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Making the decision to have plastic surgery is never easy. Like with all forms of surgery, there are risks involved and it is important to make sure that you are mentally and physically prepared for the procedure.

(Photo credits: ReSurge International)

One of the best ways to ensure that you are mentally prepared is by getting as much information as possible about the procedure. The consultation phase is an important part of the process and there are some important questions that you need to ask the surgeon before you sign up for the procedure.

1. What does the procedure entail?
You need to find out as much as possible about the procedure you are undergoing. Ask the surgeon to explain what will happen when you go under the knife. There are often different procedures that can be performed and the surgeon needs to explain all this to you so that you can make an informed choice.

2. How long will it take to heal?
Ask the surgeon about the post-operative process, and how long you can expect the healing process to take. Having an estimated time frame to work with can help you to make proper plans that include taking time off from work, and making arrangements to get someone to take care of you.

3. How much will the procedure cost?
You need to find out how much the procedure will cost you so that you can make arrangements for financing. In most cases, insurance will not cover cosmetic procedures and you will need to get the financing from alternative sources.

(Photo credits: Newton Free Library)

4. What are the risks of the procedure?
Find out any potential problems that may result from the surgery. The surgeon should be able to make it clear about any complications that can occur so that you can be properly prepared for the procedure.

5. What will the end-result look like?
The surgeon should be able to provide images of what you can expect to look like after the surgery. Modern technology has enabled doctors to produce video images using imaging software, which will give you an accurate representation of the expected results.

6. How is my medical history relevant to the procedure?
If you have had any medical issues in the past, you will need to inform the doctor and find out if this will affect the surgery. If you are on any medication, the surgeon will need to determine the best solution for you.

7. Where will the procedure be performed?
Some cosmetic procedures are performed in hospitals while others take place in private offices or ambulatory centers. Your health condition and the complexity of the procedure will determine the best place for your surgery, and the doctor should be able to advice you accordingly.

8. Are you board certified?
Find out whether the surgeon has certification, as this will tell you his level of commitment, experience and knowledge. When dealing with any surgical procedure, it is important to make sure that the doctor you use is highly qualified.

9. Can I get a second opinion?
It is always important to get a second opinion when you are dealing with any medical condition. A good surgeon should not feel offended about your desire to get a second opinion. A different perspective will help you to make a better-informed decision.

10.Can I get references?
Getting references is the best way to know about the successes that the doctor has been involved in. In many cases, the doctor may not be able to give you names or contacts because of confidentiality issues, but he should be able to offer some proof of his previous work. Before and after pictures can be provided.

11. What are my options?
You need to find out what your options are before you get any procedure. Today, there are many ways to get results in any area and it is important to find out the procedure that is best for your needs. The choice of procedure will depend on your age, health and physical condition, and also your budget.

12. Will I need additional procedures in the future?
It is important to find out how long the results of the surgery will last, and whether or not you will require more surgery in the future. Some procedures require a number of procedures over a period of time in order to achieve the desired results.

Chad often blogs about health topics and has recently taken a special interest in cosmetic surgery procedures such as liposuction in Houston.