Thousands of Americans go under the knife for elective cosmetic surgery every year and the numbers of patients are rising. Generally, patients will have multiple consultations with different doctors to try and choose the physician that's right for them. In addition to having questions about the doctor's qualifications, patients also have a lot of questions about their procedure. Dr. Drew Ordon of The Doctors shares what patients should know before heading to the operating room.
- Will I look natural after surgery? Dr. Ordon says that if you see someone with the overly tightened, 'windswept' look, that is a botched face lift. He says that a qualified physician will leave people guessing as to whether a patient has had work done or not.
- How many of these procedures have you performed? Find out how experienced the physician is in performing your specific procedure. Many cosmetic surgeons specialize in breast augmentation or facelifts or laser surgeries, so it's important to determine what specialty your doctor has.
- How much does it hurt? Because cosmetic surgery generally doesn't involve deep work in the muscles or organs, Dr. Ordon says that typically, the pain level is really not bad compared to other surgical procedures.
- How long does recovery take? Most patients are healed enough to be seen at 10 days and really look good at one month post operation. Dr. Ordon says that by 2 months, you should look great.
- Have you ever had any complications with this procedure? It's important to know the physician's history and whether or not they've ever had any trouble with your specific procedure.
- What type of anesthesia will be used? He says that it depends on the patient and their procedure, but there are methods of light, general anesthesia that keep you partly awake during surgery. He also notes that anesthesia today is much safer than in the past and often, no breathing tube is even needed.
- Have you ever been sued? Talk to your physician about their past and if they've been sued for malpractice or had any legal action taken against them. A reputable doctor will be forthcoming with any information. There are also websites and state licensing boards you can check with to be certain.
- How long will the results last? According to Dr. Ordon, the results are going to last forever. He says that there is no stopping gravity, so skin will continue to sag, but you will always be 10 years ahead of the curve.
He also makes the point that you should only be having surgery with physicians who are board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. This licensing entity is the most important to look for. As many cosmetic surgeries are performed in the office setting, it's also critical to ensure that the office is accredited by a reputable board to perform surgical procedures at that location.