Important Questions to Ask Your Plastic Surgeon | VIDA

If you are in the early stages of planning a cosmetic surgery procedure, you’re probably wondering what are the most important things you should ask your plastic surgeon. Perhaps, you are still looking for the right plastic surgeon and need extra help on how you can vet potential doctors.

The first and most crucial thing you need to do before having plastic surgery is choosing a qualified plastic surgeon that makes you feel safe and comfortable. The best way to do this is by talking to the surgeon personally. If you’d like some help with the most important things you should ask, we’ve created this Q&A for you and added valuable information that will put you on the right track to finding the best plastic surgeon.

Covering the basics: Important Questions to Ask your Plastic Surgeon First

Thoroughly investigating and interviewing your plastic surgeon is the first ingredient to having a safe and successful cosmetic surgery. No matter how many recommendations you’ve received or how famous a particular surgeon is, always schedule a one-on-one consultation where you can clear all your doubts. A personalized consultation is important so you get to know more about your doctor, see how comfortable you feel, get an idea of their bedside manner and talk over the specific details of the procedure you want. We suggest you prepare a list of questions so you don’t forget to cover any topic that’s important to you. Some of the basic things you should ask any surgeon are:

1. Are you licensed and board-certified to perform Plastic Surgery? For plastic surgery, you need a doctor who is board-certified to perform plastic and reconstructive surgery. There are great doctors in different fields, make sure you go to a plastic surgery expert.

2. How often do you perform the procedure I want? Can I see before and after pictures and read or watch testimonials from past patients? Surgery is all about expertise. We have plastic surgeons who are the best in facial rejuvenation surgery and we have plastic surgeons who tend to focus more on after weight loss or body contouring procedures. When a surgeon is a specialist in certain procedures this usually means that they have performed the surgery thousands of times, on different patients and are skilled in the latest surgery techniques. A truly great plastic surgeon will be like an open book: he or she is willing to share all the information you need to feel comfortable, and this includes sharing pictures from the work they’ve performed as well as patient testimonials.

3. How will the procedure be adapted to me? Are you considering my general health? The surgeon you go to must always acknowledge that every patient is different, no matter how many times they’ve performed a surgery. This is why you should go over your medical history and ask the surgeon if there are any extra precautions that need to be taken for the surgery, anesthesia or recovery.

4. What type of anesthesia will you be using? Who is the anesthesiologist and can you share their credentials too? Anesthesia is an essential part of the surgery and anesthesiologists should be as skilled and experienced at their job as your plastic surgeon is at theirs. First, you need to prepare for the anesthesia, be aware of the risks and know that you are in safe hands. When discussing anesthesia make sure you also cover the following points: 

  • Are you getting general, local or twilight anesthesia?
  • Do you have a choice on the type of anesthesia used? 
  • Is a certain type of anesthesia more recommended for your procedure? 
  • What are the risks associated with this type of anesthesia?

5. How long is the recovery? What can I expect in terms of pain and discomfort? The recovery process is as important as the surgery itself. Asking this question and discussing recovery is important because this will not only allow you to plan (ie: take time off work, ask for extra help around the house, buy medications and supplies, etc.) but also to mentally prepare for what to expect. You need to rest and make adjustments to your daily activities after surgery, so having your surgeon give you a clear timeline is best.

6. Can you give me an estimate of my procedure? While you can research online for approximate plastic surgery costs, it’s important to talk to your surgeon about what would be the cost for you. Every patient is unique, therefore, expect the final price of your procedure to be tailored to your needs and aesthetic goals. Make sure the surgeon or someone from their staff send you a digital copy with an itemized estimate so you understand what you are paying for; such as surgeon fees, anesthesiologist fees, operating room and equipment, etc.

Plastic surgery abroad: Checking your surgeon’s credentials and other essentials while abroad

Now that we’ve covered the basics, we feel it’s important to gather extra information from your surgeon if you are traveling for your procedure. Traveling to get cosmetic surgery can be the best decision you take, it can lead you to find an incredible surgeon and have a luxurious medical experience, all while saving money.

Here are some things you should research to help make that happen:

1. Are you board certified in your country and how can I verify this? Make sure you research the standards, qualifications and certifications the surgeons need in your medical tourism destination. If you are coming to Tijuana, Mexico always check for their Cedula Profesional and that they are certified by the Mexican Association for Reconstructive, Aesthetic and Plastic Surgery (AMCPER in Spanish). Also, to know if they meet international standards, ask your surgeon if he or she is a member of the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ISAPS). This information should be made available by the surgeon and you can verify it online. 

2. What are the health standards of the hospital or clinic where my surgery is going to be performed? Equally important to verify that your foreign doctor meets board certifications is knowing that the clinic you are going to is clean, safe and meets health regulations. Check for the health regulations of the country and preferably choose a clinic that is certified by the AAAASF, which sets very high and strict standards for clinics regardless of their location. This accreditation lets you know that you are going to a place that will be as safe and clean, meeting the same standards as the top hospitals in the US.

AAAASF Certified OR
Actual image of VIDA’s AAAASF certified operating room

3. How can I reach you when I’m back home? Make sure your surgeon has experience with visiting patients. You want to go to a plastic surgeon that is easily accessible via email, text or phone.

4. How will you manage my aftercare once I go back home? Can my family doctor contact you? This is vital to ensure you are covered during your recovery and help you set your mind at ease. Knowing your plastic surgeon will be open to cooperating with your family doctor back home means that in the rare case of a complication happening once you’re back home, your local doctor will be fully aware of your procedure.

What to expect during a plastic surgery consultation

Whether you are ready to schedule your plastic surgery or just getting a general idea, contact VIDA at 619 738-2144 to set up a one-on-one consultation. At VIDA Wellness and Beauty we are experts in providing our patients the highest standards of medical care possible. 

  1. A free one-on-one plastic surgery consultation with no strings attached
  2. Individualized attention from the surgeon himself
  3. Patience and confidentiality with all your questions
  4. A thorough review of your medical history
  5. A free estimate for your procedure

You are free to ask everything that comes to mind. Feel free to grill your surgeon! Nothing makes our surgeons happier than knowing their patients trust them. If you don’t feel 100%comfortable, don’t feel ready to commit to the surgery or need more time, it’s totally ok. We will follow up to make sure we can be of help, but there is never pressure from us. If you want more information or have any further questions, please call (619)738-2144

Dr. Alejandro Quiroz

Dr. Quiroz is our board-certified Chief Plastic Surgeon at VIDA Clinic in Tijuana. He specializes in Facial Rejuvenation, Neck lift, Buttock Augmentation, Breast Augmentation, Body Contouring and more. He is member of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, American Society of Plastic Surgeons, International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, San Diego Plastic Surgery Society, the Mexican Society of Aesthetic & Reconstructive Plastic Surgery and the Mexican Council of Aesthetic & Reconstructive Plastic Surgery, to mention a few.