Dr. Saber’s Blog

13 Plastic Surgery Consultation Questions You Need To Ask!

After performing cosmetic surgery for many years, I’ve found that too many patients come unprepared for their initial consultation. They haven’t considered what they’d like to gain from our conversation. There’s nothing wrong with that approach. But when it comes to achieving successful cosmetic surgery with the right surgeon, it’s wise to know what you want to know.

Here is a way to understand how to prepare for your consultation and a list of questions you may want to ask me — or any other cosmetic surgeon. As a note, you do not have to ask these critical questions in the order I listed them.

Doctor listening to patient during medical consultation

1. Do you have a board certification?

When considering surgery, only work with someone who’s board certified. This tells you the doctor meets the standards of the agencies that monitor cosmetic procedures. Even better if they’re a member of an accredited plastic surgery society. Check your surgeon’s credentials for any of the following:

2. How many of these plastic surgery procedures have you successfully performed?

Obviously, you want to make sure the surgeon you’re working with has performed your surgery before. While variety is not the most important qualification, success in multiple cosmetic surgeries demonstrates a wide range of training and experience. Some common surgeries your doctor should be proficient in include:

3. Am I a good candidate for this procedure?

Plastic surgery consultation questions

After you ask this question, the surgeon may give a simple yes or no. However, this is where their years of experience can come into play. For example, you may want to change the shape of your nose, but the plastic surgeon may suggest another modification that may obtain better results than what you envisioned.

Your surgeon should go over your goals, set realistic expectations, and tell you the truth — even if it’s not what you want to hear. If your doctor tries to push you to get extra surgeries you aren’t sure about or promises you too-good-to-be-true results — they’re the wrong surgeon for you.

Even if you don’t take the doctor’s input, it’s always best to have ample information when considering plastic surgery.

4. What operating room will you use?

This question lets you know where the doctor has hospital privileges or if they plan to use an outpatient surgery center.  Even if the physician is planning to use a surgical facility, it’s essential to know that they have hospital privileges in case an emergency occurs.

Hospitals are accredited by the Joint Commission (formerly the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Health Care Organizations). Private surgical centers and office/clinic operating rooms should be also.

5. What are the risks of this procedure?

Competent and ethical healthcare providers educate their patients about potential risks. Every surgery carries with it some possible danger. Though some problems can require additional surgery, the complications usually include swelling, bruising, and discomfort following the surgery. Bleeding and infection can also be included in the risks.

If the doctor claims a surgery is 100% risk-free, be wary.

6. What kind of anesthesia will be used?

Depending on your procedure, the doctor and anesthesiologist have several options. These include:

  • IV sedation (also called “twilight sleep”) is a relatively safe option and usually less expensive.
  • General anesthesia carries the most significant risk and requires a doctor specializing in that area. I always work with a board-certified anesthesiologist to ensure my patients’ comfort and safety.
  • Regional anesthesia numbs the area being worked on. The epidurals used for labor are one example of regional anesthesia.
  • A local anesthetic is the safest option. It is sometimes used if the doctor needs to communicate with the patient during surgery.

7. How long does the procedure take?

This question also relates to the type of anesthesia that will be used. As a rule of thumb, the less time spent under anesthesia, the better.

It is also important to know if you’ll be able to go home after surgery or have to stay overnight.

8. What is the recovery time for this procedure?

You must have a realistic expectation of what to expect with the post-surgery recovery process. Practically speaking, patients must understand how long they will have to refrain from normal activities, so they can alert their work or get assistance with other responsibilities they may have. Ask the doctor:

  • How long your recovery period will last?
  • What, if any, limitations you may have?
  • What will the side effects be from the surgery.

9. Have you helped patients with similar surgeries? Can I see before and after photos of their results?

Doctors have a catalog of before and after photos from patients who have given their permission. This should give you an excellent idea of your surgeon’s skill set.

Plastic surgery consultation questions

10. Are there less invasive options?

Several injectable dermal fillers on the market can plump lips and cheeks and smooth out wrinkles and fine lines. Impressive facial changes can be achieved using non-surgical options.

11. Do you take insurance?

Most insurance companies consider plastic surgery an elective procedure and do not cover the cost — except for emergencies. There may be some exceptions, so check with your insurance company for details.

