How to Prepare for a Plastic Surgery Virtual Consultation

Cosmetic & Plastic Surgeons often request that a patient book a consultation to meet in-person at their clinic. This allows the patient to learn more about procedures, ask questions and also discuss alternate options. It’s important for the patient to undergo a thorough consultation before any procedure in order to be well-informed and understand the options available.

plastic surgery virtual consultations

However, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, more cosmetic surgeons have switched to virtual consultations using video calling software. Not only has this option become more popular, but it’s also helped some patients who live far away from the clinic, making it more convenient for them to converse with their surgeon in the comfort of their own home. In addition, virtual consultations and telemedicine allow patients to contact their surgeon in the event they need help, regardless of where they are. (Although this is an ongoing trend in the plastic surgery space, we at Vida Wellness have been doing this for years since many of our patients are from medical tourism). 

While virtual consultations and telemedicine aren’t a new development in the plastic surgery industry, it’s becoming increasingly important and both patients and surgeons are starting to see their clear advantages.

Here’s what you need to know in order to prepare for a plastic surgery virtual consultation:

1. Make sure you prepare your paperwork and reference pictures

Depending on the stage of your consultation, you may want to prepare some paperwork and reference pictures to send to your surgeon. For instance, they may ask you to send a clear picture of your face to help them evaluate different procedures to suit you. You may also want to submit reference pictures of the results that you’re looking for so that your cosmetic surgeon can suggest procedures for you.

2. Write down a list of questions that you want to ask your surgeon

You’ll want to prepare a list of questions to ask your surgeon during the consultation.

Here are some examples of questions that you may want to ask:

  • What procedures can help me get the results I’m looking for?
  • Have you performed the procedure before?
  • How often do you do this procedure?
  • Would you be willing to let me speak with your previous patients?
  • How much does the procedure cost?
  • Will I need more than one procedure to see the results I want?
  • Are there any side-effects to the procedure?
  • How long is the recovery time?
  • Are there alternatives to the procedure you’ve picked for me?
  • How can I prepare for the procedure?

3. Double-check that your camera equipment and software are working correctly

Before you book a virtual consultation, check that your camera equipment is functioning correctly. You’ll want to ensure that the lens on your camera is cleaned so that your surgeon can see you properly; additionally, make sure that the camera itself actually works. This may be a problem on some laptop computers where the webcam could be disabled for one reason or another. Test the video calling software with a friend or family member and ensure that the camera quality is good and that your microphone picks up your voice clearly.

4. Establish a comfortable and quiet environment for your consultation

Make sure you establish a comfortable and quiet location in your home or an office to have the consultation. You don’t want there to be a lot of background noise because it’ll make it difficult for the surgeon to hear you. You also don’t want to be distracted as it could prolong the consultation. Make sure you’re sitting comfortably in a chair at a desk and turn down anything in the background to create a peaceful environment for the consultation.

5. Make sure you know who you’re talking to

When engaging in an online virtual consultation, it’s important to know exactly who you’re talking to. In some cases, a clinic won’t put you through to a surgeon but a receptionist or advisor that works with the clinic. Depending on who you speak to, it’s important to ask questions that are relevant to their position. For instance, if you’re speaking to a surgeon, you can ask questions about the procedure itself, alternatives, potential side effects and recovery time. However, if you’re not speaking to a surgeon, it’s important to remember that they may be unable to answer specific questions related to the procedures.

6. Make sure the consultation fees are clear before you book it

Consultation fees will depend on the doctor or clinic. While some clinics charge for the initial meeting, others will only charge for follow-up meetings but limit what they’ll help you with during the initial talk. If there are fees for the consultation, make sure that the clinic is transparent about what they are and how much you’ll be expected to pay. It’s worth keeping in mind that consultation fees can be used to show how serious you are about the procedure. Some clinics will actually take your consultation fee and put it towards the procedure as credit if you advance to the next stage. If the consultation won’t cost you money, make sure the clinic is transparent about what you can discuss during the consultation and who you’ll be talking to.

7. Don’t be afraid to ask for before and after photos

Many clinics save before and after photos of procedures to use on their website or inside their offices as an example of their work. Don’t hesitate to ask your surgeon if they can provide you with before and after pictures of their work, especially if you’re unsure about their reputation. This can help you get a better understanding of what the surgeon is capable of.

8. Ask your surgeon to slow down if they are getting too technical

During the virtual consultation, you might find yourself struggling to understand certain terms and concepts that your surgeon is explaining. Don’t be afraid to ask them to slow down so that you can understand what they’re talking about. If they use a difficult term or a word you’ve never heard of before, politely stop them and ask them to clarify something. You may want to have a notepad nearby to take down notes. You could also consider asking your surgeon for online resources to help you better understand the procedure and the options available to you.

Schedule a free virtual consultation with the experts today

vida virtual consultation

VIDA Wellness and Beauty is committed and prepared to provide you with the best care possible during these uncertain times. Our board-certified plastic surgeons have been using virtual consultations for years and are more than happy to help answer all your questions and concerns. Call our friendly staff at (619) 738-2144 (toll free) and book your free virtual consultation today! 


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.