A good consultation is always the foundation for a successful plastic surgery procedure. Consultation is a chance for both the patient and plastic surgeon to know each other well and plan how to make the operation successful. According to a recent study, it was found that patients who ask as many relevant questions as possible end up with better and successful results. There is no wrong question to ask during the consultation. It is a chance for a patient to ask what they feel can make them understand the procedure. The questions you ask as a patient during consultation should be questions that can help you find out whether you are a good candidate for plastic surgery. Don’t expect magic As a patient you should also be able to have realistic expectations. Don’t think that plastic surgery can make you look exactly like your favorite celebrity. You should explain to your surgeon in a simple way what your desired results are. You’ll achieve the best results only if there is an open interaction between you and your surgeon. All plastic surgeons certified by the American Society of Plastic Surgery have the right credentials allowing them to practice. You should be comfortable asking surgeons about their medical experiences. Don’t just base your choice on a friend’s referral. Go the extra mile to ask questions that will allow you to gain more information on the procedure you are interested in. • Are you a good candidate for plastic surgery? Plastic surgery is not for everyone. This procedure requires that you meet certain requirements before allowing a plastic surgeon to correct any part of your body as each patient is unique. No two results can be exactly the same as each individual’s body is different. To help and guide you towards good decision making before undergoing plastic surgery, here is a list of questions to ask yourself first: • Why do I need plastic surgery? You should be honest with yourself as you answer this question. Whether it’s your first time to undergo plastic surgery or whether it’s a reconstructive surgery, be honest to yourself. The answer to this question should be reasonable. Take time to assess why you believe plastic surgery is the right option for your body. It’s wrong to go under the knife thinking that plastic surgery will help someone love you more or help your marriage. • What is my health condition? All plastic surgery candidates should be healthy individuals. If you have obesity, diabetes, heart or lung problems, high cholesterol, allergies, and/or hypertension, plastic surgery is not for you. These health conditions are known to increase chances of complications. As a patient you should inform your plastic surgeon about your medical history in order for him to determine the best course of action. Smoking and alcoholism are also other things to consider. It’s recommended that you discontinue smoking and drinking before surgery. • Can I afford it? Before you decide to correct any part of your body, you should be sure whether you can afford to pay for it. Many people these days have access to plastic surgery but that does not make it a cheap procedure. After finding out if you are a good candidate for plastic surgery, your next step should be consultation. Arm yourself with the following questions as you wait for consultation day: 1. Are you certified and recognized by the American Society of Plastic Surgery? This should always be the first question, as it is an indicator of your surgeon’s experience, training and ensures your personal safety. There are many plastic surgeons licensed in the United States but not all of them are certified to practice by the American Society of Plastic Surgery. Being certified as a plastic surgeon in the United States is not just about passing tests. To be a board certified plastic surgeon in the United States, you must meet the following requirements: • Complete at least 12 months training in all aspects related to plastic surgery • Complete six years of training in a medical school • Pass oral and written examinations • Graduate from a recognized medical school • Agree to adhere to code of ethics as a plastic surgeon You should find out whether your plastic surgeon has comprehensive training before establishing his practice. 2. What is your experience in plastic surgery? It’s very important to know your plastic surgeon’s level of experience in the plastic surgery you are planning to undergo. An experienced plastic surgeon increases the chances of getting the best results and reduces chances of developing complications. 3. What should I do as I wait to undergo plastic surgery? All procedures require that you quit smoking months prior to plastic surgery. Drinking is also not recommended as alcohol is known to cause complications during recovery and prolong healing time. Smoking also complicates the healing process. 4. What are some of the risks and complications associated with this procedure? As a patient you should also understand that plastic surgery comes with some risks. Weigh the possible risks and benefits of that procedure to find out if it is worth it. 5. How should I handle the side effects? Find out how you can handle any side effects or complications while recovering. Ask if you’ll have to spend more money to treat any condition arising from the procedure. You should also ask about the anesthesia to be used and whether it can affect the way you respond after plastic surgery. There are some anesthesia which can lead to confusion immediately after waking up. Anesthesia also affects urination due to the numbness it causes on the abdominal area. Conclusion Your plastic surgeon should also be able to give you a list of instructions to guide you through recovery time. Never leave any stone unturned during the consultation. Ask your plastic surgeon anything you feel is right for your procedure in order to be well-informed.