A consultation with your surgeon is an opportunity to get your questions answered. But what questions should you ask? We’ve put together a list of 10 potential questions you should know the answers to before proceeding with surgery.
1. Am I a good candidate for liposuction?
Since this is the main purpose of the consultation, it shouldn’t be a question that you need to ask – your surgeon will tell you! The main focus of your consultation will be whether liposuction will help you achieve your goals. In general, good liposuction candidates are within 20-30 pounds of their ideal weight with good skin elasticity who are in good physical health. However, each case is unique and whether you are a good candidate will depend on your specific goals and the areas you want to improve.
2. Can I see before & after photos?
Most surgeons will have before and after images on their website and social media, but it’s not always clear which procedures produce which results. Every case is different, so ask for before and after photos of patients with similar procedures and body types so you can see what results your surgeon has achieved for other patients like you.
3. What kind of results should I expect?
Be upfront with your surgeon about what kind of results you’re wanting from your liposuction procedure. If you have photos that show the kind of end results you are after, don’t hesitate to bring them to your consultation. Now is the time to be open and honest so that you and your potential surgeon can decide whether you’re a good fit. If you are aiming for a natural-looking result but you notice the surgeon’s before & after examples tend to include a lot of extreme transformations, you may want to look for a surgeon with a surgical approach more compatible with your goals. As always, remember that that every body is unique and results may vary. Liposuction can be truly amazing, but it is not a body-swap!
4. What is your experience with liposuction? How many cases do you perform a year?
Credentials are important, but they don’t tell you the full picture. We recommend you ask about experience. In general, you’ll get better liposuction results from someone with more experience performing liposuction. A surgeon who specializes in liposuction and has performed hundreds of liposuction cases annually for the past 10+ years will likely give better and more consistent results than a surgeon with less experience, or a surgeon who splits their time between liposuction, nose jobs, facial reconstruction, implants, and other procedures.
5. What kind of anesthesia will be used?
We’ve covered the differences between local and general anesthesia in a previous article, and there are some key distinctions, including cost and how many areas can be treated using each method. In some larger cases involving more than three areas your surgeon may recommend general anesthesia, but for most patients either option will work and the choice is more about your personal preferences. If you don’t have a strong preference, that’s fine too. But assuming that it’s not a medical necessity, it’s not a good idea to choose a surgeon who insists on general anesthesia if you want local anesthesia (or vice versa).
6. What tools or techniques do you use?
A particular tool or technique does not guarantee a particular result – it’s more about the skill of the surgeon. But it’s important to know what some of these tools, techniques, and marketing mumbo-jumbo actually mean so you’re not expecting something different on the day of surgery. If you’re not sure what a term means, ask the surgeon to explain it. They’ll be able to give you’re their professional opinion on what the best options are for your case, and whether you need a particular tool / brand name or if another option might be better suited to your case. Take a look at our liposuction videos for an explanation of common terms like tumescent liposuction, and have any questions ready ahead of time.
7. What do I need to do prior to my liposuction surgery?
The days prior to your liposuction surgery you may need to take pre-operative antibiotics or wash yourself with an antibiotic scrub. If you’re undergoing general anesthesia, your surgeon may have certain requirements about when you can eat and how much. It’s important to follow these instructions exactly. Ask now so you know what’s involved.
8. How long will the procedure take?
Liposuction cases can be as short as forty-five minutes or they can take several hours, depending on which areas you’re treating and how many areas are being done. Knowing this in advance will help you prepare mentally – and block out the appropriate amount of time on your schedule.
9. What is recovery like, and when can I return to work?
Recovery from liposuction and the needed follow-up visits will vary depending on what areas were treated, what type of anesthesia was used, and whether you’re a local patient or travelled for your procedure. Ask about after-care, compression garments and pain medication first so that you are prepared for everything that’s needed (and aren’t say, scheduled to perform on-stage the next day). You will likely need to take the day of surgery and the day after surgery, and you won’t be able to drive yourself home.
10. How much will this cost? What payment options are available?
Some surgeons may run advertisements for low prices that have fine print like “minimum three areas” or “surgical fee may apply,” so it’s important to ask what the provided pricing includes and does not include – including things like surgical fees and compression garments. Your surgeon will likely have financing available through a third-party service, and their patient care coordinator will be happy to walk through your options with you. Liposuction is usually financed, so don’t feel like you need to pay it all upfront. You can explore our financing options on our liposuction cost page.
Understanding the answers to these questions will help ensure that you have a good experience and can make an informed decision about whether liposuction is right for you. Here at Houston Lipo Center, consultations are always free. If you have questions about liposuction please feel free to give us a call.