7 key questions for your Baton Rouge plastic surgery consultation

Are you planning to have cosmetic surgery any time soon? Have you found a good plastic surgeon in Baton Rouge to work with? If so, the next natural step is to attend a consultation visit. This article highlights a number of important questions that you should ask during this one-on-one interaction with your selected plastic surgeon.

Are you board-certified in cosmetic surgery?

Any doctor who has a general medical license can legally perform cosmetic surgery, even if they have never been trained in cosmetic surgery. It is most effective to choose a surgeon who is board certified in cosmetic surgery because doing so helps to ensure that the surgeon is qualified and that you are treated as required.

Board certification shows that a surgeon has attained a certain level of training and experience in the field of cosmetic surgery. Board-certified plastic surgeons must have completed a minimum of 12 months of fellowship training in all aspects of cosmetic surgery in addition to residency training in another medical specialty. The American Board of Plastic Surgery only certifies doctors who perform cosmetic surgery in fully accredited, state-licensed surgical facilities. When you visit a doctor who has already received their board certification in another specialty such as plastic surgery, you should ask about any specific training and experience they have acquired in this area. Not all plastic surgeons have extensive training in cosmetic surgery; which can be crucial to know especially when it comes to more specialized procedures.

What procedures would you recommend?

You may have strong feelings about a certain procedure or a particular treatment. Nonetheless, the important thing is to discuss with your doctor what they think is the best course of action. While the final decision is yours, the surgeon is equipped to assess your needs and recommend the best-suited cosmetic procedure.

How often do you perform the procedure(s) that I want?

It is common for surgeons to specialize in a certain type of cosmetic surgery, such as breast surgery or facial cosmetic surgery. You want to find a plastic surgeon who performs the precise procedure that you are interested in. More so, the surgeon should have performed this procedure more frequently. This implies that they work with patients who have diverse needs and different body types and thus have a high level of experience along with familiarity with the latest techniques.

The more frequently a surgeon performs the procedure you are considering, the more before and after photos you should see during your consultation. This in turn gives you a sense of how good the surgeon is at this specific treatment.

Where is my procedure going to be performed?

Hospitals are typically accredited by the Joint Commission, which was founded to ensure the quality of health care organizations. Private surgical facilities and clinics that perform ambulatory surgeries should be accredited by the American Association for Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgery Facilities (AAAASF), the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHCC), or the Joint Commission.

Some procedures may be performed in a hospital while others are completed at an outpatient surgical center. Minor cosmetic treatments will be performed during a routine office visit in Dr. Ruston’s Baton Rouge office. You should always keep in mind the complexity of your surgery, as well as any health issues that you may have (your age, your health condition, etc.) when deciding where your surgery should take place. Hospitals tend to be more expensive venues for surgery. You are still considered safe while having an outpatient surgery center, as your chances of getting an infection or other complications are quite low.

Are there before and after photos that you can view?

Most plastic surgeons show before-and-after photos of previous procedures that they have performed; however, don’t be afraid to ask to see those photos if not presented to you. What have other patients said about their results? It’s important that you compare the results of different patients and get a better sense of the doctor’s aesthetic talent.

What is the average cost of this procedure?

Because cosmetic surgery is considered elective, it is usually not covered by insurance. These treatments are not cheap and in some cases even involve several surgeries. Prices may vary dramatically from one doctor to another, as can the way that a doctor presents the price. If you want to avoid any unnecessary costs and surprise fees, get a full description of your procedure, including any pre-and post-op care that the doctor will provide. There is no way for a plastic surgeon to predict all the possible risks, but knowing what should happen if there were any complications can help you plan your expenses accordingly. Some cosmetic procedures, like rhinoplasty, may be covered partially or fully by your insurance. Ask your provider for specific information on how your insurance might affect the costs of your procedure.

What other professionals will be involved in performing the procedure?

It is important to know who is on the team that will work with your surgeon to make sure that your procedure goes smoothly. What medical staff will be involved in your procedure? Those who administer and monitor the anesthesia are specially trained to do this job. Is there an emergency team available in case something unexpected happens? What kind of medical staff are on-site to help in the event there is an emergency? If you have to undergo surgery at a teaching hospital, will there be any medical students or interns attending your surgery? There are plenty of medical students and residents who work in teaching hospitals, but that doesn’t always mean that will receive substandard care. Just make sure how everything will roll out ahead of time so you can ask questions and make appropriate changes.


Dr. Ruston Sanchez has extensive experience performing both reconstructive and cosmetic procedures for patients in Baton Rouge and surrounding LA areas. The surgeon creates an individualized treatment plan for each patient and goes out of his way to deliver the desired outcome with minimal risk. Get in touch with Dr. Ruston’s office to schedule a consultation and learn more today.