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We are living in the age of nip and tuck. Plastic surgery has become more affordable, and with so many people going under the knife it has led some to falsely believe that plastic surgery isn’t serious. Beauties, it is surgery.

While you are beautiful just the way you are, if you’re thinking of getting any kind of cometic procedure, you should look at your consultation with your plastic surgeon as an interview opportunity to ensure she or he is the right doctor for you.

Here are 12 questions everyone should ask their plastic surgeon before going through with any cometic procedure. We focused on safety, education, knowledge, and guidelines.

1. Is your doctor a member of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery?

Globally, the ASAPS is the largest plastic surgery speciality organization that focuses on advance quality care for plastic surgery patients by requiring a high set of standards, ethics, training, and physician practice by their members. They advocate for patient safety and rights. If your doctor isn’t a part of this organization, you probably want to see another doctor.

2. Is your doctor certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (or the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada?)

The American Board of Plastic Surgery has requirements for their members to ensure they are behaving ethically and engaging in lawful activities. They have standards requiring their members to maintain up to date with their education, thorough examinations, and ensure maintenance of their certifications in plastic surgery as specialists.

3. Where and how will the doctor perform your procedure?

Does your surgeon have the ability and privileges to practice in a hospital? If so, which ones? An outpatient facility? If so, which ones? You will be asleep during your surgery and it’s imperative you know where you will be to ensure everything is sterile and safe.

4. Is the surgical facility accredited by a state or nationally recognized accrediting agency? Is the facility state-licensed or Medicare-certified?

Your operation should be performed in an accredited hospital, outpatient surgery center, or cancer treatment center. Accreditation allows you to know the hospital and/or surgical center is committed to the highest level of quality health care and patient safety standards.

5. What are the risks and complications associated with your specific procedure and how are they handled?

While we always hope nothing goes wrong, this isn’t always the reality. It’s important to know the negative results that could potentially happen as a result of going under the knife.

6. What is the length of recovery, and what kind of help will you need afterward?

Surgery isn’t a small matter. Every operation has some kind of recovery period and you should know how long yours will be. Also, after surgery, due to anesthesia, you will need someone to drive you home and take care of you for a minimum of 24 hours. Find all these things out in advance, so you can effectively and efficiently plan your aftercare.

7. Does your doctor have before and after photos that illustrate your specific procedure and show results that are reasonable to expect?

You can tell how good your surgeon is by their work. Check the photos your doctor gives you by dropping them in Google Images to see if they show up in other locations. Some patients have complained that doctors have grabbed examples of “their work” off the internet. Do your research, beauties.

8. Is this procedure approved by the FDA?

If the answer is no, do not proceed.

9. Will your doctor be performing your surgery or will someone else be on staff?

You have the right to know who will be cutting into your body. At teaching hospitals sometimes it’s the main doctor who is assisting the intern, or at large practices there are multiple surgeons, so depending on the date or time of your surgery that might determine who the surgeon is. Find out in advance who will be performing your surgery and make sure you speak with them beforehand.

10. Will your doctor allow you to contact their former patients?

You get a referral for almost everything else, why wouldn’t you want one from your potential plastic surgeon. Ask your doctor to speak with a patient that has had the same type of surgery you are considering. Also, utilize online tools like Real Self. The forum style of this website allows people to “rate” and discuss the doctors they have chosen.

11. Can this be covered under my insurance?

A breast reduction, for example, can be covered under certain insurances, if it’s viewed as a health problem and not just cosmetic.

12. How many times has your doctor performed the specific surgery you’re considering?

The answer should be, “I’ve done this procedure hundreds, no thousands, of times over many years.” You want someone experienced, not someone who is using you as practice.

Make sure you get the answers you need, beauties, so you feel comfortable going under the knife. If your surgeon does not make you feel comfortable, find another surgeon.

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