What To Expect
One of the best ways to decide if cosmetic surgery is right for you is by meeting with a cosmetic or plastic surgeon at Cleveland Clinic's Cosmetic & Plastic Surgery Center.
During this first consultation, you and your surgeon will discuss your goals and expectations. Your surgeon will also:
- Review your complete medical history (including past and current medications)
- Evaluate the part of your body that you want treated
- Give recommendations
- Answer any questions you have
In addition, as you consider your decision, ask to see before-and-after photographs of patients who have undergone procedures, discuss with the doctor any medical conditions that could affect your procedure’s outcomes and consider benefits, risks and anesthesia, as well as the timeline for returning to work or social activities.
You should leave your first visit with a clear idea of the surgical options available to you, as well as any risks involved.
If you and your surgeon decide upon a procedure, you will work with our appointment staff to schedule your surgery. You will be given complete information regarding where and when to arrive, any eating/drinking restrictions prior to your surgery, what to bring and the length of your hospital or hotel stay. If any testing is required, you will be scheduled for an appointment about one week prior to surgery.
How to Choose a Cosmetic Surgeon
It is important to be prepared for your meeting with a cosmetic surgeon so that you receive the full benefit of the consultation.
Below are some suggested topics to discuss:
- Verify the physician’s credentials. The surgeon should be board-certified, which signifies that he or she has the knowledge, skill and experience required to provide quality patient care in a given specialty.
- Ensure that the facility where the procedure will take place is accredited. Most elective plastic surgery procedures are done on an outpatient basis, but if emergency hospitalization becomes necessary, you want to be sure that you can be admitted quickly for appropriate care. Cleveland Clinic Cosmetic & Plastic Surgery Center locations are each accredited facilities. Learn more about Cleveland Clinic’s Commitment to Quality and Transparency.
- Ask the physician for photographs of his or her work. Virtually all plastic surgeons keep a portfolio of “before and after” images so you can choose the surgeon whose results you like best.
- Consider the physician's experience. How long has he or she been performing this procedure? How many procedures have he or she performed? Is the latest technique being used? Does the physician have special training in the use of a technique or new technology? In general, the more experience the physician has in performing a certain procedure, the better the results. Download 2011 success rates and outcomes (PDF) for Cleveland Clinic's Dermatology & Plastic Surgery Institute.
- Make sure that all of your questions about the procedure are answered. Have you been informed of possible risks, side effects and recovery time associated with the surgery? Obtain as much information as you can about the procedure, discuss your questions and expectations with your surgeon and carefully evaluate the credentials of the physician and hospital before you proceed.
Some questions you might ask include:
- What is the best procedure for me?
- Where and how will you perform my procedure?
- What are the risks involved with my procedure?
- Will my procedure need to be repeated?
- How much downtime should I expect?
- Do you have hospital privileges to perform cosmetic surgery?
- How much will my procedure cost?
- Are financing options available?
- How are complications handled?