Definition and Overview
Facial cosmetic surgery consultation is an appointment with a cosmetic surgeon before the procedure is performed. It is intended to evaluate and plan surgery.
Cosmetic surgery is a subspecialty of plastic surgery along with reconstructive surgery. The main difference between the two is the objective: while reconstructive focuses on restoring the function of the body part, cosmetic is meant to enhance the appearance that can hopefully increase a person’s confidence or self-esteem. Cosmetic surgery is also an elective procedure and is thus not usually covered by health insurance.
According to a report released by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons in 2014, the demand for cosmetic procedures increased by 3% compared to the previous year, reaching the 15 million mark. Of the top 5 cosmetic surgical procedures, three of them involve the face. These are facelift, eyelid surgery and nose surgeries or more popularly known as a nose job.
A facial cosmetic surgery can be performed on the chin, cheeks, hair or scalp, ears, and even jawbone, as well as the neck. To a certain extent, the surgery may also include the breasts. Also, the procedure can be classified as either minimally invasive or invasive. Minimally invasive procedures are generally less painful with quicker recovery time.
Only board-certified surgeons are allowed to perform the procedure. These are individuals who have gone through several years of extensive training, including a residency and a fellowship. Continuing education is also a responsibility of any surgeon.
Who Should Undergo and Expected Results
Facial cosmetic surgery is recommended for people who have superficial issues on their skin, especially when it sags. Skin sagging is a common effect of the loss of collagen or fat as a person ages or overexposed to the sun. Sagging can lead to the appearance of wrinkles, frown lines and crow’s feet, which can make a person look older.
The surgery may also be intended for those who have slight fat buildup on certain parts of the face, such as the eyelids, cheeks, chin and neck. Normally, the layer of fat is removed through liposuction. By removing the fat, the face will appear slimmer, smaller, or more contoured.
The facial cosmetic surgery consultation is a required step before a person can undergo the procedure. One of its primary goals is to determine if the patient is eligible for the procedure. Often, surgeons discourage patients who are too young, too old and those who have already gone through multiple procedures from undergoing cosmetic surgeries.
How Does the Procedure Work?
A patient who wishes to see a surgeon schedules an appointment with a clinic or a hospital where the doctor works. A staff confirms the time and what to bring and how to prepare for the consultation. There’s no need for other special preparations like fasting, although those who also want to have their breasts evaluated will have to wear comfortable clothing that’s easy to remove. It may also help if the patient arrives with no makeup and jewelry.
Upon arrival at the clinic on the scheduled date, the staff obtains the patient’s personal and medical information, which will then be turned over to the surgeon. During the consultation, the surgeon will:
- Determine the reason for cosmetic surgery
- Evaluate the person’s eligibility for the surgery based on different factors such as medical history, the reason for surgery, age, overall health condition and gender
- Plan the surgery – At this point, the surgeon will orient the patient on the different possible options, helping the patient choose the most ideal. He may present various simulated models to give an idea on how the procedure works and the intended outcome of the surgery.
- Discuss possible risks and complications, as well as follow-up care
- Talk about the costs – Cosmetic surgeries are expensive, so many clinics offer financing
- Encourage the patient to ask questions
Depending on the facial part to be operated on, one consultation may already be sufficient. However, it may take an hour as the patient undergoes more tests and evaluations performed by other members of the surgical team such as the anesthesiologist.
Possible Risks and Complications
A huge possible complication of facial cosmetic surgery consultation is the incorrect setting of expectation. This happens when the surgeon provides false hopes, particularly if he already knows that the intended outcome of the procedure is difficult or impossible to achieve. Thus, it is important for patients to check the credentials of the surgeon before they undergo any procedure. For their safety, it’s important that they work with a surgeon who has years of experience and stellar reputation.
Beauchamp RD, Higgins MS. Perioperative patient safety. In: Townsend CM, Beauchamp RD, Evers BM, Mattox KL, eds. Sabiston Textbook of Surgery. 19th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2012: chap 10.
Neumayer L, Vargo D. Principles of preoperative and operative surgery. In: Townsend CM, Beauchamp RD, Evers BM, Mattox KL, eds. Sabiston Textbook of Surgery. 19th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2012: chap 11.