Know the difference between what sounds good and what really matters.
Let’s be honest. The decision to have a facial cosmetic procedure should not be made lightly. It needs careful consideration. And it needs facts – not puffery or ego-building claims from the surgeon, and not inflated promises from the makers of the latest and greatest products or treatments for turning back the clock. Like anything else in life, what sounds good is not always what truly matters.
Do your homework. Be informed. Know before you go see a facial cosmetic surgeon the questions you want to ask, not just what he or she wants to tell you. Here are the 5 questions Dr. Robert J. Smyth tells his family members and closest friends to always ask about facial cosmetic procedures, whether or not he is the one doing the work.
- Ask yourself what’s bothering you about your face or neck and the results you’re hoping to achieve. If softening or eliminating the lines, wrinkles, sagging and loose skin that are part of the natural aging process are what’s bothering you, then you’re likely an ideal candidate for a facial cosmetic procedure – be it surgical such as a minimally-invasive facelift (Timeless Lift™) or an eyelid lift (Timeless Eyes™), or a non-surgical procedure such as laser skin resurfacing, Botox or dermal fillers. If however, you’re 60 years old and hope to look 25 again, or want to look like a particular movie star, these are not healthy approaches to facial rejuvenation. The goal should be a natural, refreshed, younger-looking “you”.
- Ask your surgeon his or her philosophy, education, credentials and experience in just the face and neck area. Choose only a surgeon who is board-certified in facial plastic surgery and/or otolaryngology, both of which mean he or she has had the highly specialized training to be qualified to perform facial cosmetic procedures. Look closely at the medical and surgical training of the physician, schools attended, and their involvement in professional societies, hospital staff positions and in the local medical community. Some doctors may also be published or frequent speakers, signs they enjoy research and/or public speaking. The most critical question to ask is “How many facial cosmetic procedures has the surgeon performed of the kind in which you are interested? Simply put, experience matters especially when it’s your face. Look for a true face and neck rejuvenation specialist. If a surgeon does more body cosmetic work than face and neck procedures or focuses more on nose jobs than the aging face and neck, his or her expertise may not be the best fit for you. Finally, meet the doctor for a one-on-one personal consultation to make sure you like him or her, like the way they treat you and to ensure they answer all of your questions.
- Ask to see photos of the surgeon’s actual patients. Insist on seeing before and after photos of the doctor’s own patients, not photos featuring the work of someone else in their practice and certainly not just stock photos or shots of models often used for marketing purposes. While many patients may not want to share their before and after photos for confidentiality reasons, there should be at least a handful of patient photos for you to review.
- Ask to talk to the surgeon’s prior patients. Nothing’s better than word-of mouth referrals from the physician’s own patients. Dr. Smyth has patients who are delighted to take a phone call and share their own personal experience with others considering a facial cosmetic procedure.
- Ask the surgeon what you can expect for your investment and if he or she would spend their money the way they are suggesting you spend yours. This question is all about getting the most bang for your buck. There are always new products and treatments coming on the market that promise “amazing” results. Some do. Most don’t. Worse yet, often times that “revolutionary new this or that” can actually cost more, not last as long or not deliver anywhere near the same results as tried-and-true procedures. Ask the surgeon “why” he or she is suggesting a particular procedure, treatment or product and what you can expect for your investment. For example, the Timeless Lift typically lasts six to 10 years depending on the person. At Dr. Smyth’s pricing, if the lift lasts you 10 years you will have invested less than $2.00 per day in a natural, refreshed, younger-looking you, and you will have turned back the clock a decade or so.