While marketing your plastic surgery practice is essential to survive in the competitive field of aesthetic medicine it is equally important to avoid the negative effects of too aggressive advertising. One way to maintain the positive image you desire is to use less intrusive methods of attracting new patients.
A subtle but effective advertising idea for plastic surgeons is to provide a service that doesn’t directly promote their practice at all. This may seem counter to recommendations for branding but actually just takes a longer view of things. Nothing hooks Internet searches like useable information.
One such advertising idea for plastic surgeons is to create a mini-site that educates people on how to prepare for a consultation. Be sure to research keywords to ensure a high page ranking in web searches. Provide a service along with a link to your site and the result will be increased visitors.
Here are some questions you might suggest patients ask during a consultation.
1. Are you Board Certified?
There are a number of other certifying boards and medical societies, and many other factors to consider. Take some time to do a little research about the various certification boards.
2. How many times have you done this procedure?
Many people don’t ask this question, either because they don’t want to be impolite or simply feel uncomfortable with the idea of questioning a doctor about his background and experience.
3. What other medical staff will assist with the procedure?
It is essential to be familiar with the surgeon’s surgical support team and their qualifications. Who will be administering and monitoring anesthesia? Who will be assisting? Is emergency staff nearby in case of a problem?
4. Where will the procedure be performed?
Some procedures are routinely performed as in-office procedures, others in an outpatient surgical center, and some in a hospital. The plastic surgeon you choose should take into account any health issues you might have as well as your age in making these considerations.
5. What type of anesthesia will be used during the procedure?
The safest option is almost always local anesthesia and is recommended if the surgeon will need to communicate with you during the surgery. Some procedures are not possible or advisable with only local anesthesia.
6. What are the risks related to this procedure?
Because plastic surgery is elective, surgeons will typically decline to operate on any patient for whom they feel the risk is too high. As a result, severe complications with plastic surgery are quite rare.
7. Can I see before and after pictures of patients on whom you have performed the same or similar procedures?
Don’t accept stock photos! Make sure to ask if the photos shown to you are pictures of actual patients of that particular surgeon.
8. What is your complication rate with this procedure?
This can be in the form of a percentage or an actual count, but your plastic surgeon should be prepared to provide this information so that you can make the most informed choice for your own health and safety.
9. Can you give me at least three references to patients on whom you have performed this procedure?
Not only can these references provide you with a “review” of your surgeon’s care and skill, but they may also be able to give valuable insight about what you might expect to experience in regard to recovery, pain management, and downtime.