I offer two consultation options in my practice now:
1. If you just want to find out a little more about things - what surgery entails, what you might possibly be suitable for and so on, then you can schedule a consultation with Danni, my clinical advisor. Danni is an experienced nursing sister who has worked with me for years in all aspects of my practice. She is well informed and knowledgable about plastic surgery and about what I do in particular, but she is not a plastic surgeon and cannot book surgery or perform procedures. There is no fee for seeing Danni.
2. Consultation with me is a more formal process. I will go through what it is that you want - what your hopes and expectations are. I will assess your suitability for surgery and examine you. Photographs will be taken which form part of my clinical record and also often form the basis for the discussion with you after the examination. A plan will be formulated and given to you which may include a variety of options (surgical and non surgical), what they entail, downtime, recovery, likely outcome, costs, etc. This plan will be based on your desires as I understand them. I will try to show you examples of previous patients who have had what you want. I will try to match the before and afters so that they are relevant to you (this is not always possible) and I will try to show you both good and poor results (again, not always possible). Sometimes we might be able to hook you up with a past patient who has had what you want and you can see and discuss the procedure with someone who has been through the journey before you.
As part of this first consultation, you will usually be given a tour of the facility where surgery happens (my own licensed clinic, Tranquillity Clinic), shown the recovery room and spend time with Danni discussing issues relating to anaesthesia, recovery and especially dealing with any anxieties you may have. We will always give you written information to take away with you. You will receive a handout or handouts that have been prepared giving details of the surgery you are contemplating, including the risks and complications. You will also receive a copy of the notes I make with you as we discuss the procedure. Included in these notes will be your quote which is valid for a period of 3 months.
For local patients we then like to do a second consultation prior to surgery. This second consultation is usually done a week or a few days prior to surgery. It is an opportunity for you to ask us questions and for us to help with any anxieties you may have. It is also a time when we will go through the risks and complications of surgery in greater detail and take the consent. Payment for the procedure is sorted and we make sure that you are ready with soaps, garments, at home, etc, with whatever you need. Practical advice is given and we can help with arrangements and so on. There is no additional fee for this second consultation.
For non local patients there is usually insufficient time for a second consultation as surgery will be booked for the next day or a day or two later. Much will already have been achieved via email and so these patients usually arrive slightly better prepared than local patients. Nevertheless all the information and discussion which occurs with local patients will be fitted into the consultation prior to surgery. Usually this consultation starts with me, then you will spend time with Danni and then see me again. It is important to me that patients are well informed prior to surgery. Planning is vital and it is paramount that you have an understanding of what will be happening to you on the day of surgery and during the recovery.
As you can see I work very closely with Danni. I am reliant on her to pass on information and to liaise between us. I have found this to be the best way to work and in particular, the most comfortable for the patients. Nevertheless, I am always available.
9 February 2012