Patient Information >>
Useful Questions to ask your surgeon
Before you commit yourself to any cosmetic surgery, it is absolutely vital
to choose the best surgeon for the procedure you want. This is, after
all, the only body you have, and it deserves the attention of a highly
qualified, specialist plastic surgeon.
What are the doctor's qualifications? Is he a member of the New
Zealand Medical Council?
If you have any doubts about a doctor's qualifications, you can
call the Council (04-384 7635) and ask if he or she is a registered
specialist in plastic surgery.
How experienced is he or she in the type of surgery you want?
How often does the doctor perform that procedure and when was the last
Physiologically, is this a suitable time for you to have cosmetic
surgery or would you be
better off waiting a few years?
What procedure are available to improve your problem? Which one would
be best for
you and why?
What results can you reasonably expect, given your physical features,
and how long
can you expect them to last?
How safe is the procedure and what complications could arise? Are
common or rare and are they likely to occur during or after
Where will the scars be located and do you have a choice? Will they
improve with time
and how long will that take?
Is the procedure painful? What is the extent of post-operative pain,
and swelling? How long will these effects last?
What type of anaesthetic does the surgeon use and who administers it?
Do you have a
Will you need any other drugs and, if so, are there any side effects
How long will the procedure take?
Where will it be performed - hospital, the surgeon's own facility or a
Do you have a choice?
Is the surgery or clinic equipped with life support and other
emergency facilities should
the need arise?
What immediate after-care is available at the surgery or clinic?
What kind of post-operative care will you need? Will you need someone
to take you home?
Will you need someone to look after you and, if so, for how long?
In the event that the surgeon is unavailable after the operation and
you have a problem,
who will take care of it?
When can you resume physical activity, sexual activity (particularly
related to breast
surgery), social activity, work?
How long (days, weeks, months) will the entire healing process take?
How much will the entire procedure cost - surgeon's fee,
anaesthetist's fee, hospital or
surgery costs, theatre fees, pharmaceutical's or other costs? Are
follow-up visits included?
If additional treatment or surgery is necessary for post-operative
(bleeding, infection, wound breakdown), who pays for it?
If additional surgery is necessary at a later date (eg., scar
rhinoplasty, replacing ruptured implants), what extra costs are
Is anything recoverable on Medicare? If you have private health
insurance, what will it cover?
Hair: When can I dye my hair? (Latest possible date prior to surgery,
following surgery?) How much hair will be cut away for the surgery?
When can I resume wearing contact lenses?
What brand of make-up is best for concealing bruising?
May I see pictures of your work?
Will you ask some of your patients if they would be willing to talk to
me about their
procedure and their satisfaction with you as a surgeon.