If you’re considering taking part in one of the available cosmetic surgery clinical trials at DeNova Research in Chicago, IL, you probably have some lingering questions about the process. You may wonder how much commitment is involved or what you can expect. Perhaps you heard from a friend or co-worker about “free plastic surgery” and wonder if it’s too good to be true.
While the vast majority of clinical trials provide a safe and rewarding experience for patients, it is important to be fully informed. We’ve broken down the process, step-by-step, to help prepare you for a successful clinical trial experience.
Cosmetic Surgery Clinical Trials: A Closer Look at the Process
Perhaps you belong to a patient database for a research site like DeNova or maybe you encountered a recruitment ad on the radio or the internet. The first thing you should do once you learn about a clinical trial opportunity is research. Read through all available information about the treatment or procedure and how it might apply to your situation.
Be aware that not all trials are free. Some will provide you with a free medical device (such as breast implants) but require you to pay for the anesthesiologist and the surgeon. You should also make sure to check the duration of the study. Once you carefully consider the potential risks, cost (if applicable), and time commitment, you will apply for the trial. Most clinical trials will take applications either online or by phone.
The next step will be a pre-screening appointment. A representative for the trial will first verify that you meet the basic requirements for the study, such as gender, age and/or ethnicity. They will then ask detailed questions about your health history, including any pre-existing conditions, past surgeries, pregnancies, or hospitalizations. They will also need to ask about your lifestyle, including alcohol, smoking, and drug use, to make sure you qualify for the trial.
It is important to be honest, or else you risk compromising the integrity of the study. You could also be subjecting yourself to increased personal risk. They may also ask about your availability for appointments related to the trial. You might be surprised to learn that there are more appointments than a cosmetic procedure or treatment usually requires. These study visits are to collect data and are crucial for you to attend.
Before the study begins, clinical trial subjects will have a lengthy conversation with the trial’s principal investigator. They will explain the purpose of the clinical trial and give a detailed description of what the patient can expect from the experience. You should be prepared to answer questions about your health history and current medications. This is also a good time for you to ask lots of questions.
Make sure you understand any potential side effects from the procedure or treatment as well as any costs you are expected to incur and lifestyle changes you are expected to make. For example, some trials require you to stop taking other medications or using certain skincare products. You should only sign the informed consent paperwork and agree to participate in the cosmetic surgery clinical trial if you feel fully informed and completely comfortable with the process.
Once you have completed the informed consent paperwork and the cosmetic surgery clinical trial begins, you will be asked to complete a physical exam. This is to establish a baseline before the treatment or procedure is performed. The team may also take photos and perform imaging of any relevant areas, take blood work, and perform other study-specific diagnostic exams. Prepare for this initial visit to take at least three to four hours and involve a bit more than a traditional physical.
The Procedure or Treatment
You can expect to receive excellent care from top-notch doctors and technicians throughout the trial process. Your treatment or procedure will be performed by a highly-skilled medical professional, and the entire team will follow a very specific protocol.
The projected recovery time varies by treatment, but the team performing the study should have walked you through what to expect during the informed consent discussion. You will be closely monitored during and after the procedure or treatment to study your body’s response.
Many clinical trials include a study of long-term effects, so the follow-up window may be long. Expect multiple follow-up visits during your recovery period, and more follow-up visits at regular intervals, such as every six months. These visits may include blood work, imaging, and other study-specific diagnostic tests as well as questions about your satisfaction level with the result and any impact on your self-esteem and quality of life.
Be sure to attend all of your follow-up appointments and keep the physicians managing your cosmetic surgery clinical trial informed of any developments following your treatment or procedure, even if they seem unrelated to the study. You never know what might be helpful!
Get Started or Learn More
When you take part in a trial, you can expect to receive cutting-edge treatment and an extra level of care from talented physicians with a desire to advance medical technology and increase future patient satisfaction. If you are interested in learning more about cosmetic surgery clinical trials, reach out to DeNova Research in Chicago, IL today to learn more or get started on the process. We are a full-service clinical research site specializing in aesthetic medicine, plastic surgery, and dermatology.