What Should I Be Asking My Doctor Before a Facial Reconstruction Surgery?

Facial reconstruction surgery is a very personal experience and should be discussed at great length between patient and physician.

Having an in-depth discussion with your physician is a key step prior to undergoing any surgical procedure, but it’s particularly important if you’re planning facial reconstruction surgery. Patients should discuss these procedures extensively with their surgeon in order to ensure they are on the same page.

Given the personal nature of facial reconstruction surgery, we reached out to Alexander Markarian, MD, assistant professor of surgery at the Keck School of Medicine of USC and director of the USC Facial Plastic Surgery Center at Keck Medicine of USC, to get recommendations on the questions you should ask your facial reconstruction surgeon. Markarian explains why asking the three following questions is important for each patient.

1. How long will it take to heal from this surgery?

Simply put, surgery causes stress. Facial surgery can cause a bit more stress to patients because of the importance of the face to human identity. Knowing how long it takes to heal will help you set expectations about the surgery and recovery.

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2. Will additional surgery be needed?

The stress level from a facial reconstruction surgery can vary from major to minor and may depend on a whole host of factors, including a patient’s personality. Regardless of the type of stress we experience, being prepared and understanding goals, timelines and outcomes can be helpful. In terms of facial reconstruction surgery, it is important to discuss all aspects of the procedure with your surgeon, including any additional surgeries that may be needed or recommended.

3. How many times have you done this procedure and what do you see as the positives and negatives of the surgery we are discussing?

By asking this question, you will be able to learn more about your doctor’s experience. The goal is to help you feel more comfortable about undergoing such a rigorous procedure like a facial reconstruction surgery.

The relationship goes both ways though and your surgeon needs to know you well too. Some of these surgeries are multistage, meaning that patients must go through several procedures in order to get the best possible result. The end goal is to get you back on track to living your life to the fullest.

To learn more about facial plastic and reconstructive surgery, visit http://ent.keckmedicine.org/treatments-services/facial-plastics-reconstructive-surgery/. To schedule an appointment with the USC Facial Plastic Surgery Center of Keck Medicine of USC, call (800) USC-CARE (800-872-2273) or visit http://ent.keckmedicine.org/patient-information/request-an-appointment/