1. What happens at my initial consultation?
A complimentary consultation will be scheduled at the earliest convenient time at the office of your choosing, either Torrance or Los Alamitos. At the consultation you will meet with Dr. Swanson to discuss your personal goals. Dr. Swanson will take your medical history and then examine the areas of concern. She will then give you an honest assessment of what can be done to achieve your desired result.
Once all your questions about the proposed procedures are answered, you will meet with the patient coordinator who will give you the cost breakdown for your surgery. She will also provide information about various methods of payment and financing options and potential surgical dates. She will be in contact within a week of your consultation to be sure that all your questions and concerns have been addressed. If desired, you may return for an additional meeting with Dr. Swanson or speak with her on the phone or email.
2. Where is the surgery performed?
Dr. Swanson operates at the AAAASF certified Plastic Surgery Center of the South Bay, which is conveniently located within her Torrance office and at the fully certified Los Alamitos Surgery Center in the same building as her Los Alamitos office. All of her procedures are performed as out-patient procedures, which means that you go home on the same day after a brief time in the recovery area. Patients must have someone drive them home after surgery and preferably someone to stay with them for the first twenty-four hours following surgery.
3. What type of anesthesia is used and who will be administering it?
With the exception of some cases of laser assisted liposuction and some minor procedures, Dr. Swanson performs all her major procedures under general anesthesia. This is for the safety and comfort of her patients. At both surgical facilities, a Board Certified Anesthesiologist will be giving anesthesia using all the up-to-date monitoring and safety equipment. This allows the surgeon to focus entirely on operating, ensuring that the patient receives optimal results.
4. What is the process for scheduling surgery?
Most patients schedule their surgery around their work or vacation schedule. As soon as you know when you would like to schedule surgery, the patient coordinator can help you get everything all set up. Once you select a date, a preoperative appointment is also scheduled, usually within a week or two of your procedure. A deposit for surgery will be taken when you schedule to hold your desired date. A surgery packet, with all the information you need, including copies of all the forms you will be asked to sign at your preoperative visit, will be mailed to you so that you have time to read everything before your preoperative visit. At the actual visit, a history and physical will be performed, preoperative photographs taken, all paperwork completed and payment finalized. In some cases, a clearance from your primary care physician or specialized laboratory tests may be needed. The patient coordinator will assist in getting everything organized.
5. How do I select a qualified surgeon?
The American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS) is the official or “real” board of certification for plastic surgeons. Certification by this board requires a specific number of years of training in both general surgery and plastic surgery. Once completed, candidates must pass both written and oral examinations and submit a portfolio of cases to be certified.
Once certified by the ABPS, plastic surgeons may obtain membership in the prestigious American Society of Plastic Surgery (ASPS). Members of this society may use the ASPS symbol in conjunction with their name and practice, indicating a commitment “to the highest standards of patient welfare and surgical excellence.”
Only after becoming a member of ABPS and ASPS, is a surgeon eligible to apply for membership in the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (ASAPS). These are the surgeons most interested in and experienced in aesthetic surgery. To obtain membership, surgeons must perform a minimum of 100 aesthetic cases a year, indicating a high level of experience.
Finally, a qualified surgeon earns the right to use the initials F.A.C.S. to his/her working title when he/she is accepted as a “Fellow in the American College of Surgeons.” For example: Linda Swanson, M.D., F.A.C.S.
Of all the names, titles, affiliations and associations presented to the public, these are the memberships that represent the greatest degree of achievement and legitimacy for a plastic surgeon. Dr. Swanson is an active member of all the above.