12. How much will my procedure cost?

You’d be surprised at the number of patients that fail to ask for this information. Prices vary significantly from surgeon to surgeon, so ask this question! This is also an excellent time to inquire if the surgeon is open to making financial arrangements. When selecting a board-certified plastic surgeon, you can be assured that the doctor is worthy of consideration.

As they say, you get what you pay for so don’t jump at the least expensive option.

13. Will there be additional costs?

Though it is impossible for the surgeon to anticipate every additional cost, they can give you an idea of standard associated costs with the procedure. These costs might include medical-grade skin care products and maintenance surgeries.

Additional words of wisdom

Do your research! Ask for patient referrals or examine patient reviews on the doctor’s website. Create your list of follow-up questions.

Most surgical procedures take time to complete and even more time to recover. If you have the time to get cosmetic surgery, you indeed have the time to research this critical decision. 

I sincerely hope this page gets you started on a triumphant cosmetic journey.

Considering cosmetic surgery? Schedule a consultation with Dr. Saber

With extensive training and years of experience in cosmetic and reconstructive surgery, Dr. Sepideh Saber, MD, FACS, offers a more sensitive female perspective for patients of all ages, genders, and orientations. Patients from all walks of life have praised their outcomes and her caring, thoughtful approach to all appearance and health-related matters.

Dr. Saber is located in Encino, CA for patients throughout the Los Angeles area. We are very convenient to those in Encino, Woodland Hills, Sherman Oaks, Calabasas, Burbank, Glendale, Hidden Hills, Agoura Hills, Northridge, North Hollywood, Malibu, Topanga, Canoga Park, Reseda, Valley Glen, Chatsworth, West Hills, Winnetka, Universal City, Bel Air, Beverly Hills, Downtown Los Angeles, Silverlake, and Echo Park.

To request a consultation, please call (877) 205-4100 or schedule a consultation online.

Dr. Saber graduated from Stanford University’s world-renowned medical school and did her plastic and reconstructive surgery residency at the equally lauded University of Southern California. She then completed a fellowship at New York University in the extremely challenging and delicate disciplines of hand surgery and microsurgery.

Dr. Saber offers a more sensitive, female perspective for patients of all ages, genders, and orientations. Former patients from all walks of life have praised not only their treatment outcomes but her caring, thoughtful approach to a wide array of appearance and health-related matters.
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    Dr. Sepideh Saber, MD, FACS

    👩🏻‍⚕️ Board Certified Plastic Surgeon
    🏫 Stanford/USC/NYU Trained
    🏥 Encino, CA | Book a Free Consult
    ☎️ (833) 215-0500
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    ✨ Our patient is 4 weeks post Tummy Tuck and Breast Reduction.

Her scars are a bit fresh. Overtime they will heal and become less visible. ✨

Give us a call to set up a complimentary consultation with #DrSaber who will create a customized plan for you!
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    ✨ Our patient is 3 months post-op from our Tummy Tuck and Fat Transfer for her Breast Lift procedure. 

She wanted to avoid implants, so we opted in for the subtle augmentation. 
We are absolutely thrilled with her results✨

Give us a call to set up a complimentary consultation with #DrSaber who will create a customized plan for you!

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    ✨ Our beautiful patient came in for our Otoplasty procedure. Her after photo is only 3 weeks Post-Op. We are absolutely thrilled with her results!✨

Give us a call to set up a complimentary consultation with #DrSaber who will create a customized plan for you!

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  • What patients say about Dr. Saber

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    Over 16 Reviews

    I was fortunate to find Dr. Saber after researching board-certified surgeons who specialize in breast cancer reconstruction revision surgery. I knew I was in good hands from the moment I spoke with the lovely and efficient Marlene, Dr Saber's office manager. Dr Saber patiently listened to my concerns and, after examining me, explained what I could realistically expect the outcome to be from another surgery. She also explained to me that she would need to review my previous surgery notes before we could discuss a possible further surgery, which I found comforting and highly ethical. I also discussed a couple of other procedures that I would like done, including fat removal from my large upper arms that had caused me great embarrassment for several years. Dr. Saber is an excellent surgeon who is incredibly kind and genuine. She truly understands the female body and the emotional aspect of body insecurities yet, she is transparent about what can and cannot be done and takes time to discuss realistic expectations and outcomes. My breast reconstruction revision surgery will take place in the New Year, but in the meantime, I have the most fabulous upper arms that I recently flaunted in a strapless dress (something I have not done in years). Dr Saber is truly one of a kind, and I still cannot believe how fortunate I am to have found her. I highly recommend Dr Saber.

