If you are considering cosmetic surgery, there are several questions you need to ask your prospect plastic surgeon before going any further. This will help to ensure that you understand the risks of the procedure as well as the projected outcome. It will also help you determine whether the doctor is right for you.

Once you do a bit of research, it will probably be obvious that there are more than five questions that should be asked. But, it's really up to you when it comes to how in-depth you want to be. The following information is meant to get you started in the right direction.

Board Certification?

One of the first things you should find out is whether or not the doctor you're speaking with is board-certified to do this type of surgery. Unfortunately, more and more doctors are making the decision, purely for financial reasons, to perform cosmetic alterations without any type of formal training. This is a recipe for disaster. You want someone who is, at the very least, certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgeons.

Level of Experience?

It is important to choose a physician who is extremely familiar with the procedure that you are interested in. That being said, the next question to ask is how many of these surgeries has the doctor performed. The last thing you want is to opt for an individual who has only done the procedure only a handful of times.

Before-and-After Photos?

It is crucial to ask your perspective doctor if he or she is willing and able provide you will before-and-after photos of previous patients. If your request is denied, consider this response to be a “red flag” and move on to your next choice. Any doctor, regardless of their specialty, should be more than willing to provide you with satisfied patient testimonials.

Complication Issues?

No one likes to dwell on the possibility of surgery-related complications. However, since nothing carries a 100% guarantee, unforeseen issues need to be taken into consideration. It's extremely important to ask your plastic surgeon how problems are handled.

Just as important, you need to inquire about your options in the event that you are dissatisfied with the outcome of the procedure. Unfortunately, many mistakes can not be undone, which means the only recourse is learning to live with botched results.

Recovery Time?

Everyone heals differently, some faster than others. This makes it virtually impossible for a plastic surgeon to pinpoint exact recovery times. It is still important to ask about what to expect in regard to your individual recovery process. The answer to this question will give you a much better idea as to the level of help you might need during your recuperation period.