Great surgical results are the coming together of good preparation, great surgical skills, optimal post operative recovery, good health/nutrition and mental wellbeing. New rules that came into play in recent years ensured that patients and their surgeons can’t rush into cosmetic procedures - which is a good thing! Planning ahead, taking the time to get informed and ensuring that you have considered your recovery process, financial costs and surgical goals, helps set you up for the best possible outcome, and an enjoyable experience along the way. Here are some questions that our practice director, Liz, recommends patients ask themselves if they are considering surgery in 2019:
What do I want to achieve?
Ask yourself to articulate what you don’t like - and importantly - what you do like about your appearance. Think about the specific changes you’d like to see. Is there a certain look you definitely don’t want to achieve? And how do you expect having surgery will make you feel; both during and after the process? Consider whether you’ll be okay with the possibility that your results might be immediately visible (as is the case of breast augmentation) or could take a full year to reveal themselves, as rhinoplasty results can. Talk to a trusted person about your concerns or desires - and feel free to bring them along to the consultation with your surgeon; it might make you feel more comfortable, and can also help you remember what was discussed during your appointment!
What is my ideal time frame for surgery?
If you have your heart set on a specific time of year for your surgery, ideally, book your first consultation 4 - 6 months prior, especially if you’re planning surgery during busy periods, such as Christmas or school holidays. Most experienced plastic surgeons require a wait to get an initial appointment (with good reason - they’re busy because they’re popular!) but we understand it can be very disappointing to find that the theatre lists during your scheduled annual leave break are all booked up. Ask your surgeon if they have a Priority Waiting List, in our clinic, we can bring our patients’ appointments forward by 4 weeks on average, just by registering them on this list. Most of the time, your surgery will be anywhere from 2-4 months after your initial consultation, depending on availability on theatre lists at your preferred hospital. Often you will have a second or third complimentary consultation in the interim. And don’t plan to have surgery just before major life events; give yourself plenty of time to heal before a wedding, reunion or big holiday!
Can I take enough time off work?
Most procedures require 1-2 weeks off work, and if your job involves heavy lifting or lots of physical activity, you may need to return on reduced activities for up to 6 weeks, longer if you’re a slow healer or have other health issues. Talk to us so we can help you plan ahead. If you have a cosmetic procedure with Dr Sharp, you will have at least 3 post op consultations, so it’s also good to consider how you will be able to attend these around work commitments after your surgery.
Do I need private health insurance?
It’s always beneficial to have private health insurance if you are having surgery. Some procedures, such as abdominoplasty, brachioplasty or thigh reduction after massive weightloss, carry MBS item numbers which significantly reduces your out of pocket costs, and gives you peace of mind knowing you have any post operative hospital admissions covered. But even if your planned procedure doesn’t have MBS item numbers (and is considered entirely cosmetic), if you experience any complications or health issues after surgery, your private health insurance usually covers most of the associated costs. Readmission to hospital after cosmetic surgery is very rare amongst our patients, but it does happen from time to time and when it does, private health insurance is very reassuring.
Have more questions for us?
Our experienced patient care team have extensive experience navigating these questions, and are available for an obligation free phone chat on 3202 4744 to discuss the procedure you are interested in, the potential costs involved and whether or not you might be eligible for rebates.