Evaluate Your Consultation Like a Pro
The better patients are informed, the better they’re able to make good decisions about cosmetic surgery. It’s up to your surgeon to provide you with the information you need about rhinoplasty, and a strategically designed consultation process can help transmit these details most effectively. Use the following checklist to determine whether or not your consultation passed the bar.
Essentials of a successful consultation
Every practice has a different way of doing consultations and there is no “ideal” way to do it. However, there are some features of a good consultation that are desirable. Keep track of which of these features take place as you compare the consultation experience at the practices you visit:
- While it’s common for other staff members to spend time with you during the consultation (taking “before” photos from various angles, for example), the surgeon spends at least 30 minutes with you
- The surgeon should do a nasal examination and look inside your nose. This is critical for evaluating the relevant anatomy and discovering potential breathing problems. Evaluation of the nasal septum and upper lateral cartilages allows for planning of hump reduction techniques. For example, narrow angles between the upper lateral cartilages and nasal septum (the internal valve area) may predispose to the patient to post operative breathing problems and may require special techniques to help prevent those problems from occurring. Also, it is very important in general to have a thorough intranasal exam to rule out the possibility of any medical conditions that might otherwise go undiagnosed.
- The surgeon shows you examples of patients whose issues were similar to yours prior to rhinoplasty (as well as their results after surgery) – how many examples? The more the better, which at least 5 being a good sign that the surgeon has experience with the kinds of changes you require.
- The surgeon discusses the medical risks associated with surgery
- The surgeon identifies the cosmetic risks of surgery, including limitations specific to your situation. He or she helps you set realistic expectations regarding what results can be achieved through rhinoplasty based on your unique situation.
- The surgeon uses computer imaging to drive a fulfilling discussion about results.
- The surgeon shows you a large gallery of before-and-after photos (how many? the more the better since before and after photos are proof that the surgeon does a lot of rhinoplasty – a gallery of at least 20 different patients is best). You can often expect to see more of these types of images at a consultation than on the Internet, as many patients are uncomfortable sharing their photos on the web.
- The office staff is friendly, professional and well informed – after all, these are the people who will prepare you for your procedure and help you during the recovery process. Their role is to ensure your entire experience is a great one, from start to finish.
- Your consultation begins on time (if not, the staff apologizes). This shows the team cares about providing excellent customer service and creating a great experience; it’s also a sign that your time is valued and respected.
- The office looks clean and modern; this shows that you are working with a practice that evolves with the times.
- There seems to be a process in place – for example, you are walked through what you can expect to happen that day before the consultation begins.
- You are provided with support/educational materials to take home.
Ready to book your consultation with Dr. Buonassisi? Call 8 West Cosmetic Surgery today!