The Virtual Cosmetic Surgery Consultation
WHAT IS A VIRTUAL CONSULTATION?
A virtual consultation is a complete cosmetic surgery consultation with Dr. Schwartz and the rest of our team. It’s just like what you would experience if you visited our office. But instead of coming here, we work with you via our secure online meeting software. Same consultation but without the driving. Or the parking. Or the walking. Or the waiting.
WHO IS A VIRTUAL CONSULTATION FOR?
Since our virtual consultation is very much like our in-office appointment, we intend it to serve the same group of patients. Most of our patients come to us as referrals from other patients. Others find us through social media or our online content. Either way, they have an interest in one or more of the procedures that we offer and want to learn more. Both the virtual and the in-office consultations accomplish this.
WHY HAVE A VIRTUAL CONSULTATION?
The virtual consultation is a big time saver for our patients. As Dallas traffic has exploded, it's gotten harder to get anywhere.
Now, we're pretty conveniently located since we're right on 75 in Preston Hollow. Really convenient for the Park Cities, the North Dallas suburbs, Uptown, and East Dallas. But even from there, you can be looking at a half hour of driving and parking. And our patients come from all over. The drive from Plano, Frisco, Fort Worth, etc. can be pretty unpredictable. And then there are the patients who come from all over Texas and even other states.
Having been in online meetings for all sorts of other things, it occurred to us that most of what we do in a consultation can be done over the internet.
Is the process exactly the same? No. But we can accomplish 90-plus percent of what we do face-to-face in an online consultation. For most patients, that's more than enough to decide if the surgery makes sense for them and if we are the right practice to provide it.
TWO QUESTIONS WILL HELP YOU MAKE THE CHOICE BETWEEN AN IN-OFFICE OR A VIRTUAL CONSULTATION:
- Do I have the time to come in for a consultation?
- If you live nearby, in most cases, it would make sense to see us here. The same holds true if you live further away, but have the time to make it to our office. In either of these cases, we'd recommend a face-to-face meeting.
- Do you feel comfortable evaluating the surgery and our practice in a virtual consultation?
- Web meetings have become much more common and so, many people are at ease conducting business this way. But some patients are more comfortable when they get to walk through our office (it's really pretty, by the way) and meet all of us in person. If that's you, come in and see us.
HOW DOES A VIRTUAL CONSULTATION WORK?
First, here's how a regular consultation would go in our office. Let's use breast augmentation as our example. We would start off by reviewing your goals for the surgery i.e. what you presently don't like about your breasts, how they might have changed over time from aging or weight changes or pregnancy, and what it would take to make you feel proud of them again.
We take your photos. The photos make it much easier to explain the surgical plan so you can anticipate your results.
Next, we examine your breasts assessing their present size and shape, their volume, the condition of the skin, and how much they may have deflated or sagged. We would also measure a number of different aspects of your breasts. These measurements help in planning your surgery and in the selection of appropriate breast implants.
With these two initial steps, we define your starting point. With the next step, we define the finish line - your goal for the surgery.
This is actually trickier than it seems. That's because we have to come to a clearly defined goal on something that's visual and we both need to make sure that we are picturing the same thing. We have evolved methods for achieving this for our various services. At the heart of our method is a targeted review of your pictures and photos of past results.
Once we know your starting place and have this clear goal, we create a plan to get you from Point A to Point B. For breast augmentation, this would include our recommendations for incision location, implant pocket creation, and most importantly, breast implant selection. During the consultation, we will also review your medical history, the cost of surgery, scheduling, and recovery. So you have a total picture of the process.
Now that we've defined how are standard consultation works, let's look at how the virtual consultation compares.
It's mostly the same.
We review your goals for surgery just as we would in an office consultation.
We can't take your photos like we would in the office So, instead, we give you instructions on how to take them yourself. All you need is your phone and a well-lit room with a mirror. Easy.
You send us the pictures and we use them in the consultation just as if you were in the office.
The examination is obviously a difference. We simply can't examine you. It's a bit of a limitation. But not a critical one. We can almost always formulate your surgical plan based on your photos and our discussion.
The examination still needs to be done - we need it to finalize and confirm your surgery plan - but it can be completed at a later date. Even without it, the online consultation will give you enough information and detail to know if the surgery is right for you.
You send us your surgical goal photos ahead of the consultation. We review them with you on the meeting screen marking them up and noting the plan on them just as if we were together.
We make the same incision recommendations, pocket choices, and implants selections. You get the same review of the plan, the costs, scheduling, and recovery.
WHO PERFORMS THE VIRTUAL CONSULTATION?
The virtual consultation is performed exactly as if you were in our office.
One of our cosmetic surgery consultants first meets with you. She will discuss your goals and gather any additional information we need about your health history.
Dr. Schwartz will discuss your goals with you and review both your current pictures and your goal photos. He will then formulate, present, and explain your surgery plan to you. He’ll answer any questions you have.
Your cosmetic surgery consultant will review any additional questions that you have. She will prepare an estimate for you, explain your options for payment and financing, and help you select a date for surgery if you are interested.
The entire process takes about an hour.
IS A VIRTUAL CONSULTATION SECURE?
During your virtual consultation, the entire conversation is encrypted using tls 1.2 with advanced encryption standard (aes) 256-bit algorithm. Our end of the conversation occurs in a private area of our office.
HOW MUCH DOES THE VIRTUAL CONSULTATION COST?
Our virtual consultation costs $75.
WHAT DO I NEED FOR THE VIRTUAL CONSULTATION?
From your end, there isn't much to prepare for your virtual consultation.
We will send you our health history form to complete. Unlike most medical history forms, ours is simple and only asks relevant questions. You can complete it on your computer (or even your phone) in 10 minutes or less.
We will send you instructions for how to take your own preoperative pictures. All you need for this is a private, well-lit room with a mirror, and your smartphone.
Depending on what procedure you're considering, we may ask you to provide ”goal“ photos. Typically, we do this for breast procedures and ask that you send us photos representing what you would like to look like.
For the consultation itself, you'll need a computer or a tablet with good cellular service or Wi-Fi. You can even do the meeting on your phone, but this can make it hard to see some of the details in the photos we show you.
You will want to do your consultation in a relatively quiet and private area.
HOW DO I SCHEDULE A VIRTUAL CONSULTATION?
To schedule either virtual consultation or an in-office consultation, call us at 972-498-4385.