The first step in any plastic surgery journey is meeting with a plastic surgeon to discuss your options. Usually, the more questions a patient asks, the more likely they are to be satisfied with their experience and outcomes.

Here, Charlotte plastic surgeons Dr. Robert Graper and Dr. Garrett Harper outline essential questions to ask at your plastic surgery consultation. Asking these questions will put you on the right path to a safe and successful plastic surgery experience. 

Are you board certified in plastic surgery?

In a country where any licensed physician can legally perform a cosmetic procedure, it is critical to confirm your plastic surgeon is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery.

Board certification tells you a lot about the surgeon’s training, experience, safety record and ethics. Board certified plastic surgeons have graduated from an accredited medical school, completed at least five years of additional training as a resident surgeon (at least two years focused entirely on plastic surgery) and passed rigorous written and oral examinations covering all plastic surgery procedures.

How many years have you been in practice?

Ideally, you want to work with a plastic surgeon that has many years of experience in the field and the procedure you are pursuing. The more experience, the better equipped the surgeon is to deliver the results you want. You want a surgeon who has the experience to know what works and what doesn’t, but at the same time up to date on the most innovative technologies.

“Performing a large volume of a certain procedure helps a plastic surgeon refine his or her skills. This also indicates the surgeon has worked with a large group of patients with different issues that need to be addressed,” says Dr. Graper.

Am I a good candidate for this procedure?

Trustworthy surgeons will be honest about your candidacy. They will explain whether your desired procedure is a good fit for your specific goals and is likely to help you achieve your requested outcomes. If not, they will suggest a better alternative.

What can I expect during my recovery?

Before moving forward with surgery, it is crucial to understand the details of the recovery process. You need to know how much time you can expect to take off from work and your normal activities, specific restrictions during that time and how you can expedite your recovery.

How are complications handled?

Any legitimate plastic surgeon will admit the potential for complications, says Dr. Harper. “We are not infallible. Even a textbook perfect procedure can lead to a complication.”

An important part of preparing for surgery is acknowledging the risks and understanding how your plastic surgeon handles complications (however rare). If a surgeon does not discuss risks with you, do not work with that surgeon.

If you are ready to begin your journey to a new look, the first step is meeting with a qualified plastic surgeon. Please call 704.375.7111 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Robert Graper or Dr. Garrett Harper today.