Recovery houses are a dime a dozen in plastic surgery hot spots known for body contouring procedures. Good ones are clean and spacious, serve nutrient-rich, chef-prepared meals, and give patients individualized care and attention from a licensed nurse. But unfortunately, it’s an unregulated space and there are far too many that take advantage of vulnerable, out-of-town patients with promises of accommodations, perks, and medical care that never materializes.

“It’s incumbent upon patients to dig a little bit deeper than the pretty veneer of places that are offering you transport to and from in limousines, and all that shellac, but don’t necessarily have the best reputation,” says Dr. Ruth Celestin, a board-certified plastic surgeon in Riverdale, Georgia. She refers her patients to surgery centers that offer overnight stays and private-duty nurses instead of recovery houses, explaining that she has yet to find one of the latter that has “such high repute that my recommendation will never come back as a problem for me.”

Her best advice, if you’re planning to stay at one, is to “find a community of people sharing insider information. Patients who’ve stayed at recovery houses are the best source for unbiased information.” That’s just the start. Once you’ve landed on a house with consistent reviews, it’s time to get the details that will help ensure you have the safest, most comfortable stay possible. Here are eight questions plastic surgeons say are crucial to ask the owner of a recovery house before putting down your credit card.

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