Telemedicine was one of the heroes of the pandemic.
It allowed patients and doctors to consult safely on a wide range of medical matters, cosmetic procedures among them. Although restrictions are now being lifted and Australians can move about more freely, many are still taking advantage of virtual consults. Costhetics wanted to know if this is a good thing or a bad thing.
Why Virtual Cosmetic Consults Are Trending
All hail technology. Not too long ago, you had to call a cosmetic doctor’s office, wait on hold, and try to schedule an appointment that was later rather than sooner. It wasn’t always easy. Now all you need is a high-speed internet connection, your laptop, and a webcam to make meeting with a prospective doctor much easier.
The most obvious benefits to these virtual consults are the same as for other tele-medicine services:
- Face to Face Communication – Doctor and patient meet in an online platform where they may be joined by others, as needed.
- Ease of Information Sharing – Telemedicine allows for communicating medical history and other relevant documents, as well as photos of your face and body.
- Convenience of Post-Operative Care – Not all procedures require an in-person follow-up. Virtual cosmetic consults set the stage for ongoing communication throughout your experience.
- Cost – Online consults tend to be less expensive than in-person visits while yielding many of the same benefits.
More Reasons Cosmetic Patients Love Virtual Consults
Beyond the benefits listed above, there are still other patient-focused advantages that make tele-consults a good choice:
- Less Anxiety-Producing – Some patients find medical settings off-putting. For them, a home-based consultation can make a patient feel “less anxious or exposed having your consultation from the comfort of home,” says the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery in an article on their website. Other patients may be uncomfortable with their own nudity. Tele-consults allow them to send pictures in lieu of disrobing.
- More Privacy – Virtual appointments do away with the need for waiting rooms and preserve anonymity for patients who do not wish to be seen by others.
- Less Time-Consuming – Commuting to and from a doctor’s office adds extra time to each visit. Online meetings are easy-in/easy-out.
- More Doctor Options – Travelling to cosmetic surgery consults can be time-consuming and expensive. This leads many people to make their selection based on distance, rather than desire. Tele-consults make it possible to meet with a wider range of providers who may be better suited to the task at hand.
Why Cosmetic Providers Love Tele-Consults
Costhetics asked doctors why they continue to offer tele-consults even though their clinics are now open. Most pointed to it as a new way to relate to their clients to:
- Assess patients, helping to ensure safety and a good outcome
- Set realistic expectations regarding benefits of the procedure they seek
- Educate patients regarding recovery and after-care
- Answer questions and allay fears
Why Some People Give Thumbs Down to Cosmetic Virtual Consultations
Virtual cosmetic surgery and aesthetic enhancement consultations aren’t for everyone. Patients who prefer in-person visits cite these three downsides to the online experience:
- Impersonal – Patients of all ages, regardless of their relationship with technology, often complain that virtual visits are simply too impersonal and clinical.
- Online Assessments Often Have to be Updated – Your image on a computer screen is limited. It is a 2D representation of your 3D self. When doctors see patients in person, they often have to update the procedure plan based on new information revealed when patients arrive in-person.
- Technology Can be a Challenge – Older computers, a slow internet connection, or a poor-quality webcam may prevent a virtual cosmetic consult from being productive because of interruptions and poor visuals.
How to Maximise Your Cosmetic Surgery Virtual Consult
There are things you can do to ensure you get the most out of your virtual meeting with a doctor. We recommend:
- Fill out pertinent medical history forms as requested prior to your appointment – Doctors will review your history prior to your meeting to determine whether there are roadblocks to going forward with your chosen procedure.
- Upload good photos of your area of concern – If you are considering rhinoplasty, for example, you will want to provide well-lit pictures of your face from the front and the sides. A shot of your bum is necessary if you are considering buttock surgery.
- Have good lighting for your consult – A good, bright light positioned behind your computer camera and facing you makes it possible for your doctor to see you more clearly.
- Prepare your question list – Whether you are a first-timer or have some experience with aesthetic enhancement, you are likely to have questions. These questions may be about the benefits of the procedure, the procedure itself, risks, recovery, and side effects. If you are considering multiple procedures, your consult is a perfect time to ask whether they can be stacked and performed in a single session.
Is a Cosmetic Virtual Consultation for You?
If you would like to schedule a virtual consult regarding cosmetic surgery or aesthetic enhancement, Costhetics can help. Contact us for help to find a great doctor near you.