What to Expect During Your Cosmetic Consultation
Everything You Want to Know About the Consultation Process
You’ve researched your desired procedure, visited surgeon websites, and narrowed down a list of Atlanta plastic surgeons you may want to work with. What’s next? The fun part! Now you’ll have the opportunity to talk with potential surgeons and their teams face-to-face.
The consultation process is a huge part of moving forward with your decision to have cosmetic surgery, so you may be understandably feeling overwhelmed with information or unsure what to expect. Luckily, we’re here to help! We’ve prepared this consultation guide to help answer your questions and prepare you for this exciting step in your cosmetic surgery journey.
- Why are consultations important?
- How long will I be there?
- Who will I meet?
- Is my consultation free?
- What will my evaluation be like?
- Will my pictures be taken?
- Is blood drawn?
- What questions should I ask?
- How can I schedule my free consultation at The Swan Center?
Why are cosmetic surgery consultations important?
Your cosmetic consultation serves two very important purposes: you have the opportunity to both vet a surgeon and also learn more about your procedures of interest, what other options are available, and what can be done to help you achieve your goals. During your consultation, you’ll get to ask questions, find out if a surgeon is a good fit for you, and hear personalized recommendations for treatment.
How long will my consultation take?
The length of your consultation will depend on your procedures of interest and what information you are hoping to find out. Typically, you can expect your consultation to take around one to two hours. It’s important that both you and your surgeon have enough time to get to know each other and discuss your options—learning more about your surgeon’s experience, background, and aesthetic vision is something that shouldn’t be rushed.
If two hours seems like a long time, consider that you’ll be discussing a large number of things, including:
- Your surgery timeline. Your surgeon will talk to you about your personal scheduling needs and suggest multiple surgery dates for you to choose from. You shouldn’t feel like you have to schedule your procedure during your consultation, but you should understand your options.
- What to expect during recovery. It’s important that you have reasonable expectations for your healing and recovery period. Your surgeon will provide you with a general recovery timeline and information about what you will or will not be able to do as you heal from surgery.
- Your payment and financing options. You’ll discuss the fee quote for the cost of your cosmetic surgery. This includes surgeon’s fees, anesthesia, facility fees, device prices (such as breast implants or facial implants), and any additional items such as medication and post-surgical garments. You will also have the opportunity to ask about what financing plans are available through the practice.
As you can see, you’ll be going over a lot! You should never feel rushed through your consultation.
Who will I meet?
It’s important that you feel comfortable with everyone who will be taking care of you, which is why you’ll get to personally meet your surgeon’s surgical team and care staff before you sit down to speak with the surgeon directly. You’ll get to say “hi” to your patient care coordinator and primary nurse, and everyone should make you feel welcome and at home.
The majority of your consultation should be spent speaking with your potential surgeon. A great surgeon will spend time listening to you, showing interest in your concerns, and detailing all of your options.
Is my cosmetic consultation free?
The price of your consultation will depend on the surgeon and practice you are meeting with. Many plastic surgeons offer free consultations, but you should ask about any potential fees when you call to schedule your appointment. Some surgeons feel they should be compensated for time spent with patients and will request a consultation fee.
Here at The Swan Center, your cosmetic consultation is always free—and we believe it’s in the best interest of both the patient and surgeon for consultations to be complimentary.* This helps keep you from feeling pressure to commit to a surgeon, even if you aren’t totally sure you are in the right place for you. The consultation is an opportunity to meet a surgeon and his or her team and learn about the cosmetic surgery process; it is not meant to be a paid appointment for receiving medical service.
If you are considering a surgeon who does charge a consultation fee, find out if that fee will go toward your cost of surgery should you choose that practice. The most important thing to note is that you cannot let a consultation fee sway you into a choosing a surgeon you do not feel comfortable with!
*There may be a charge for second opinion consultations. Please call us with any questions regarding consultation fees.
What will my evaluation be like?
During your consultation, you will meet with your surgeon and nursing staff to discuss a customized treatment plan. A physical examination will likely be required for your surgeon to help give you personalized recommendations relevant to your needs, particularly if you are considering breast enhancement or a body procedure. Your examination will always be handled with the utmost respect and consideration for your modesty.
Will photos be taken of me?
Typically, pictures are not taken during the initial consultation. “Before” pictures are generally taken after you have scheduled your surgery when you return for a pre-op appointment. Occasionally, pictures may be taken to help you visualize your results. This is often true for breast augmentation patients during the sizing session; images will be taken to show you how your results may look in clothing. Some practices also offer visualization and imaging tools, which will involve taking a few pictures.
Will there be needles or blood work?
No worries—there should be no poking or prodding during your consultation! Cosmetic surgery consultations don’t require blood work or other invasive tests. If blood testing is required, your surgeon will likely refer you to your primary physician to perform the blood work and run tests.
Instead, you will thoroughly discuss your medical history with your surgeon, including any prescription medications, supplements, or recreational drugs you may take. This helps ensure everyone is aware of any personal risks you may have for surgery.
We cannot emphasize how important it is that you are completely open and honest with your surgeon regarding your health, medical history, and anything you put in your body (for medical or recreation). Certain supplements and medications can impact how your body responds to anesthesia and surgery, which can compromise your health or ability to heal. It’s crucial that your surgeon is aware of anything that may compromise the safety of surgery or put you at risk.
What questions should I ask the surgeon?
All of them! Your consultation is the perfect opportunity to find out exactly what you want to know about your procedures of interest, your surgeon, your medical care staff, and the surgical facility. We suggest writing a list of questions to take with you to your consultation to ensure you cover everything.
To get you started, here are a few very important questions you should include:
- What are your credentials?
- How many times have you performed this procedure?
- How often do you perform cosmetic surgery?
- Which procedures do you perform the most?
- Where will my procedure be performed?
- Who will be administering anesthesia?
- What happens if there is a complication during surgery?
- What are some common complications after this procedure?
- Do you have before and after images of patients who shared my concerns?
You should never feel like your questions are burdensome or that you are wasting your surgeon’s time.
How can I schedule my free consult at The Swan Center?
If you’re in Atlanta, you can contact us at any time to schedule a free consultation. You can fill out our online contact form or give us a call, and one of our friendly patient coordinators will walk you through the process and schedule your appointment. We look forwarding to meeting you and helping you explore your options!