Useful Questions to ask your surgeon
Before you commit yourself to any cosmetic surgery, it is absolutely vital to choose the best surgeon for the procedure you want. This is, after all, the only body you have, and it deserves the attention of a highly qualified, specialist plastic surgeon.
- What are the doctor’s qualifications? Is he a member of the New Zealand Medical Council?
If you have any doubts about a doctor’s qualifications, you can call the Council (07) 3839 2906 and ask if he or she is a registered specialist in plastic surgery
- How experienced is he or she in the type of surgery you want?
How often does the doctor perform that procedure and when was the last occasion? Physiologically, is this a suitable time for you to have cosmetic surgery or would you be better off waiting a few years?
What procedure is available to improve your problem? Which one would be best for you and why?
What results can you reasonably expect, given your physical features, and how long can you expect them to last?
- How safe is the procedure and what complications could arise? Are these complications common or rare and are they likely to occur during or after surgery?
- Where will the scars be located and do you have a choice? Will they improve with time and how long will that take?
- Is the procedure painful? What is the extent of post-operative pain, bleeding, bruising and swelling? How long will these effects last?
- What type of anaesthetic does the surgeon use and who administers it? Do you have a choice?
Will you need any other drugs and, if so, are there any side effects associated with their use?
- How long will the procedure take?
Where will it be performed – hospital, the surgeon’s own facility or a day-surgery centre? Do you have a choice?
- Is the surgery or clinic equipped with life support and other emergency facilities should the need arise?
What immediate after-care is available at the surgery or clinic?
- What kind of post-operative care will you need? Will you need someone to take you home? Will you need someone to look after you and, if so, for how long?
- In the event that the surgeon is unavailable after the operation and you have a problem, who will take care of it?
- When can you resume physical activity, sexual activity (particularly related to breast surgery), social activity, work?
- How long (days, weeks, and months) will the entire healing process take?
- How much will the entire procedure cost – surgeon’s fee, anaesthetist’s fee, hospital or surgery costs, theatre fees, pharmaceutical’s or other costs? Are follow-up visits included?
If additional treatment or surgery is necessary for post-operative complications (bleeding, infection, wound breakdown), who pays for it?
- If additional surgery is necessary at a later date (e.g., scar revision, secondary rhinoplasty, replacing ruptured implants), what extra costs are involved?
- Is anything recoverable on Medicare? If you have private health insurance, what will it cover?
Hair: When can I dye my hair? (Latest possible date prior to surgery, soonest date following surgery?) How much hair will be cut away for the surgery?
- When can I resume wearing contact lenses?
- What brand of make-up is best for concealing bruising?
- May I see pictures of your work?
- Will you ask some of your patients if they would be willing to talk to me about their procedure and their satisfaction with you as a surgeon