If you are planning on getting any facial plastic surgery in Tampa, make sure that you work with a plastic surgeon that offers a consultation prior to any surgery. While many offices do provide a prior conference, there are some practices where you will meet the doctor only once you are on the table. Not meeting prior to the operation is risky because the doctor will not be aware of your goals and expectations in advance.
According to Dr. Dominic Castellano, a board-certified facial plastic surgeon in Tampa, the consultation process is often the most important part of the rejuvenation process. “It is very common for a patient to call to tell us that they need a facelift, when what they really need is a neck lift. If we just booked a surgery based on the patient’s request, we’d be doing them a big disservice.” The personal consultation with the doctor is a time to examine the patient to determine what is necessary to help achieve their desired look, to discuss the procedure in detail, answer any questions that they may have and put together a recommended treatment plan for their consideration.
What does a Plastic Surgery Consultation entail?
In an optimal consultation, the patient is welcomed into the office and meets first with a surgical consultant. The patient can explain the area of the face that they’d like to have restored and find out more about the procedure in advance. Often times, a photo is taken of the patient that can be used to outline problem areas and can also be used for computer imaging if appropriate. The surgical consultant will take a medical history and answer the basic questions that the patient has at this stage. The consultant may share before/after photos of other patients that have undergone a similar surgery and discuss all expectations. The consultant will then share this information with the doctor prior to his meeting with the patient.
The doctor will then examine the patient and review the different options available to achieve the patient’s desired look. If the patient and doctor agree on the need for a facelift, the doctor can demonstrate and explain in detail how a facelift would work to smooth out the wrinkles and lift of the sagging appearance to more youthful look. Sometimes the surgeon will use computer imaging to show a more visual outcome of the procedure. The procedure can be described in detail with risks and benefits spelled out clearly.
Plastic Surgery Consultation Provides Education
Oftentimes, the doctor can provide a different solution that the person may not have considered. For example, if the patient wishes to remove the bags under their eyes to look younger and more refreshed, they may have requested a facelift but really needs eyelid surgery. Dr. Dominic mentioned that he frequently can provide a less invasive, less expensive solution than the patient first had in mind. “A doctor that does not meet with a patient in advance would often be doing more extensive work than a patient needs because of something the patient read about in a magazine.” Dr. Dominic always meets with his patients prior to any surgery, whether they are a new client or a returning patient. “It is the only way to provide the right diagnosis and treatment plan.”
During a consultation, the patient should never be pressured into making a decision on having surgery but rather should be educated on the options. This is the time to request before and after photos, get references, learn about the doctor’s qualifications, find out if the practice is accredited and get a quote on the cost of the procedure. The consult helps the doctor get a good look at the patient before doing any work and the patient gets to meet the doctor to see if they are comfortable with the surgeon and their advice. At the end of the consult (which may take up to an hour), the patient should get a written proposal of the work recommended along with price quotes and information about the next step. They may set a surgical date at that time or leave the office with the proposal to consider the options presented.
This is what you should expect from a plastic surgery consultation. If you are considering a facial procedure and would like to meet with Dr. Dominic and the medical team at Elite Facial Plastic Surgery, please call for a complimentary consultation. Contact Elite Facial Plastic Surgery at (813) 975-3223 or contact us online.