Your personal consultation is an opportunity for us to share information about the plastic surgery you're considering. As far as I'm concerned, you have as much to tell me as I have to tell you.
I schedule a full hour for consultations to allow plenty of time to answer all of your questions in a relaxed, unhurried way.
Dr. Thomas Sterry strives to make every patient feel like his only patient. To learn more about plastic surgery in his Manhattan practice, request a consultation using his online form or call (212) 249-4020.
Start thinking about the questions you have on the procedures you're considering. I recommend writing your questions down and bringing them with you to your consultation.
Some patients come in with a friend—that's fine with me. If there's someone you feel comfortable coming into the consultation with you—a husband, mother, girlfriend or whatever—I think you should bring him or her. Sometimes a confidant will ask questions you might forget to ask.
When you schedule your consultation appointment, our office staff will send you some basic forms you can complete at home and bring with you.
When you arrive at our office, you'll be greeted by Angelique, our patient coordinator or Alex, our certified medical assistant. If you have not already completed your basic paperwork, you will be asked to fill out those forms before you meet with me.
We really do stick to a schedule. I'm usually on time—at worst, I'm 10 minutes late. I like to think that's important to my patients.
You and I will sit down and chat for whatever length of time we need to go over theory—what you're looking for, what's bothering you, what you expect from plastic surgery. I'll take a complete medical history before we start talking about any plastic surgery procedures. I need to know your story.
Next, I will go over the technical aspects of the procedure you're interested in. I often use a PowerPoint presentation that outlines the process and includes before and after pictures of my patients who have had that procedure. I'm a firm believer in educating my patients. You should understand what you're getting into.
Sometimes the procedure you have in mind may not be the one I think will produce the look you want, and I need to offer alternatives. For example, if you come in wanting liposuction, I might say, ‘What you really need to get the results you want is a tummy tuck.’ Or if you want your upper eyelids done, I might say, ‘I can see we should consider doing a brow lift.’
Next, we'll go into the examining room and I'll examine and evaluate the areas of your body you would like to improve. We'll push and pull on various things to see what we think plastic surgery can do. Then I will take ‘before’ photos.
I take my own photographs—which, by the way, is a small plus because some plastic surgeons will send you to a professional photographer who will charge you another $200 for your photos.
I'll take pictures and then we typically will sit down and analyze the photos together. We'll talk about exactly what you want, and I'll tell you what I think I can deliver.
As far as I'm concerned, you have as much to tell me as I have to tell you.
As I've mentioned, sometimes there are choices to be made between plastic surgery options. These decisions can be hard.
How are we going to give you the nicest waistline and the best-looking contour and still keep your skin intact as much as possible?
There's a lot of give and take; we need to have a discussion about it. I need to understand your goals and what you really want—and together we'll try to figure out the best way to accomplish it.
Sometimes you have a choice of where you want your surgery performed, which can have a significant financial impact on the cost of your procedure. For example, if you opt for general anesthesia, you have a choice of surgical facilities, including Mount Sinai Hospital. If you have your surgery done under local anesthesia, we can do it less expensively in the office.
In the office, I can perform basic liposuction and eyelid surgery, as well as ‘lumps and bumps.’ I'll give you Valium or Percocet by mouth to relax you and make you comfortable, and then use local anesthesia for your procedure. These in-office procedures typically take one to one and a half hours.
Once all your questions are answered, Angelique will meet with you to talk about financing options and insurance. Honestly, I don't like to talk money at all. I want to be your doctor. My promise is that I will take good care of you, but I don't want there to be any barrier between us being able to talk. That's very important. I was a doctor before I was a plastic surgeon, so I really do want to take good care of you.
You will leave the office with a quote or an estimate, as well as some literature about the procedure you're interested in. If there's something that we insurance to possibly play a role in, you will be speaking with Risa, our insurance biller—if not that day, then within a day or two.