Clear Communication in Your Plastic Surgery Consultation

Choosing the Timing of Your Own Breast ReconstructionDuring your consultation at Atlanta Plastic Surgery, your plastic surgeon will ask you questions to get a better idea of what you want, invite you to ask any questions you might have, and possibly even have imaging done. The initial plastic-surgery meeting is unique among other medical consultations; there’s a high level of collaboration between you and your surgeon as you discuss your potential procedure. Therefore, today we’re discussing four major steps you can take to ensure that you achieve peak patient-surgeon understanding. In addition to arriving 15 minutes early and filling out your paperwork ahead of time, optimizing your communication level is the best thing you can do to make sure your consultation is smooth, productive, and pleasant for everyone involved.

  1. Research each surgeon’s section of our Atlanta Plastic Surgery.

On the Atlanta Plastic Surgery website, you can browse through the Procedures, Biography, and Before-and-After sections of each of our experienced plastic surgeons. This will help you determine which surgeon is best for your desires and requirements, and it will also help you get an idea of what types of questions to prepare for your consultation. You can read previous patients’ testimonials and other reviews to help you narrow down your choices, and you might even decide to schedule meetings with multiple surgeons to explore all of your options.

  1. Research your procedure ahead of time and prepare questions.

Online resources can be great starting places for getting general ideas about what types of questions to ask. Remember, however, that the internet contains a lot of misinformation, and anyone can say whatever they want about anything online. When it comes to self-education in a specialized, dense field like plastic surgery, it’s best to air on the side of caution. Your consultation will be a fantastic opportunity to ask one of our highly credentialed surgeons about any research you may do. The information in the Atlanta Plastic Surgery Procedures section and Blog is reviewed or written by our practicing surgeons, so that might be a good place to start your journey.

  1. Write down anything you want to ask or chat about.

Plastic surgery is complicated. That’s one of the many reasons that our surgeons spend the better part of a decade learning about their areas of expertise in school, then attain several years of experience before taking on maximum responsibility. Even if one of our highly credentialed plastic surgeons were considering having a procedure done on an area on which he or she routinely operates, we would still recommend that he or she come into the consultation with a list of questions and concerns for the surgeon performing the procedure. It’s in your best interests to get every question and concern out in the open, and checking off a physical list is the best way to ensure that you and your surgeon cover your bases, achieve a mutually beneficial dialog, and get the most out of your plastic surgery consultation.

  1. Bring in visual aids like photographs and clothing.

If you’re trying to get back to a past weight, or you want your face to look like it did fifteen years ago, showing your surgeon a photograph of yourself from that time will be helpful for a few reasons. The more ways you have to fully explain your plastic-surgery goals, the closer your results will likely be to those goals. Furthermore, seeing exactly what you want out of your procedure will help your surgeon explain just how close he can get to your desired result. Hollywood and internet folk-wisdom can give people unrealistic—either overly optimistic or irrationally skeptical—expectations, and that isn’t helpful in a doctor-patient relationship.

The primary goal of any medical consultation is to exchange the maximum possible amount of information from patient to doctor, and vice versa; each party needs to leave the meeting with a new and satisfying understanding of the situation. It’s the medical professional’s job to explain the details of a potential upcoming procedure, and it’s the patient’s job to make his or her concerns and goals as clear as possible so that expectations are realistic. At Atlanta Plastic Surgery, we take pride in the fact that our surgeons and staff make open and productive communication a priority.

If you’re considering plastic surgery and would like to speak with an experienced surgeon about your options, please contact one of our Atlanta Plastic Surgery offices to schedule a consultation. There, in addition to discussing your prospective procedure, we can go over our available financing options with you. Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ for the latest plastic surgery news.