A visit to the plastic surgeon’s office is an intimate thing. Not only will the plastic surgeon perform a physical examination on you and see the things you consider unattractive and are trying to hide on a day-to-day basis, but he will also have to find out about all the juicy details concerning your lifestyle and habits. This is why it is crucial to be open and sincere in your communication with your plastic surgeon.
When you decide you want to undergo plastic surgery and to confide in a plastic surgeon, it is time to be ready to talk about all your secrets. While there are certain things that your plastic surgeon doesn’t have to know, there are important matters that you should never hide from him.
Why do I need to discuss so many aspects of my life with the plastic surgeon?
Some patients had bad experiences with plastic surgeons who were difficult to talk to and confide in. Some plastic surgeons have had bad experiences with patients who didn’t communicate sincerely about their concerns, expectations, or medical history. You must have met or heard of at least one person who was unsatisfied with the meeting with the plastic surgeon because he or she didn’t understand much of what the doctor was saying. It is also quite a common occurrence for patients to go for the consultation with pictures in their hands and demand to have just the same thing (the nose of a singer, the buttocks of a reality TV show celebrity, etc.) yet show unwillingness to discuss their medical history and other relevant things with the surgeon.
In the same way, we have met patients who were disappointed because they didn’t get the desired results after plastic surgery, or they experienced quite severe complications. However, at a closer inspection, it turned out that these occurred because they didn’t follow the plastic surgeon’s indications.
Attitude matters when you are talking with your plastic surgeon. The first step toward satisfactory results after plastic surgery is open communication with the plastic surgeon. One of the most important things that the patient needs to understand is that any conversation with the surgeon should be a dialogue, not a monologue. This is the reason why surgeons always encourage their patients to ask about every detail that come to mind that is related to the plastic surgery intervention and to bring their concerns and expectations to the table. You shouldn’t worry about redundancy when it comes to asking about the details of your procedure, and you shouldn’t be shy to talk about your medical history and what is really on your mind.
Some patients are interested in knowing all the details about the procedure they are going to undergo; while others just want to see the results and don’t care so much about how things are done. What the plastic surgeon should do is talk to you about your condition and the treatment in a direct manner and then ask about your desires and expectations. The surgeon would then advise you to also be clear and specific in answering his/her questions and to avoid making decisions on what you have read from uncertain sources online.
For the success of the intervention and in order to avoid severe complications, here are the six things that you should never hide from your plastic surgeon:
- You are a smoker.
Nowadays it is a well- known fact that smoking is very bad for the health. We know it affects the lungs and heart, and that it plays an important role in other severe or chronic health conditions. However, many patients have no idea about the effects of smoking before and after a plastic surgery intervention. If you have a look online, you will see this topic discussed on many plastic surgery forums. People who are planning to undergo plastic surgery are asking if smoking is really not allowed before the intervention, and patients who have already done it say they smoked and it was all okay. The reality is that it can be okay, but smoking can also be the cause of severe complications that occur during the procedure, which can lead to skin and fat tissue necrosis, delayed wound healing, and the list can go on. If you smoke, you should let your plastic surgeon know about it and ask for his advice about what to do before scheduling the surgical intervention.
- You are taking birth control pills.
Many patients are surprised when the doctor asks if they are taking birth control pills. It seems like an unreasonable question, but it is not. If you are on birth control pills, your surgeon will suggest that you stop the treatment for at least a month before and after the procedure is performed. The birth control pills can trigger complications such as blood clots, so it is essential for the plastic surgeon to know about this.
- What you really want to achieve with the intervention.
You have read online and are aware of the fact that many plastic surgeons will refuse to perform a liposuction on a patient who sees it as a weight loss method. You want to undergo a liposuction or a tummy tuck for the same (wrong) reason, but you believe that not talking about this to your plastic surgeon will be okay. Well, it is not. A responsible plastic surgeon will want to know exactly what your expectations are so he can tell you if they are reasonable or not. If you hide these from your plastic surgeon, you can expect to be disappointed after seeing the results of your intervention.
- Your reasons for undergoing surgery.
You might think that your reasons are personal, and they shouldn’t be shared with anyone else, not even the plastic surgeon. But he will ask you about this, and it is recommended to respond openly and truthfully. The reason why your plastic surgeon wants to find out what motivates you to undergo surgery procedure is that he wants to make sure it is your personal choice, and you were not persuaded to do this by your partner or a family member. This is important because every plastic surgery comes at a price and entails certain risks and potential complications. You must have strong personal reasons for wanting to undergo the procedure and also a real understanding of the risks involved.
- You had previous surgical interventions in the area targeted.
In some cases, the plastic surgeon can tell what previous surgical interventions you had just by examining the area; other times, it can be more difficult. However, you should talk about having undergone plastic surgery or other surgical procedures on the area before scheduling this intervention. It is important for the surgeon to know what he will discover once the intervention starts so he can avoid complications and prevent further damage to the tissues.
- You drink alcohol regularly.
Alcohol can also negatively impact your plastic surgery procedure. Before anything else, it can cause issues with the anesthesia administered before the plastic surgery is performed. More than this, it can trigger other complications, which can lead to a more difficult recovery period for the patient. Let your doctor know how much alcohol you drink and how often before scheduling your procedure.
When considering undergoing plastic surgery, the patient has to be aware of the fact that he/she needs to be open when discussing things with the plastic surgeon. The plastic surgeon is not there to judge you, and everything you will discuss will remain confidential.
The patient needs to trust the surgeon and be convinced that the doctor will help him/her improve his/her appearance. If you are not feeling safe with and understood by your plastic surgeon, then it is time to change the doctor.
It is not a secret that the surgeon’s time for the consultation is limited, so when preparing for the meeting, you can make a list with your questions and the other details you know you have to share with the surgeon so you won’t miss something when you go to the clinic.
Among the things that you should never keep a secret from your plastic surgeon are smoking, alcohol intake, and if you are taking birth control pills. All these can trigger significant complications during and after surgery but could be otherwise avoided. Make sure you talk to your surgeon about the medication you are taking and your lifestyle or habits.
Other important things you should be prepared to talk about are your reasons for undergoing surgery and your expectations after the procedure. These are all essential factors that your plastic surgeon needs to take into consideration before deciding whether you are a good candidate for the procedure.
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