Sometimes, there simply is not a board certified facial plastic surgeon in your area. Or, you might really like the before and after pictures and patient reviews for a doctor who is thousands of miles from your home.
Do not let distance keep you from seeing the surgeon who is first on your list; many facial plastic surgeons are happy to help you travel from your home to their office, even if that office is on the other side of the country.
Here are five tips to keep in mind when choosing an out-of-state facial plastic surgeon.
Check into Video Consultations
Skype and similar video conferencing programs make it easy for surgeons to consult with patients over the computer. Ask your preferred surgeon if he or she offers video consultations. While this isn’t a face-to-face meeting, it is pretty close.
You will need to take close up shots of your face or body from different angles for the surgeon to see, but you do not have to travel hundreds of miles for a consultation and then have to travel a second time for the surgery.
Ask if the Surgeon Partners With Local Hotels for Discounted Rates
Many facial plastic surgeries are happy to help patients arrange their travel plans. This often includes hotel discounts that are specifically for patients traveling from another state or country.
Even if your facial plastic surgeon does not have a negotiated discount in place, you should still be able to find substantial discounts online through rate comparison sites.
Turn Your Trip Into a Relaxing Vacation
While your facial plastic surgeon may feel it is fine for you to travel a day or two after surgery, consider turning your trip into a vacation. This is especially beneficial if you’re traveling from a snowy cold northern state to somewhere warm and sunny like Florida.
The first few days may find you wanting to stay close to your hotel bed, but with many procedures, by day three, you’ll be ready to explore the area’s shops, restaurants, and attractions.
Plus, your first week or two of postoperative checks will be with the surgeon who performed the procedure, not someone who has only viewed your medical file and lacks the first-hand knowledge of every minute of the surgery.
Coordinate Post-Operative Care With a Local Doctor
For facial plastic surgeries like rhinoplasty, you return to your surgeon frequently for follow-up visits. Unless you plan to take a month-long vacation, it’s unlikely that your facial plastic surgeon will be able to provide all of these check-ups.
During a phone or video consultation, ask your doctor to recommend a local doctor for these follow-up appointments. Before you leave, meet your local doctor and make sure that he or she understands what you are having done and is in touch with your out-of-state surgeon.
Plan to Arrive at Least One Day Early
Prior to your surgery day, your facial plastic surgeon will want to meet you in person. Schedule your arrival so that it is at least a day before your surgery. This way, you can meet the surgeon, get answers to any last-minute questions, and go over plans for the upcoming procedure.
Dr. Michael Schwartz is a double board certified Palm Beach facial plastic surgeon. He has close to three decades of experience in surgery and is a diplomat with both the American Board of Otolaryngology and the American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. Schedule a consultation with Dr. Schwartz by filling out the online consultation form or calling his West Palm Beach office at 561-228-5888.