In the days before COVID-19, a consultation appointment with a doctor simply involved a patient making an appointment with a plastic surgeon to discuss procedures such as a facelift, breast augmentation or liposuction. The ongoing battle against coronavirus has led to the rise in popularity of virtual consultation appointments over platforms such as Zoom. Patients are still able to visit with a doctor but they do not have to physically travel to the medical office to meet with the physician. Since the doctor and the patient are not in the same room, how should the patient prepare for the appointment? Let’s take a look at plastic surgery virtual consultation appointments and the steps patients need to take to get ready to meet the doctor in an online setting.
The first step in preparing for a plastic surgery virtual consultation appointment is being ready to listen to, and learn about, the doctor. The online appointment is a good chance for the patient to get a better idea about the working methods of the doctor as well as get a feel for the personality of the physician. It is also an opportunity for the patient to ask questions about the procedure and the doctor and make sure the person is comfortable with the approach the doctor is taking to the cosmetic issue. Plus, the ability to ask questions offers a patient the chance to make sure the type of results that the person expects can actually be achieved by the doctor and the procedure.
The virtual consultation is also a great time to have questions ready to ask in order to learn more about the doctor. Some of the common questions that people ask include:
While the online consultation gives the doctor a chance to view the current appearance of the patient, the computer screen doers not always allow a doctor to get an “up close and personal” look at the person. Take some photos in advance of the appointment and send them to the office of the doctor via email or regular mail. These reference photos allow the doctor to get a clear look at the area of the body where the surgery will be performed and to get a better idea of the type of results that can be gained by the patient. The doctor might also ask for example photos of the type of results the patient expects so realistic expectations can be set in advance of the surgery.
It is also a good idea to complete any necessary paperwork in advance so the doctor will have a better idea before the consultation appointment about the medical history of the patient.
Once the appointment has been confirmed, it is time to make sure the camera equipment on the computer, or hooked into the computer, is working properly. The lens needs to be clean so the doctor can see the patient properly,
The video calling software should be tested in advance to make sure the patient knows how to use it and that the Internet connection is strong enough for the video software to work smoothly.
The appointment needs to take place in a quiet location that is comfortable and has good lighting to spotlight the patient. Too much background noise can make it hard for the doctor to hear the person.
Before booking the online appointment, patients should ask if there are any fees involved in the meeting. Some medical offices charge for the consultation appointment while others limit the amount of time allowed during a free consultation. There are also times where the consultation fee will be credited towards the cost of the actual surgery. Patients that are willing to pay a consultation fee are showing that they are serious about wanting to learn more about the desired plastic surgery.
When discussing a plastic surgery procedure, doctors will often use medical terms that might not be easily understood by the average person. Don’t be afraid to ask the doctor to further explain any terms or treatment options. Patients should politely ask the doctor to provide more information or a greater clarification about medical information that might be a bit confusing. It is also a good idea to ask the doctor for online medical resources and information that can be studied and explored at a later time after the plastic surgery virtual consultation appointment.