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Plastic surgery is the most prevalent topic among women of our demographic.  Every one of us wants to discover the fountain of youth to postpone the aging process. We all agree that we do not look forward to getting wrinkles and are always curious about the latest procedures that are available, yet, we question if cosmetic surgery or these procedures are the answer to looking youthful.  If you are considering visiting a doctor to discuss your possibilities, we would like to introduce you to Fabulously40 and beyond in-house expert Dr. Andre Aboolian.

Dr. Aboolian is an accomplished Beverly Hills Board Certified plastic surgeon who has been called upon to make regular appearances on ABC's "Extreme Makeover" and has been featured on such shows as "Access Hollywood," "iVillage Live," and others. One of the doctor's greatest success stories is Erik Chopin, who went from 400 lbs. to 193 lbs. to become "The Biggest Loser" on the NBC show of the same name. After meeting with numerous surgeons in the New York area where he lives, Erik chose to come to Los Angeles for a full body lift because he was so impressed with Dr. Aboolian and the results of similar surgeries he has performed.  

We ask Andre to share with us several tips on how to find and interview a plastic surgeon.

surgery

  1. Ask friends or family who have had plastic surgery and are satisfied with their results for references.
  2. Ask those who give you references to tell or show you the following:
    a. What procedure(s) they have had done
    b. Their experience
    c. Have them show you their results
    D. If possible, their before/after photos.  You must see the results to confirm if you would consider the procedure(s) satisfactory.
  1. Consult with at least three plastic surgeons.
  2. Before going in for the consultation:

a. Educate yourself about the procedure(s) you are interested in. A good source to go to is the website for the American Society of Plastic Surgeons at www.plasticsurgery.org .
b. Check to see if the doctor you are interested in specializes in plastic surgery and is board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. You can do this by checking with the given state's medical board or by calling the American Board of Plastic Surgery. For California, you can go to www.medbd.ca.gov.
c. Write all the questions you want answered and bring the list with you.
d. Review the doctor's website and pay specific attention to the before and after photographs. You should see at least ten patients' photos for each procedure you are interested in.
e. When looking at face or breast photos, make sure you see at least three different angles (front, quarter turn and profile views) for each patient. When looking at body work, make sure the photos include the entire area from under the breast to above the knee; for  liposuction they must show at least four views (front, quarter turn, profile, and back); for tummy tuck or bodylift,  they should also show you sitting views (front and profile) in addition to the above views.

  1. During your consultation:
    a. Make sure the Plastic Surgeon spends at least 45 minutes with you explaining your options for the specific procedure you are interested in.
    b. Review the doctor's before and after photo album and have him/her show you similar cases to that in which you are interested. The photos are the most important part of your consultation. If you are not satisfied with the results shown in the photos, then he/she is not the doctor for you.
    c. Have the doctor explain the pros and cons of the procedure(s) you are interested in and compare them to the pros and cons of all other options, both surgical and non-surgical.
    d. Know the risks of the procedure you are interested in, and also know what your choices are if one of those risks happens to you.
    e. Ask the surgeon for the name of two or three patients who have had similar procedures to those you are interested in; make sure that at least one of these patients has had their surgery within the past two months so they can give you detailed information about their recovery and results. The other patient(s) should be more then two months out from their surgery for a different perspective. Speak to these patients in order to answer all other questions you may have.
    f. For anyone over 40 years of age, ask if you would need medical clearance. I always recommend it.
    g. Ask if he/she would recommend that you to stay at an after care facility overnight instead of going home directly after surgery. The doctor should be able to recommend such a facility and make arrangements for you.
    h. Ask for the name of the hospital the surgeon has privileges at; you want to know in case of an emergency, where you would be admitted. You may call the hospital to confirm their affiliation.
    i. Ask where the surgery will be performed.  If it is an outpatient surgery center, make sure it is certified by either Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare (JCAHO).or AAA or AAAA agencies.  

bq. Don't be in a rush to schedule your surgery.  Take your time and review your notes.  If you still have questions, feel free to call the doctor's office or go to the doctor you prefer for a second consultation.



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