You would have to be living in a cave not to know that the economy is in bad shape. No one has been spared from this collective pain and in case we forget about it for a minute, someone on the news is there to remind us.
It is therefore only natural to want to get the most out of the money we do spend and "get a good deal", and why should cosmetic surgery be any different? There are certainly deals to be had as plastic surgeons struggle with decreasing patient volume, thus giving birth to the "plastic surgery discount." Some the these opportunities are a genuine recognition of the more limited resources of their patients, and others are born of desperation. So how does a prospective patient sort this out?
To help guide you through this potential minefield, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons has published a list of guidelines helpful when choosing a plastic surgeon. Here is a condensed summary of the highlights:
Is my surgeon certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery?
Where and how will my procedure be done?
Who will be performing the procedure and who will take care of me after surgery?
What are the qualifications of the anesthesiologist and other medical personnel involved?
How many of the procedures have you (they) done?
What can I expect from the procedure?
Can I see before-and-after photos that illustrate the procedure?
What are the risks and complications?
What are my restrictions and the recovery time?
How long can I expect the results to last?
Are there alternative procedures I could consider?
Some questions to ask yourself:
Am I basing my decision on credentials of the medical professional and not the price?
Does this sound too good to be true (if so, it probably is)?
What do I expect from my procedure?
Are my expectations for results realistic?
Have all my questions been answered?
If you bring this list to your consultation and just listen, most plastic surgeons will answer most of these questions before you take out your list. If this is not the case, proceed with caution. Good luck.