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All Posts Tagged: choosing a plastic surgeon

Woods Facial Plastic Surgery, Dr. Robert Woods, Facial Plastic Surgery Consultation

Facial Plastic Surgery Consultation

Facial Plastic Surgery Consultation:  Making the Most of Yours

Are you considering facial plastic surgery? Facial plastic surgery is more common now than ever. In 2017 there were 1,790,832 plastic surgery procedures undertaken in the United States.  Thirty-one per cent of those were facial plastic surgery procedures.  You probably talked with trusted family and friends, did some research online, and are ready schedule Facial Plastic Surgery Consultation appointments with the surgeons you are considering.

The Consultation Appointment is a powerful tool in selecting your surgeon.  A Consultation helps set clear expectations.   Patients that take the time to make the most of their consultation and educate themselves, and prepare for all aspects of the procedure, have higher post-operative satisfaction levels.

 Dr. Robert Woods, of Woods Facial Plastic Surgery, has  20+ years of experience.  As a specialist providing facial plastic surgery and other head and neck surgical care, he offers expert advice on making the most of your facial plastic surgery consultation.

Determine Your Personal ‘Why’ Before Your Plastic Surgery Consultation

Ask yourself:  Why am I choosing to have this plastic surgery procedure now?

There is no right or wrong answer to the ‘Why’ question. It is important that you are honest with yourself.  This answer more than likely predicts how satisfied you will feel with your results later on.  If you are choosing plastic surgery as a quick fix response to a major life event, such as a divorce, or a break up, or maybe even to please someone else in your life, you might be setting yourself up for frustration later.

The best reason for electing to undergo a facial plastic surgery procedure is to feel good about your appearance and increase your self-confidence.  Having grounded reasons for your surgery increases your post-surgery happiness with the results.  Facial plastic surgery is a very personal decision. Be sure you are doing it for the best reasons.

Mirror Time Before Your Consultation

Here is your homework: before your facial plastic surgery consultation look in the mirror and evaluate your facial features. This is called Mirror Time or the ‘Mirror Test’.

Look at your face with a fresh perspective.  Consider your face from a structural viewpoint.

  • List your favorite features
  • Which features are your least favorite?
  • What would you like to change?
  • Describe the results you expect from your facial plastic surgery.

As you think about your idea of a ‘best result’, ask:  will that change complement my face?  Is this change realistically achievable?

During this exercise, focus on the possible feature changes you would like that are best suited to your unique facial composition and bone structure.  That ‘perfect nose’, for example, on your favorite movie start may look great on her or him, but it would look out of place on you.

Write down your thoughts and bring them to your facial plastic surgery consultation. These notes provide the surgeon with a good idea of your likes and dislikes.  Discuss with your surgeon whether these outcomes are realistic and possible. Your surgeon should provide an expert and honest opinion as to how they will suit your features. The surgeon should make the best, most realistic recommendations to create the result you desire, not tell you only what you want to hear.

Honesty is the Best Policy

During your facial plastic surgery consultation be forthright and honest about your medical history, past surgeries, current drug or narcotic use, if you smoke, recent or planned weight loss, vitamins you’re taking, and any other medical concerns.  These all affect your healthcare, the surgical plan, even potential outcomes of your facial plastic surgery. This is not the time to keep secrets.

Questions for Your Surgeon During Your Facial Plastic Surgery Consultation

Making a detailed list of questions prior to the consultation helps ease any anxieties you might have. Also, a written list ensures that you won’t forget key questions, and it keeps you on track to thoroughly discuss each point with each prospective surgeon.

9 Questions You Should Ask the Surgeon:

  1. How long have you been doing this?
  2. What surgical approach do you think would work best for me given my circumstances and desired outcomes?
  3. How many of these procedures have you performed?
  4. Do you have before and after pictures of your work?
  5. Describe possible bad results from this procedure?
  6. Suggest what I should do before surgery to help optimize my aesthetic results after the procedure?
  7. What can I expect during the procedure?
  8. Tell me about the recovery period.
  9. Are there lifestyle changes I should make for after my surgery?

Listen & Have an Open Mind

Selecting a facial specialist for your facial plastic surgeon means you are working with a surgeon that has received many additional years of specialized training in head and neck surgery, and that they have received extensive training and experience dedicated solely to facial plastic surgery.

Facial Plastic Surgeons are the experts. During your facial plastic surgery consultation, listen and keep an open mind to suggestions given by the doctor. Your surgeon might have a surgical strategy different from what you expected.  The key to a good patient-doctor relationship and to patient satisfaction with surgical outcomes results from the patient having a clear understanding of the procedure, risks, the recovery process, and realistic expectations.

As mentioned earlier, it’s important to disclose your medical history with your surgeon. This includes, all previous surgeries or injuries (especially any previous facial surgeries and injuries), all current and past medications, and any other lifestyle practices that might influence your health. Disclosing this information with your doctor is important to achieve a safe and successful procedure.  

Some Things to Remember

Be Realistic About Your Surgery

Keep in mind, facial plastic procedures are surgeries. Bluntly stated, facial plastic surgery is a “No pain. No gain.” undertaking. Of course, your surgeon and the medical staff will make every effort to minimize discomfort and facilitate your recovery. But be realistic and know that every surgery has discomfort, risks, and recovery time.

