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So you’re going to take the plunge and talk to a plastic surgeon. Whether you’re headed into the exam room just to get some informed input or you’re ready to sign up for surgery—or something in between—you’ll be more satisfied with the visit if you show up prepared.
Here are five things you should strongly consider having in hand for your consultation.
1) A list of questions. Unless you’re used to working with extremely patient doctors, you know that it’s hard to get enough time to chat. Making sure you have important questions written down before the consultation will help ensure you get all the information you need to make critical decisions.
2) Photos to share. If you’re considering a rejuvenation procedure, such as a facelift, take a photo of you when you were a few years younger. If you’re seeking to enhance or fine-tune a body feature, take photos of a look you admire. This will give you and the plastic surgeon a starting point for discussion. Depending on what you’re aiming for, you might even want to take examples of looks you don’t like.
3) Your medical history. You don’t necessarily need to bring official records from your primary care physician, unless you have a chronic condition that could impact surgery, such as obesity, diabetes or high blood pressure. But it pays to take a few minutes to jot some notes about your medical background and that of your family, any medications you’re taking and any other health concerns you may have.
4) A notepad. Now that you have gathered up information for the plastic surgeon, be sure you are equipped to take notes so you walk away with the input you need. You probably think you’ll remember what he or she has to say, but you may not. Keep in mind that a plastic surgery consultation can bring up several emotions—excitement, anxiety, fear and others. Your memory may not be as effective as usual.
5) A friend. It may be a bit uncomfortable to bring a friend or loved one with you to your consultation, but it is a good idea for a couple of reasons. First, given the emotions that may arise for you, having someone who may be feeling more objective than you are can be very helpful.