The art of a consultation
Bri Williams, RN, BSN
When it comes to aging gracefully there are so many product and treatment options available that it can become overwhelming. Between skincare, in-office treatments, and even surgery, it can be difficult to know where to start. Consulting with an aesthetic provider or plastic surgeon is an excellent way to learn from the professionals which treatments and products are best for helping you reach your goals. Consultations are generally complimentary or involve a small fee that is applied to your treatment should you choose to go through with one. Below are some tips to ensure your consultation is successful and allows you to make an informed decision on selecting a provider.
Make a list of your priorities
Often aesthetic goals must be accomplished over several visits to ensure natural looking results and a safe treatment. Prior to your consultation make a list of the areas you would like to address and prioritize their importance. For instance, perhaps you would like to remove age spots/hyperpigmentation and address the lines in your forehead but tightening the skin on your neck is your biggest concern. Together you and your provider can develop a treatment plan that takes into consideration your areas of greatest concern, healing time and budget to optimizes your outcome.
What are your credentials?
The first question you should ask is “what are your credentials”? If considering plastic surgery, it is important that your provider is certified through the American Board of Plastic Surgery. In most states, a general surgeon can legally perform plastic surgery, but they lack the rigorous training and credentialing that comes with being a certified plastic surgeon.
If considering less invasive aesthetic treatments, such as Botox or dermal fillers, ask what degree the provider holds, where they have trained, and how much experience they have. While complications are rare, it is imperative that you are in the hands of a trained medical professional that can manage complications and keep you safe.
Can I see your work?
Ask to see before and after photos of the provider’s work. This is important as it allows you to visualize realistic expectations as well as see if the provider’s work is in line with your desired outcome. Considering a tummy tuck or breast augmentation? While looking at before and after photos find similar body shapes and sizes to your own to gauge what is a realistic outcome and whether you are happy with the result. The same can be said for less invasive treatments, like Botox and lip filler.
A consultation is an opportunity for you to interview potential providers to find one that is a good fit for you. Do not be afraid to ask questions and ensure that you are on the same page. When making alterations to your appearance it is important that you are comfortable with your provider and their treatment plan for you.