Optimizing Your Unique Beauty

Everyone is unique and that is what creates beauty. There is no one exactly like you. Each patient is unique, thus each surgical circumstance and the outcome is unique to that individual.  Avoid the pitfall and expectation that your surgery will have the same results as your friend’s similar surgery. Additionally, remember that what you see in the magazines and on T.V. is not reality. Reality is real people presenting their best selves on a day to day basis without the benefits of hair and make up crews and photoshop.

Choose Your Surgeon Based on Experience and Results

The purpose of a Facial Plastic Surgery Consultation is to help you choose the most qualified and experienced surgeon that is best suited for you and your procedure. Don’t fall victim to the flash of excellent medical marketing.  And, know that the most expensive surgeon doesn’t necessarily mean you will get the best quality results.

Use these tips to select an experienced facial expert, one who is candid about realistic best outcomes for you. Prepare and keep an open mind.

With this approach, you and your facial plastic surgeon can successfully achieve the best results possible.  It all starts with your facial plastic surgery consultation.

American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery

American Academy of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery

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Plastic Surgeon Selection Cheat Sheet

Body or Facial Plastic Surgery?

You have decided to take the next step toward the plastic surgery you have been considering and begin interviewing surgeons. Here is a cheat sheet from a doctor’s perspective to use when choosing a plastic surgeon.  We offer a few insider tips that will help you make an educated decision in choosing a plastic surgeon.

Very few of us would select our orthopedic surgeon to remove our child’s tonsils, so we all appreciate that utilizing a specialist is important.  A one stop, “fix it all from the neck down” series of procedures, while seemingly convenient, may not be the most prudent choice.  Medical training, expertise, and experience vary by specialty.  While there are many skilled and excellent general cosmetic surgeons,  we  strongly recommend a board certified facial plastic surgeon, if you are planning facial plastic surgery.

Education & Training for Plastic Surgeons

What does it take to become a plastic surgeon? First, you must successfully complete the four years of medical school (MD or DO school). After two years of basic science and one year of clinical science, you decide you want to be a surgeon, maybe even a plastic surgeon, and apply for a residency. There are any number of surgical specialties which include facial plastic surgery in their curriculum. General Plastic Surgery, Otolaryngology, Ophthalmology, Oromaxillofacial Surgery, and Dermatology are the most common.

A General Plastic Surgeon, is required to take 3-4 years of General Surgery and then two years of Plastic Surgery focusing on all aspects of this field which include burn surgery, reconstructive surgery of all parts of the body, hand surgery, craniofacial surgery, and finally cosmetic surgery to include breast, body, and face. That is a lot of knowledge and skill to acquire in two years. This is why most surgeons go on to do a fellowship in cosmetic and reconstructive surgery to gain the required skill, experience, and knowledge in this more specific field. A fellowship provides 1-2 additional years of specialty experience.

An Otolaryngology resident undergoes one year of general surgery  training and 4-5 years of head and neck surgical training, 25%  of which includes facial plastic and reconstructive surgery.  Most surgeons desiring to practice facial plastic surgery take an additional fellowship year to focus specifically on this field.

Look at your prospective surgeon’s educational credentials and  ask questions.  Yes, post education experience is an important factor, but specific educational training provides critical technical expertise.

Consider the Plastic Surgeon’s Credentials

Is your surgeon board certified?  If you are considering facial plastic surgery, be sure they are a board certified facial plastic surgeon.  To locate a board certified facial plastic surgeon in your area, visit  http:www.aafprs.org.

Does your surgeon have hospital privileges?  Where?

Did the surgeon complete a fellowship in cosmetic surgery?

Safety & the Operating Facility of the Plastic Surgeon

Your safety and health are the most important factor.

Is the surgical facility AAAASF, AAAHC, JCAHO OR IMQ accredited?

If you are undergoing general anesthesia, who will be administering it?  A Board Certified Anesthesiologist or a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthestist?

Post surgery, will there be an RN or MD available on call 24/7?

Experience of the Plastic Surgeon

Ask the surgeon about his experience in the procedure(s) you are considering. Specifically ask the number of these procedures he has completed.

Does the surgeon stay current with advanced techniques?

Does the surgeon have generally positive patient testimonials and reviews?

Aesthetics & Artistry of the Plastic Surgeon

While facial plastic surgery is a medical skill requiring extensive training and expertise, it is also an art form.  Aesthetic sensibility and artistry are critical in this field.  Be sure the surgeon’s results in this area appeal to you.

Are the surgeon’s results consistent from patient to patient?

Does the surgeon discuss general aesthetics of your facial features, build etc. relative to the considered procedure and desired outcome?

Connection with the Plastic Surgeon

Can you trust this surgeon to be honest with you and frankly communicate realistic outcomes as well as what is safe and right for you vs what you want to hear?

Do you feel comfortable asking questions?

Are you comfortable disclosing your full medical history with this surgeon?

Is the staff friendly and helpful?

Will you receive helpful materials that fully prepare you for the risks and realities of the surgery and the recovery?

Discuss post-operative instructions.  Will they be written out?

Ask if the follow-up care after the surgery is included in the price.

Facial plastic surgeries are very common with successful results today.  There are inherent risks in any surgical procedure, and  you should place careful consideration based on facts, the prospective surgeon’s experience, expertise and artistry in order to achieve your desired outcomes, health, and safety.

Be well and know you are important.

Dr. Woods

 

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