Even after 15 years in private practice, as a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon I am still honored that patients seek me out for consultation. I make sure to educate them properly regarding the procedures they seek, and go over a great deal of information to help them make an informed decision. Unfortunately, not all patients want to be informed. I call them the Cuando y Cuanto patients. This, for those of you who do not speak Spanish, means “how much and when”.
Of course, the price of the procedure lets you know if you can afford it, and allows you to compare other doctors and the fees they charge. This is not the most important factor. You do not go looking for a car and ask the price before you know what make, model, year, and the history. You look at the car, research, ask questions, and see if you are interested. If it excites you, then you find out the cost.
When I do a consult, I first find out what bothers you about your appearance, then let you know the options to best correct the issue. Sometimes you come thinking you need one thing, but a different procedure is more appropriate. You learn about my training, experience, see the office, the place the procedure will be done, meet the anesthesiologist, and get several examples of my work on similar patients. Then, we talk about fees.
As for Cuando, yes you have an idea of when a good time is for you. Most good plastic surgeons are booked out in advance. You should not expect to have a procedure a week or 2 after your consult. Plan to consult as far in advance as possible, about 2-3 months before so that you will not be disappointed. Never plan your vacation and hope to book your surgery, book your procedure and then ask for the days off. Make sure you pick the right doctor, even if you have to wait.
As you seek out the realization of your cosmetic surgery dreams, make sure you feel comfortable with the doctor, the staff, the office and how you are treated. Make sure you see before and after photos similar to you that you like. Make sure the procedure takes place in an accredited surgical facility with a Board Certified Anesthesiologist as well, and that testing is done. Cost and timing are important, but not as important as making sure you make the right decision.