Things patients usually forget to tell their surgeons

Things patients usually forget to tell their surgeons

25th Nov 2017

It’s always recommended to go to your plastic surgeon for consultation armed with relevant questions that can make you understand the specific procedure you are planning to undergo. You should use the consultation time to know your surgeon and what your surgeon has managed to achieve in the field of plastic surgery.

Ask your surgeon to give you BEFORE and AFTER photos. Consultation should be the right chance for you to iron out any rumors surrounding plastic surgery. You should ensure that you get the best out of your session with a board-certified plastic surgeon. You should also ask your surgeon to tell you whether you are a good candidate for the procedure.

Make a list of questions

Prepare a list of questions to ask your surgeon during the consultation and include any important information that your surgeon can use to determine whether you are a good candidate for plastic surgery. Do research on the procedure you want and use the consultation as an opportunity to be clarified of things that confuse you. This is also a way for you to test your surgeon’s expertise on the matter.

Here is a list of some questions you can ask your plastic surgeon:

• What are your qualifications?

• What’s your experience with plastic surgery? Have you done a similar procedure before?

• Are there any risks?

• What are the benefits?

• What should I expect after this procedure?

• Is your facility accredited?

• How exactly do you deal with possible complications?

The trust between patient and doctor is important. Ask about your plastic surgeon’s skills and experience. Your doctor should be certified by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. For you to build some level of confidence in your plastic surgeon, you must know his experience and skills. Before leaving the consultation room, you must also learn about any potential risks or complications related to the procedure you are considering.

The consultation proper

Every plastic surgery starts with a successful consultation with your surgeon. There are always risks in plastic surgery, and the most common of them all is when patients fail to grab the opportunity to fully state what they expect from surgery. This form of miscommunication is a huge risk as some patients come up with unrealistic expectations that they regret by the end of recovery. Patients also undergo plastic surgery without accepting the fact that scarring is inevitable. It takes two to tango to determine the success of a plastic surgery. Not everything is dependent on the surgeon alone.

Some patients also fail to share important information with their plastic surgeons during consultation; something which later resurfaces when a patient has recovered but with undesired results. Patients should share any important information during the consultation to help their surgeon determine the right technique to be used.

Clearly describe to your plastic surgeon your goals and expectations. Disclose your complete medical history so that your surgeon can determine the best medication and the right course of action.

This article looks at some of the things patients never tell their plastic surgeons before surgery. This is based on real, day-to-day experiences of surgeons all over the world.

1. Smoking

Smoking is not only discouraged among plastic surgery patients, but also among other patients who are under medication. Smoking after plastic surgery can complicate your healing process and interfere with your wounds. You should tell your surgeon whether you have been smoking and if you are willing to stop until you recover completely. Otherwise, there are some procedures your plastic surgeon may not perform until you discontinue smoking.

2. Previous medical history

Diabetes, hypertension, a history of cancer, and other illnesses are important for the doctor to determine if you are eligible for surgery. It is also important for your surgeon to know whether you are under medication or not. Certain drugs such as aspirin induce bleeding during surgery. Even herbal medicine or supplements should be made aware of, as they can interfere with anesthesia.

3. Stress and fear of judgment

Many patients have trouble discussing about their emotional state for fear of embarrassment. Depression or stress is a serious disease which should not be overlooked. These can also affect the overall health of your body, and you are required to be in peak condition before undergoing surgery. Don’t be afraid of being judged for whatever you disclose, as everything is confidential information which your surgeon must understand and respect. Your surgeon’s primary goal is to help you achieve what you want in the safest way possible.

4. Other concerns

While thorough research is highly advised prior to going under the knife, there can also be false or misleading information you might stumble on (especially from the internet) that may cause you to hesitate or think twice about surgery. Use consultation as an opportunity to ask for clarification regarding these matters.

Apart from making a list of questions to ask your surgeon, be prepared to provide information that your doctor will be needing as well. These include:

• Any previous medical tests and prescriptions

• Any illnesses

• Past surgical procedures

• Any major illnesses

• All forms of medications including herbal supplements

If you are experiencing other symptoms, side effects, or other conditions, make sure to inform your surgeon about them as well.


All the information you share with your plastic surgeon is private and confidential. Disclosing your medical history is a big factor in determining the success of your procedure. Make sure to find a certified surgeon who you can feel comfortable speaking to and entrusting your information with.

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