ONLINE LIVE CONSULTATION
Dr. Cedars can meet with you online for a personal live one-on-one plastic surgery consultation. Call our office at 510.763.2662.
While a virtual consultation is not a perfect substitute for an in-person meeting, it allows a secure private place to let us help you learn about treatment possibilities for you. Just as in a meeting in my office, you can can explain your concerns and your goals. While my ability to examine your areas of concern is of course not quite as good as if we were in the same room, I can usually get a good sense of what your situation is. Although it is most helpful if you show images of yourself, if you prefer not to I can still listen to you and answer your questions. Typically, even online, if you can see it, I can see it. It is helpful, if you are comfortable with doing so, to upload photographs of the areas of concern to boxes on the online consultation site, which we will show to you at the appropriate time.
After hearing your concerns and, perhaps, viewing your images, we can discuss treatment options, surgical and non-surgical, and answer questions. These days we have more options than surgery, and I like to explain a range of treatments and, depending on your goals, preferences, and timeline, suggest a long-term plan. For example, as we now find that we see many facial patients over a number of years, we are happy to treat with, say, injectable fillers and Botox, and delay surgery until that becomes your preference or perhaps the best option. And going forward let me say that we are big believers that there are no silly questions.
How Is This Done?
I use a HIPAA-compliant, that is, secure, video system, called doxy.me. You can reserve a time for the meeting. You can use your phone or a laptop or tablet. A phone is sometimes easier to move around for you to show me what you want me to see, but a laptop provides a more stable image and leaves your hands free. You do not need to download an app in advance; once you have arranged with us an appointment time, I will send you an invitation via email or text message. At the scheduled time, you can click on the link in that message, and that allows you into my online "waiting room." I will see online that you are there and will click to let you in, as well as my patient coordinator Kim Telman. Your phone or laptop will typically ask you to allow use of your camera and microphone. (If you use a laptop, be sure it has both microphone and camera). The system prefers that you have on your laptop or phone Chrome or Firefox or Safari. Set up your computer in a quiet private well-lit room, in a way that you are looking towards the light. (If the light is behind you, this "backlit" view makes your face too dark to see). You are of course welcome to have with you a relative or a friend.
Taking Photos in Advance
If you take pictures in advance, please send brightly-lit focused images taken from as close as possible (but not so close that skin or hair reaches the side edges) and with the camera pointing straight in (not tilted up or down). For most areas, it is very helpful to include 90-degree lateral (side) views. Facial pictures should be non-smiling, with a completely neutral expression. (I know this looks like a mug shot, but it is a great reason why we all look better when we smile!) More pixels is better, but please none larger than 1 MB per file. Although you probably will not need them, there are (web) sites that will resize your photos, such as picresize.com. A solid background is best. Do not send nude photographs that show your face in a clear manner; this type of material will be ignored and will not receive a response from us. Also, although our website is private, it may be wise as a general principle to cover or hide tattoos or jewelry that could clearly identify you.
While much or even most of the consultation process can be achieved online, it is important to meet in person before any treatment (we don't charge you again) so you can feel comfortable and confident and so I can confirm my video impressions and update and revise them as appropriate. We want to be sure that we are doing the right thing for you at the right time.
Costs of Treatment
Our in-office consultation fee is $150, and the visits are typically 30-45'. Because the entire online encounter is also a live visit with me personally and the duration of the visit is the same and possibly longer, the charge for a consultation will eventually be the same. However, because online systems are overloaded in our current virus-threatened existence, technical problems can interfere with the process. To take away a bit of the sting of the frustration that we all feel in this circumstance, we are temporarily reducing this to $100. This charge will be deducted from the cost of surgical procedures, although not for non-surgical treatments.
Currently, our physical office is closed, but you can leave a voice mail message there (510.763.2662), and Sandra will call you back.
Kim Telman, my patient coordinator, will speak with you after the video consultation about costs of treatment. We try to be as clear and straightforward as possible about money, and we want you to feel comfortable asking any questions about this as well as any topic about the treatments themselves. Cosmetic surgery, injectable fillers and Botox, laser treatments, and chemical peels are not covered by insurance. Breast reduction and upper eyelid surgery may be covered by insurance if the problem is severe enough but must be authorized in advance (insist on written) by your insurer.
We look forward to meeting you, online soon and eventually in person.
3300 Webster Street 1106
Oakland, CA 94069