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What happens during a cosmetic surgery consultation?

Cosmetic surgeon Charlotte and surrounding area

When you’re considering having a cosmetic procedure, one of the earliest steps you’ll take is to schedule a consultation with a plastic surgeon. While nearly everyone has seen a doctor before, many aren’t quite sure what to expect from this particular appointment. What will happen during your plastic surgery consultation? Is there anything that you should do to prepare?

While each surgeon does things a little differently, here’s what you can generally expect during a cosmetic surgery consultation.

Get to know the surgeon

The first goal of a cosmetic consultation is for you to get to know the surgeon you’re considering. If you choose to move forward with the procedure, you’ll be putting your life and your body into this person’s hands, so it’s important that you feel comfortable with him or her. You’ll be able to get a sense as to whether you “click” with this particular surgeon.

During this part of the visit, your surgeon should be spending some time and effort on getting to know you. If your surgeon doesn’t really seem interested in getting to know you as a person or your cosmetic concerns, many patients would consider that a red flag. While surgery certainly requires technical skill, it’s above all a human profession, and your surgeon should show you that they care about you.

Talk about your goals

Whatever procedure you’re considering, you’ve chosen it because you have certain goals for your appearance. Think carefully about what you’d like the outcome to be, and be prepared to talk about this with your surgeon. This will help him or her to know which procedure would most likely help you to achieve your goals, and to ensure that you have realistic expectations about what cosmetic surgery can and can’t do to achieve your desired appearance.

During this part of the consultation, you should again notice whether or not the surgeon seems to be really listening to you. A surgeon who is rushing through the consultation, or who seems to have a “cookie cutter” or predetermined answer to any concerns you may bring up, may not be the right choice for you. Rather than feeling like you’re being pushed down a set pipeline, you should feel that a custom plan is being created with your personal goals in mind.

Discuss your medical history and be examined

In order to determine which procedures are an option for you, your surgeon will need to know about your medical history. Make sure that you reveal any chronic illnesses or previous surgeries, as these can significantly affect the decisions made about your treatment. You’ll need to fill out paperwork related to your medical history, which can usually be done ahead of time and sent into your surgeon’s office.

You’ll also receive a thorough physical examination. This exam will focus on your area of concern (for example, the face if you’re considering a facelift), but will not necessarily be limited to that area. This is because your surgeon needs to know about your general health in order to determine whether certain procedures would be safe for you and would be likely to create the outcome you desire.

After this part of the visit, your surgeon will have a good professional sense of which procedures would be good options for you, based on your medical history. He or she will discuss your options with you. This should include an honest discussion of both the risks and benefits of each treatment. If you hear only good things about a surgical procedure, with no discussion of any possible risks or downsides, that’s another red flag. This should be a professional conversation, not a sales pitch!

Bring your questions

Before you come in for your consultation, it’s a good idea to do some of your own research. Learn about the procedure you’re interested in. This will allow you to determine what questions you still have, so you can ask these to your surgeon. The patients who get the most out of their consultation appointments are those who have already spent some time on their own research beforehand. This way, instead of communicating the basic knowledge about the procedure, your surgeon can spend time on the details and on answering your questions.

At the end of your appointment, you might feel ready to schedule a surgical procedure. If you’ve been considering it for a long time and you’re well-informed, then you can go ahead and book your surgery, although you should expect it to be a few weeks before the procedure actually happens. If you have any doubts, we highly encourage you to think about it before scheduling surgery. Again, if you’re feeling pressured to schedule your surgery before you leave the office after your consultation, then you’re probably experiencing a sales pitch rather than a true consultation.

Why isn’t the consultation appointment with Dr. Miles free?

There are some plastic surgery offices that offer the initial consultation for “free.” However, in reality, no professional really offers their expertise entirely for free. When a surgeon doesn’t charge for the consultation, that appointment is often a shortened version and less informative than a consultation you’d receive from a plastic surgeon who charges for consultations.  Often times, the free consultation is scheduled with a nurse or other staff member and the doctor may only be present for a small fraction of the time spent in the consultation. In addition, it will likely feel more like a high-pressure sales pitch than like a true medical consultation. Instead of honestly answering your questions, the staff is getting paid for their time by “closing the deal” on your surgery.

When you’re paying for a consultation with a plastic surgeon, then that time is your time. You can expect to have more time for getting your questions answered honestly. In Dr. Miles’s opinion, it makes more sense for both the patient and the surgeon to have the consultation be a paid service to allow time to answer all questions and provide all necessary information for a patient to make an informed decision. In this way, both parties can feel relaxed about spending this time in an honest discussion, with no pressure at all.

The cost for the consultation is only $50, which is very reasonable for the amount of time that you’ll spend with Dr. Miles. If you decide to proceed with surgery, then the cost of your consultation will be applied toward the cost of your procedure. If not, then you will have gotten more than enough value to make it worth the price.

Are you ready to schedule your consultation with your cosmetic surgeon Charlotte area?

Dr. Eric Miles, cosmetic surgeon CharlotteIf you’re in the area around Charlotte, NC, and you’re considering a cosmetic procedure, then scheduling a consultation with Dr. Erik Miles is a great next step. As a double board certified plastic surgeon, he’s extremely well qualified, with excellent technical skills. He considers it a great honor to be so highly recommended by many of his past patients, who often tell us how comfortable they felt with Dr. Miles – and how much they love their results.

Whether you’re already fairly sure that you’d like a certain procedure, or you’re just considering the possibility but you really aren’t sure it’s right for you, a consultation with Dr. Erik Miles will answer your questions and help you make important decisions about your body and face, with absolutely no pressure to proceed with any treatment. Please contact our office to schedule your consultation appointment.

Dr. Erik J. Miles
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