The key to a successful plastic surgery experience is open communication with your facial plastic surgeon. This starts at the initial consultation, where you will discuss your goals of surgery, expectations and personal motivation for pursuing cosmetic improvement. Dr. Jennifer Parker Porter of Chevy Chase Facial Plastic Surgery recommends that you prepare a list of questions before your consult, so you can maximize your time and your plastic surgeon’s time. Use this guide of five recommended questions to spark the conversation.
1. What are your credentials?
First, you want to establish that you are working with a trained, experienced professional. Ask your surgeon about their education, residency training, board certification(s) and professional affiliations. Inquire as to whether they have performed research in their field, published book chapters or journal articles and served in any leadership capacities.
You should also ask about the surgeon’s experience with the specific procedure you are interested in. Ask how many procedures of this type they have performed and how they approach these cases.
2. What should I know about my requested procedure?
It’s important that you have a comprehensive understanding of your requested procedure, the benefits and possible risks. You can prepare ahead of time by researching the procedure from reputable online sources (e.g., the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery), but it is also helpful to hear your surgeon describe the procedure in their own words, and explain what it entails.
The surgeon will help you understand how to prepare for surgery and how to recover quickly. Also, the two of you can set reasonable expectations of the procedure.
3. Where do you perform surgery?
It’s best to work with a surgeon that has full, active hospital privileges or operates at a fully accredited surgery center. Ask about the facility where your procedure will be performed. Ideally, the facility should be accredited by a nationally or state-recognized accrediting agency, such as the American Association for Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgery Facilities or a similar agency. Ask whether it is a state-licensed facility and Medicare-certified.
4. May I see before and after photographs of your patients?
Browsing the surgeon’s before-and-after photo gallery gives you a clear idea of the surgeon’s typical results. It’s also helpful to read patient testimonials to learn more about the surgeon and how they work.
5. Do I feel comfortable with this surgeon?
After your conversation with the surgeon, take a moment to ask yourself some questions. Do you trust and respect them? Do you feel confident in their ability to perform the procedure and provide attentive care? Do they have a good “bedside manner?” It’s important that your surgeon has good medical credentials, but their disposition and demeanor is also a vital component. Don’t ignore your intuition — make sure you feel good about working with the surgeon and their team.
To schedule a consultation with Dr. Porter and talk about your personal cosmetic needs, please call (301) 652-8191 today.
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