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What questions should I ask my Plastic Surgeon?

Although pop culture often portrays plastic surgery as straightforward and easy, in reality the decision to have plastic surgery (just like any other kind of surgery) is a big one, and requires ample thought and preparation. There are many factors to consider, including finding the right surgeon, ensuring that your surgery will be performed in a safe environment, and of course choosing the right surgical option for you. Trying to weigh all of these considerations can feel very overwhelming! This is why this blog post is about the top questions you should be sure to address with your plastic surgeon, providing a short and sweet guide to help you get started on your journey.

When considering plastic surgery, one of the most important things to do first is ensure that you are only considering plastic surgeons who are board-certified and have extensive experience performing your procedure of interest. It is not adequate to be board-certified in another area of surgery, as only those who are board certified in plastic surgery have the highly specialized skill set necessary to optimize your safety, as well as the chances of getting an aesthetically pleasing result. In addition to ensuring board certification, it is also a good idea to ask how often the surgeon performs the procedure you are interested in. After all, it makes sense that someone who performs many procedures per week versus only a couple per month has had much more experience perfecting their craft. Another important question to ask your surgeon is where the surgery will be performed. Pay close attention to ensure that it is a fully accredited surgical facility that has been verified to be clean, up to code, and fully equipped with everything needed to respond in a life-threatening emergency. Dr. Traci Temmen operates at The Plastic Surgery Center of Tampa, a private surgical center that meets hospital standards and has been approved by the American Association for Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgery Facilities. Finally, it is important to know not just the credentials of your surgeon, but also the entire surgical team that will be taking care of you. Asking about the other team members such as anesthesia, nursing, and any other assistants will help you learn exactly who will be involved in your case from start to finish.

Once you feel comfortable with your surgeon, surgical setting, and the rest of your surgical team, you should also ask questions to learn more about the specific surgery you are interested in. Important questions for any surgery include going over the risks and benefits. All surgery entails risks such as bleeding, blood clots, and infection, but there may be additional, more specific risks depending on the specific surgery. Likewise, it is important to consider the potential benefits of the surgery, such as improved self-confidence and quality of life. In addition, it is also a good idea to ask what your expected outcome would be, or what kind of outcomes the surgeon has seen in patients similar to you. To help answer this question, be sure to ask to see examples of previous patient before and after photos to show you the quality of their work and give you an idea of what you can expect. Along similar lines, it is also helpful to ask how the surgeon would tailor the surgery you’re interested in to fit your body and aesthetic goals. Dr. Temmen understands that plastic surgery is never a one-size-fits-all affair, and requires careful personalization to the unique patient to get the most beautiful and natural-looking result.

Lastly, a few more questions you may want to ask your plastic surgeon pertain to recovery. Assessing the estimated recovery time, what activity restrictions you will have, and what your follow-up will be is important for planning your life and schedule at the item of surgery. Specific questions that may be helpful to ask your surgeon include when they expect that you can drive, return to work, and exercise, as well as if you will need anyone at home assisting you with activities in the early stage of recovery. This is also a good time to ask about when you can expect to see post-op swelling start to subside and your result emerge, as this process usually takes weeks to months.

As you can see, the decision to have plastic surgery involves considering many moving parts, from the people who will be taking care of you to the expected results and recovery process. Thus, it is crucial as to do your own research, find an experienced and reputable board certified plastic surgeon, and ask all of the questions you need to feel informed and comfortable preparing for surgery. Board certified plastic surgeon Dr. Traci Temmen understands that deciding to have surgery can be nerve-wracking, and she is committed to spending time one-on-one with each patient to make the process as stress-free as possible. If you would like to view examples of real patient transformations performed by Dr. Temmen, please explore the Before and After section of this website. To learn more about if you may be a good candidate for a procedure you’re interested in, please call 813-877-2277 to schedule your personal consultation with Traci Temmen, MD, today!