    Linda DeCarlo November 29, 2023

    I don’t have enough wonderful words to describe Dr Saber and Marlene! I had a tummy tuck done this year and from start to finish the entire experience was amazing. Marlene is always so helpful and works so hard to make every detail a breeze for you. When I had my consultation with Dr Saber I was at a point of complete agony with my body. She instantly took that stress and frustration off my shoulders! As a woman not being heard by doctors for years I left that consultation with happy tears knowing I had finally found my Dr. It was a major surgery and I felt completely zen and at peace going in because she really does make you feel that safe. I didn’t think I would ever look the way I do now! She gave me the gift of having the body I kept fighting for. I will never stop recommending her.

    Monica Prusa October 9, 2023

    I saw Dr. Saber when I broke my wrist. I ended up having to have surgery. She did an excellent job and I am healing nicely. She was very professional, but was also very kind and compassionate. I would highly recommend her!!

    Sandy Schaupp September 13, 2022

    I LOVED DR SABER!!! There are a few reasons why I chose her. One was because she’s a female Doctor that was my goal who also did a good job (which I was able to confirm with all her before and after photos) and what sold me was my safety in mind. She made me feel like I was in the best hands ever along with Marlene who coordinated everything THANK YOU LADIES! Dr Saber helped me get back the body I have always desired. I had a lot of stomach fat from weight gain and I lost weight so a lot of my weight was in my front lower and upper abdomen. Now I have a super beautiful curvy body like an hourglass after a tummy tuck and lipo she did. She understood the assignment hahaha . I’m 32 years old no kids just wanted to enjoy my younger body looking and feeling beautiful and she really took good care of me. Even after hours I had an emergency due to my fault but she was there and got back to me very quickly and I’m very grateful. I also think her work says a lot because I stopped taking pain medication on the 3rd day after surgery and was fine with very minimal pain I was able to tolerate the healing process. Highly recommend going with her I just had a wonderful experience and would do it all over again if I had too. Maybe after I have kids. Thanks Dr Saber and team <3

    STEPHANIE d July 15, 2022

    Dr.Saber is by far one of the best plastic surgeons. I love how she takes her time to explain any procedure to the patients understanding. She always makes sure to answers any and all questions.From fillers to body contours she’s the one you want.

    Katherine Melara February 15, 2022

    Dr Saber is amazing! She is caring and very informative. I went in for fillers and she explained procedure step by step. I highly recommend her and look forward to future visits.

    Amanda Vazquez December 18, 2020

    Dr. Saber was friendly, knowledgeable and professional. She took time to listen, answer all my questions and was forthright in her recommendations. Her staff was friendly and helpful. I was very happy with the results and plan on going back. If you are looking for a first rate professional experience look no further she is the doctor for you!

    T R December 18, 2020

    Dr. Saber is one of a kind plastic surgeon with a heart of gold. She is a well verse plastic surgeon that puts her patient's needs before anything else. She genuinely cares about every single patient, and her work speaks for itself. I notice every post-operative result on her Instagram (@saberplasticsurgery) the patients have this glow that radiates through. I have been going to Dr. Saber for my Botox for the past 3 years, and love the results every time. I know who I will be going to for any future plastic surgery needs, and will confidently refer family and friends to Dr. Saber for any Botox, fillers, and plastic surgery consultations.

    Rudy Garcia December 16, 2020

    I have nothing but great things to say about Dr. Saber! I am so pleased with my results from a breast augmentation she performed on me back in late June! She answered all my questions and concerns before and after my surgery. She’s very easy to get in contact with and she’s so nice. She made feel so comfortable throughout the whole process. 100/10 Lover her work!!

    Amanda Villegas October 15, 2020

    Dr Saber is hands down the best surgeon! She took her time answering my questions and explained procedure in detail. After doing liposuction six months ago, I am extremely happy with my results and I appreciate her so much.

    Marlene Cosentino October 15, 2020

    Dr. Saber is so kind and thorough with her patients! She is an amazing doctor and genuinely cars about everyone she comes in contact with. I would recommend her to anyone for any hand surgery or cosmetic procedure.

    Rachel Meach October 15, 2020