Dr. Mark Zukowski Looks at How to Prepare for Your Plastic Surgery Consultation
A plastic surgery consultation gives you an opportunity to determine two critically important things: whether plastic surgery is the safest, best, and most appropriate option to address your unique needs and goals, and to assess with a specific plastic surgeon (along with his or her team) is the right partner for you.
To help you maximize this opportunity and get the facts, insights, and recommendations you need to make the right decisions, here are some valuable and practical preparation tips from board certified plastic surgeon Dr. Mark Zukowski.
Write Down Your Questions Beforehand
Even if you have a great memory — and especially if you don’t — it’s wise to write down all your questions beforehand and bring them with you to the consultation. These questions could include (but not necessarily limited to) things like your goals, realistic outcome expectations, possible risks, timeline, downtime, post-surgery recovery, and so on.
Dr. Mark Zukowski, who is a diplomate of the American Board of Plastic Surgery and active member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons and American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, adds that while being prepared with questions is very beneficial, don’t feel obligated to have a comprehensive list of inquiries. During the consultation, you’ll have the opportunity to explore topics that may not have occurred to you beforehand. And remember, there is no such thing as a bad or useless question. If it’s important to you, then it’s important to your plastic surgeon — perhaps even more important.
Collect and Bring Your Medical History Information
Your medical history information — which includes any diseases or illnesses that run in your family, but that you may not have experienced — is a critically important aspect of your consultation. This information helps determine which types of plastic surgery are appropriate and safe for you, and which ones may pose additional risks.
Dr. Mark Zukowski notes that while patients who seek plastic surgery are often focused on restoring functionality to a part of their body, or in the case of elective plastic surgery they are focused on enhancing appearance and esthetics, without question the number one priority for plastic surgeons is ensuring patient safety and health. A proper assessment of your medical history is a vital part of this obligation and commitment.
Pay Attention to Non-technical Aspects Like Personality
It goes without saying that you should only consider choosing a board-certified plastic surgeon, who has extensive experience performing the type of surgery in which you are interested. However, during the consultation you should also pay attention to non-technical aspects such as whether the plastic surgeon listens carefully to your needs and questions, provides clear answers without using medical jargon, and is focused on making sure that feel comfortable.
Dr. Mark Zukowski acknowledges that the relationship between a patient and plastic surgeon is built on trust, respect and ethics. It is important that you as the patient see all of these demonstrated during your consultation — not just by the plastic surgeon, but by the entire staff from the moment you arrive, to the moment you leave.
The Bottom Line
A consultation is a two-way dialogue — not a one-way lecture — during which you have the opportunity discover your options, and just as importantly, learn about a plastic surgeon and his or her team. Dr. Mark Zukowski concludes that the better prepared you are for this consultation, the more beneficial, informative and rewarding it will be.