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How Do I Decide Between Plastic Surgeons After Multiple Consultations?

Posted December 04, 2016 in Plastic Surgery Advice

A man circling one image of a person on a clear boardYou have finally taken the first step toward having a surgical procedure and have now had a few consultations. All the surgeons you have seen are board certified in plastic surgery and seem to have similar ideas on how to best treat your condition. So how do you choose between them?

There really is something to be said about that gut instinct that you likely have. Trust is a big thing, and you just may connect better with one over the others. But if you don’t have a gut instinct leading you one way or another, here are two things to consider.

1. How does your surgeon handle patients when things don’t go exactly as planned?

You certainly don’t want to choose a surgeon that seems to have an unusual track record of frequent complications. But, the fact is that even the most gifted and talented surgeon will have outcomes that are not ideal from time to time. Any surgeon that suggests otherwise simply cannot be trusted. Hopefully, your surgery will proceed exactly as hoped, and your results will be ideal and without a hitch. But if you happen to have a problem, you will find out soon how important it is that your surgeon understands your situation and can fix things in an efficient manner. I would suggest asking to talk with a few patients that had complications. Ask to see your surgeon’s most recent complication or two, and ask how he/she handled things. Ask those patients if they felt comfortable with the surgeon and if they were treated well. One of the worst things to happen is to have a problem and not feel comfortable enough with your surgeon to allow him/her to take care of it for you.

2. Do you feel like you communicate well with your surgeon?

Communication is more important than you can ever know. If you feel as if your surgeon looks good on paper but cannot have an effective conversation, you probably have not found the right surgeon yet. Communication is critical to avoiding unfulfilled expectations and unnecessary anxiety or frustration. You will be happy with your results only if your expectations are met or exceeded. Your surgeon’s technical skill is only one part of the equation needed to achieve or exceed expectations. The other key component is having a surgeon that can effectively set and communicate what those expectations should be. And your surgeon should be a good listener, not just a good talker. If your consultation involves 30 to 40 minutes of one-sided talking, you should question whether or not your wishes and goals are being effectively communicated to your surgeon. How is your surgeon supposed to help you achieve your dream if you have not had a chance to describe your dream yet? Just something to think about.

To schedule your consultation with board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. William T. Stoeckel, contact Wake Plastic Surgery by calling (919) 805-3441 or filling out our online contact form.