Everything You Need To Know Before Visiting A Plastic Surgeon
Undergoing plastic surgery is a big decision. Lots of factors come into play before ultimately deciding to go under the knife, and deciding to have the surgery is the first step. Afterwards, it would be having to work with your plastic surgeon in making decisions that would best suit you, your needs and your concerns.
Fret not, we’re here to give you the lowdown of the different aspects before you deep dive into a procedure.
Decide on a clinic or plastic surgeon
Do your research beforehand. The results you get are only as good as the clinic, technology used, and the surgeon’s experience and skill. You could look into:
Experience — your plastic surgeon’s experience is a key factor when it comes to making your decision. What training did they undergo? What are their practices? What do they specialise in?
Reviews — although many of these reviews should be taken with a pinch of salt, you could consider looking into reviews on the clinic and the surgeon to see if they’re a good fit for you and what you expect.
Due to Ministry of Health (MOH) guidelines in Singapore, clinics in Singapore are not allowed to show reviews or patient testimonials. They're usually shown during the consultation. You could ask friends or family who have undergone surgery for recommendations as well.
Location — if you are considering travelling to another country for your surgery, it is important to look into whether you save money on the operation at the expense of travel charges and accommodation.
That being said, it is still best to verify your surgeon firsthand. Make that appointment for a consultation and proper analysis, and see what your plastic surgeon has to say.
Check your calendar and set a date
Before heading down to the clinic, make an appointment on your preferred date to avoid the disappointment you might experience if you choose to do a walk-in. Over the phone, inform the staff of a rough idea of what you intend to do and make a confirmation of the day of your visit.
What to expect for your first consultation
Your first visit to the clinic can be both exciting and scary, and it’s normal to feel nervous and uncertain at the same time. During your first consultation, you’ll be required to fill up the necessary forms prior to the actual consultation with your surgeon.
It would be good to come in with a general idea of what kind of procedure you would like to have and your expectations. You could also prepare for your consultation beforehand by coming up with a list of questions such as:
- The surgical options you have
- The risks and possible complications
- What you can expect from the procedure
- The type of anaesthesia used
- Recovery time for the surgery
- Any before or after photos of other surgeries your doctor has performed
Your plastic surgeon will work with you in managing your concerns and expectations. Some of these would be on:
- What results you can expect from the procedure
- How the surgery will be performed
- Whether you are healthy enough to undergo the procedure
- What kind of anaesthesia would be used
- How you can prepare for the procedure
- What you can expect during recovery
- Operating room costs and surgeon’s fees
- Whether the procedure is MediSave claimable
- Other alternative procedures
- Follow up appointments
While you can choose to confirm your surgery on the same day as your consultation, you should not feel obligated to make a decision immediately! Understandably, it may all be overwhelming and you should take it at a pace you’re comfortable with.
On some occasions, one consultation may not be enough for you to give the green light and new questions may arise. If so, that is perfectly normal. You can always call for a second consultation, and make sure to take note of the questions that need to be addressed before you can comfortably make a decision.
Is it safe to undergo plastic surgery in Singapore?
You can rest easy knowing that plastic surgery in Singapore is safe because of strict guidelines put in place by the Ministry of Health. Accredited plastic surgeons are put through years of rigorous training and examinations before they’re qualified. Additionally, all trained medical practitioners will be registered with the Singapore Medical Council that will also ensure that guidelines for surgery are adhered to.
Many plastic surgeons even undergo additional specialised training programmes locally and overseas to ensure that they are equipped with the appropriate skills needed to deliver the best possible results.
What if I need to do revisions for my procedure?
In most cases, it is unlikely that a revision is required. Although infrequent, complications after the surgery can occur. Sometimes, results that are expected after the surgery are not fulfilled and a revision may be necessary. A few reasons for a poor outcome may be:
- Lifestyle choices like exposure to the sun
- Lack of compliance with post-operative instructions
- Poor circulation
- Weight gain after surgical procedure
Some complications can also occur even if the doctor is extremely careful as it is largely dependent on how your body recovers. To ensure you enter the surgery worry-free, check in with your surgeon’s revision policy, such as fee waivers and validity duration. Lastly, patients should have realistic expectations of the outcome of their procedure and select the plastic surgeon carefully to achieve the closest results to their goals.
In recent years there has been a growing demand for plastic surgery in Singapore, and, in turn, an increasing number of plastic surgeons. Understandably, this may make your decision harder. Always remember to communicate both your desires and concerns with your plastic surgeon, so that they may work with you in getting results that best suit you.