Ask the Plastic Surgeon

Q: I would like to have a skin filler used to erase lines and wrinkles around my mouth, but my plastic surgeon wants me to come in for a consultation first. My friends have gone to physicians who just inject the filler at their appointment.  Why can't I have the filler done on the day of my consultation?  Is my doctor being too cautious?

A: Your doctor is trying to assure that you are well-informed, have the best chance of achieving your goal, and receive the most benefit from the procedure. I too require an initial consultation, because I have found that a significant number of women, who think that a filler is the solution to achieve their goal, actually may benefit more from another approach. These alternate procedures may be surgical in nature, some not.
    For the best results with a skin-filler procedure, I recommend that my patients stop using aspirin and blood thinners for at least a week prior to the injections. This helps to minimize bruising. However, it is important to realize that some bruising and/or swelling can occur after the placement of filler, so the patient needs to be prepared and schedule accordingly. Important business or social events soon after a first treatment probably aren't a good idea.
     I also highly recommend that my patients bring someone with them, to drive them home after the treatment, so that they are able to keep cold compresses on the injected areas to minimize swelling.
    As you can see, an initial consultation helps to define the best approach to achieve your goal, while informing you with regard to what to expect, and allowing you to put preparations into place to assure that you achieve the best results possible. 

Q:  I would like to talk with a plastic surgeon about making some improvements to my appearance, but I'm nervous about the consultation. What actually happens at a consultation? Is it unusual to bring along a friend or family member?

A:  The consultation appointment is your opportunity to speak openly and honestly with your plastic surgeon about what you are seeking to change. This can be a very private discussion, or you can bring  another person with you for support.  Sometimes it is helpful to have another person along to help listen or ask questions. The meeting should be in a relaxed setting, where your goals and wishes can be expressed without embarrassment. The doctor will need to see those areas of your body you are seeking to change, so you may move to an examination room, at some point in your discussion, if you did not start out there. It is perfectly acceptable to bring any reference materials, pictures, etc. that help you to express your wishes.
    After understanding your goals and a brief examination, your doctor will outline the procedures, surgical or non-surgical, that he recommends for your particular case. He will present the technical details of the procedures, along with the potential risks and complications. You should have the opportunity to ask questions. Make sure to have the doctor elaborate on specific issues if you need clarification.
     You will want to ask the doctor about the length of time needed for recovery, as well as how much time-off from work will be necessary. Finally, once the two of you narrow down your choices to specific procedures, a discussion of costs involved is appropriate. This should be comprehensive, covering the doctor's fee for service, any surgical facility fees, anesthesia fees, and needed lab work (i.e. EKG mammograms, etc.).  Feel free to ask to receive a written copy of the quotation for your file.  You should plan on the consultation lasting about a half hour.

Leave a comment

You are commenting as guest.