This consultation, which takes place prior to the surgery, is when a climate of trust and understanding is formed between you, the patient and your practitioner, the surgeon.
The surgeon will use this time to ask you questions that will allow him to obtain as much information on you as possible so as to ensure you receive the best possible care in the best possible conditions.
The practitioner’s questions will focus on:
- Previous surgeries
This is to establish if you have already been operated on and to see how well you scar.
- Your private medical history as well as your family’s
Knowledge of hypertension, diabetes or of previous phlebitis is of utmost importance, as is family medical history.
If you are being treated for a chronic illness, the intake of certain medications could have repercussions on the operation. For example, the intake of aspirin can act on the blood’s coagulation and can therefore cause prolonged bleeding. Your practitioner will need to know if you smoke and if you're taking any medications, vitamins or other drugs.
The full medical check up consists of measuring the patient’s blood pressure followed by a more detailed look at the forthcoming surgery. This might include taking a closer look at the skin, its colour, the appearance or not of stretch marks, varicose veins, or more specifically assessing a breast implant, liposuction, nose reshaping etc.
Your doctor will closely examine your motives, your expectations, and whether your decision is based on personal or professional reasons. You must be completely honest. This in turn enables your surgeon to explore alternatives to surgery and fully explain the risks and limitations to you.
It is absolutely crucial that you understand that all operations, even those that are for cosmetic purposes, are surgical procedures and can therefore produce unpredictable localised or generalised complications, such as bruising or infections. Under the code of deontology you must be fully informed of all risks and limitations.
In France as of 1st January 1997, practitioners must disclose full details regarding the costs entailed, the insurance, the exact nature of the intervention and the anaesthetics, where the operation will take place, what tests are required, the days of rest that are needed and the full cost of the whole procedure.
The compulsory check up includes:
- A full blood test (blood group and state of coagulation).
- A cardio test involving a cardio-vascular test with an electroencephalogram.
- A pulmonary X-Ray if the patient is over 50, presents any particular risk, is a smoker or if the last X-Ray dates back over 2 years.
- A mammography in the case of breast surgery.
- An eye exam in the case of eye lid surgery.
In the event of major surgery (e.g. the reduction of large mammary hypertrophies or of a voluminous abdominoplasty) a protocol of auto transfusion may be recommended.
This decision must be taken in conjunction with the anaesthetist. The patient may need to have blood taken two to three times in the weeks before the operation in a blood transfusion centre.
The day of the operation, the blood transfuse centre will hand over the patient’s blood to the anaesthetist to be used during the operation should a transfusion be required
A waiting period of 15 days is necessary between this consultation and the actual surgery. This gives you the freedom to go for a second opinion, and to take the time to reflect on your decision. Once the decision is made, you must meet with the anaesthetist prior to the surgery bringing with you the full results of your check up.
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