April 18th, 2011 by
Many patients travel to other cities or countries for plastic surgery. There are both positives and negatives in having surgery away from home. Traveling to another city affords privacy from friends and family while recovering from surgery, but some patients may feel uncomfortable in an unfamiliar setting. Higher overall costs due to transportation, hotel and hospital fees must be considered. Many patients travel elsewhere to seek the care of a particular plastic surgeon that is considered expert in the area of plastic surgery they desire. This consideration may outweigh any negative factors.
Sometimes arrangements may be made with the doctor’s approval for you to undergo your initial consultation and appropriate preoperative procedures just a few days prior to the actual surgery. Be sure to check with your doctor.
Completed patient information forms, a letter detailing changes you would like in your appearance, along with some close-up photographs, can be sent to the office ahead of time for the doctor to review. The surgery schedule administrator will help you with dates and arrangements.
Any required medical evaluations and laboratory tests can be completed near home prior to your visit, and the results can be mailed or faxed before your surgery. The scheduler will help with your preoperative requirements.
Fees are usually paid two to three weeks beforehand and a deposit may be required to schedule your surgery date. The surgery scheduler will discuss this with you.
The doctor or nurse will contact you a week or two before surgery to review your medical history and go over pre- and postoperative instructions. If you have additional concerns, call the office.
The length of your recovery period varies, depending upon you and your particular surgery. The staff can provide a list of local hotels, aftercare facilities, and available transportation. Most offices can recommend a limousine service that provides 24-hour transportation.
Generally, you will need to stay until your first sutures are removed and until you have recovered satisfactorily so that you are able to travel. This period is usually seven to fourteen days after surgery.
April 18th, 2011 by
During your initial consultation, the surgeon will want to know what changes you desire in your appearance. This visit gives you the opportunity to get to know the doctor and the staff. You will be asked to provide personal information along with details of your health history. This includes drug and food allergies, major illnesses, hospitalizations and surgeries, as well as the names of your physicians and dates of treatment. This information helps ensure your safety if you opt for surgical treatment. All personal information is confidential. Be sure you have a list of medications you take, both prescription and over-the-counter. If all of this makes you a little nervous, it’s perfectly normal.
The surgeon will review your medical history and examine you. Procedures that might be of benefit to you will be explained by the doctor along with alternatives, limitations, the kinds of anesthesia available, risks involved, postoperative care, and recovery period.
Although many patients want to leave the changes up to the plastic surgeon, I suggest that you be relatively specific about what you want. Prior to this visit, focus on your desired goals. You may find it helpful to bring a list of questions to discuss with the doctor. You also might want to bring some photographs of yourself and models from magazines depicting features you like or dislike, though the doctor will take clinical photographs of you for study and review. Working with a plastic surgeon is more like working with an interior decorator than, say, an abstract artist. Doing your “homework” prior to your consultation will help the surgeon determine what you want.
Sometimes, a second consultation visit will complete your evaluation. The consultation is like a two-way street. You get to know the doctor and staff, and they get to know you. Be open and frank when discussing your concerns and feelings. You may wish to bring a family member or friend with you. The consultation fee, which varies from doctor to doctor, is normally payable at the time of your consultation.
April 18th, 2011 by
Contrary to popular belief, plastic surgery has been around for centuries. It was first described in Egyptian writings as early as 2500 BC. The term “plastic” is derived from the Greek plastikos, which means to mold or give form. Jewelry, make-up, hair, and clothing have been the most acceptable methods used to enhance appearance. Thanks to new, innovative techniques, safer anesthesia, shorter recovery times, decreased risks and complications, and the successful results evident among top-name celebrities, plastic surgery, too, has become an acceptable means for improving one’s appearance. It is no wonder that plastic surgery has become enormously popular all over the world.
One of the most common questions asked by patients is “Is it safe?” Yes, it is safe. But like driving a car, you increase your safety margin by always wearing your seatbelt. To increase your chances of comfortable, safe and successful plastic surgery, proper evaluation of both yourself and the surgeon is very important.
I am often surprised by the casual attitude some of my patients have toward screening and evaluating me as their surgeon. If a patient doesn’t ask questions, how can they have their concerns allayed? While I’m sure that the majority of surgeons in practice are ethical, we have all heard the occasional horror story of those rare incidents when something goes wrong. At a minimum, a patient should know if the prospective surgeon is board certified, how long he/she has been in practice and how many similar procedures they have performed. A patient’s best safeguard is to educate him- or herself about the contemplated procedure. Ask as many questions as possible, and don’t settle for the first surgeon with whom you consult. It is important that you feel comfortable with your surgeon and that he/she understands what you want. If this level of comfort is not felt during the consultation, or you sense that the surgeon is not listening, consult with other surgeons. Remember, steps can be taken to ensure that your surgery will be safe, comfortable and successful.
The following is an easy-to-use mnemonic list of points to consider before you embark on surgery. Further details are available in following chapters. It will help to guide you through your plastic surgery experience with safety in mind.