doctor. By taking the time to thoroughly research your plastic surgeon as well as the procedure that you’re considering, you’ll be likely to have a much more positive experience.