29 October, 2023

What questions should I ask my surgeon during consultation?

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During a consultation, a plastic surgeon is trained and experienced to listen to your concerns and goals. They give advice based on a number of factors including your medical history. The consultation is your opportunity to ask questions and get as much information as possible about the procedure and your goals & expectations about having surgery. It’s very common for patients to forget to ask certain questions, so it’s highly advisable to come with your questions written down so you don’t forget anything.

Hiroshi takes time to understand your aims and needs as a patient and conducts a thorough examination. Only an experienced and accurate clinical assessment will lead on to the correct advice and treatment. Hiroshi believes that this is the only way to ensure that his patients are happy and satisfied with their results.

Here are some questions that are useful to ask your surgeon during your consultation with Hiroshi’s responses:

What makes a good cosmetic surgeon?

‘This is a complex question in reality. Firstly a cosmetic surgeon must be a good doctor. Cosmetic surgery should be no different from any other form of healthcare delivery. To be a good cosmetic surgeon one should have had thorough training. Experience and judgement are the keys. Also an ability to have the emotional intelligence required to fully understand the needs and expectations of the patient and to make sure that there is no mismatch with what is possible’.

Are you board certified?

‘Yes, I have been certified with the General Medical Council since July 1982 (GMC no: 2573614) and received my FRCS (Plast) in September 1995. I also hold a Master of Arts from Cambridge (MA) and medical doctorate for research into microsurgery and free radicals (MD)’.

Where did you train to become a surgeon?

‘I have had a long training in surgery. I was a medical student at Cambridge University and undertook my clinical part at Kings College hospital in London. As a young doctor, I experienced general surgery, orthopaedics as well as neurosurgery before entering a plastic surgery career. I was inspired by reconstructive plastic surgery but gradually came to realise that I could not manage deformity unless I could also deal with normal patients with cosmetic problems. I previously worked at the Birmingham Children’s Hospital as part of the craniofacial team dealing with facial deformity. I am also one of the directors of The Westbourne Centre, which carries out cosmetic surgery under local anaesthetic and sedation. Once or twice a year I work for a charity called ‘Facing Africa’ and we operate in Ethiopia to treat facial deformity’.

How many cosmetic procedures do you perform each year?

‘I perform around 140 private cosmetic procedures per year working around my charity commitments, which previously accounted for another approximately 100 surgeries per year, mostly craniofacial and reconstructive in nature. The most popular procedures in my practice (which may not reflect average cosmetic trends) are facial procedures (facelifts, rhinoplasty and blepharoplasties), breast augmentation, liposuction, lipofilling, breast reduction and mastopexy’.

Can I see before and after pictures of your previous patients who had the same procedure that I’m interested in?

‘Most certainly! During consultation I am happy to share before and after photos with you of people who have had the same procedure(s) you are considering. By doing this during the consultation, and in person, I have the opportunity to relate the example specifically to your situation, highlighting outcomes and helping with expectations’.

Some other useful questions to ask your surgeon:

  • What procedure do you feel is best for me?
  • What’s the protocol if I am not satisfied with the outcome of the surgery?
  • What are the risks and complications associated with this procedure?
  • How long is the recovery process and what is involved?
  • What aftercare is available and for how long?
  • How soon can I go back to work/exercise following surgery?
  • How long will the results last for?