When New York facial plastic surgeon Alexander Ovchinsky, MD looked back at his nearly 20-year career and thousands of surgeries performed, he proudly saw that his revision surgery rate was significantly lower than the national average. “I strongly believe that this is largely due to my meticulous approach, my surgical philosophy, and my positive interactions with patients during their initial consultation.” Because of his high rate of patient satisfaction, we asked Dr. Ovchinsky to outline what makes a great consultation and how to make the most of that initial introduction to ensure top tier results.
Ask Every Question
“Patients need to leave their plastic surgeon’s office with a feeling of complete satisfaction with their consultation experience,” says Dr. Ovchinsky. “There should not be any questions left unanswered and patient should be made aware that if any more questions come up during their decision-making process, they should be absolutely welcome to reach out to my office for clarification.”
The surgeon says his staff is also dedicated to ensuring each patient feels seen, heard, and understood both pre- and post-op: “They have been extensively trained to answer questions, ease anxieties, and provide support both via text and phone call even when the doctor is not available,” he shares. If you don’t feel heard and your questions go unanswered, keep searching until you find the right surgeon and practice that meets your needs.
Ask for Visuals of Expected Results
In addition to banking the appropriate amount of time together, Dr. Ovchinsky says he focuses on listening to patients’ concerns. At this time, he also obtains patient history, conducts a physical examination and provides imagery of what results will look like. “I strongly believe that simulation photos, while not a guarantee of the result, are very important for several reasons: they allow patients to envision their surgical outcome and to ask all necessary questions, while they also allow me to make sure they that I am on the same page with a patient as far as surgical goals go.” These simulations also allow patients to discuss with their family members and significant others what the outcome will be like.
How to Vet Your Surgeon
Dr. Ovchinsky’s satisfaction rate is also due to his extensive training, high level of skill and experience. He advises vetting your surgeon during the selection process using the following factors: “Look for years of experience, education and professional certifications, along with surgeon’s online reviews,” he notes. “Look at their before and after photos to make sure their style and outcomes align with your goals and likes. An in-person consultation is a must!”
No matter how great a surgeon may look online, he says your personal connection to a surgeon during a consultation is one of the most important factors in a patients’ decision-making process.