Tips for choosing a plastic surgeon
All plastic surgeons should be certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery or Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. Plastic surgery is a highly, complex specialty that requires years of education and training. Board certification also allows you to ensure that a physician will meet safety requirements and has the medical skills needed but it is only the beginning. Asking your surgeon about his or her professional involvement in teaching, speaking or writing about the procedure you are considering will tell you that he or she is up-to-date on new techniques and technology.
In addition to the right training and education, your physician should have experience performing the type of surgery you are considering. Some surgeons specialize in particular procedures, and your procedure type should be in his “top three.” A good rule of thumb is that he or she should have performed this type of procedure once or more per week for five years or more. Plastic surgery is a complex art and the surgeon needs to stay in practice. Having done a number of procedures over a number of years will help ensure that he or she has the skills that you need.
When most people think about plastic surgery – they think about the results they hope to get but not every plastic surgery story ends well. If you have ensured that your potential surgeon has the expertise and experience, you are on your way to choosing the right doctor but he or she also needs to produce exceptional results. Most plastic surgeons keep a file of “before and after” pictures which you should examine. Make sure these include at least two examples of “after” photos taken a year or more post-surgery.
Tips for Choosing a Cosmetic or Plastic Surgeon
Choose a Certified Surgeon
Make sure you select a cosmetic or plastic surgeon who is board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, which is the only board recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties. A cosmetic surgeon may also be certified by other specialty boards such as the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery, but they must first and foremost have American Board of Plastic Surgery certification. This ensures they are held to the highest standards of education, training, safety and ethics.
Consider the Surgeon’s Experience
When it comes to procedures and surgeries to alter your appearance, you want a knowledgeable doctor with lots of experience. Ask how many patients the surgeon has treated with your specific condition or how frequently he or she performs the procedure you’re considering.
Ask to See Before and After Photos
Look at before and after photos of patients with a similar shape and structure to you. This can help you determine whether their results reflect how you want to look after surgery. Consider consulting multiple different surgeons and examining their photos.
Assess the Doctor’s Communication Style
During your initial consultation, ask questions and discuss your aesthetic preferences. You want a doctor who listens to you, answers your questions in ways you can understand and respects your decisions. Your surgeon should be caring and you should feel comfortable talking to them about your medical history.
Ask Where Surgical Procedures are Performed
If you are considering surgery, check out the facility where it would occur. It should meet high standards for safety, and have life-saving equipment available at all times. The facility should be certified by the Joint Commission, the American Association for Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgery Facilities or the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care.
tips for choosing a plastic surgeon
Interview multiple surgeons
Committing to have plastic surgery is no small decision and it can be easy to feel overwhelmed at times. Even if you feel confident with the first plastic surgeon you see look into interviewing at least one or two more options. By consulting with different doctors you’ll learn more about the process each time.
Look for more than just a great deal
Comparing price is important when making any big financial decision but it shouldn’t be the ultimate deciding factor when it comes to plastic surgery. You’ll live with the results of your cosmetic procedure for a long time so you need to make sure that you’ll be happy with the results. There are other important factors to consider when selecting a surgeon like whether the doctor’s aesthetic decisions align with the look you’re seeking his or her experience level their surgery record and their experience with the particular surgery you seek.
See if the surgeon is board-certified
Professional certification sets a number of important standards that a surgeon must meet. When you select a board-certified plastic surgeon you’re choosing someone whose practice has been vetted by an independent third party. The American Board of Plastic Surgery certifies plastic surgeons who meet stringent standards.
Look for a surgeon with hospital access
The American Society of Plastic Surgeons advised that you shouldn’t let a surgeon perform a procedure on you unless they have “privileges to perform that same procedure at a reputable hospital.” If an issue occurs during your surgery it’s good to be in a hospital with resources and skilled doctors to treat you.
It’s important to talk with your doctor about all of your questions before you commit to the procedure. Not only will this help you to make sure that you’re getting exactly what you want it will also help you to feel more comfortable with the doctor. Here are a few questions you should add to your list.
Tips to Pick the Right Plastic Surgeon
What does the procedure cost? Is payment expected up-front? Most cosmetic procedures are considered elective and are not covered by health insurance plans.
Can you talk to other patients who have had the same procedure performed by this surgeon? Friends can be a good referral source if they have had a similar procedure themselves.
Are you a good candidate for the procedure you’re considering? What will be expected of you following the procedure? Your doctor should openly discuss with you any issues that may affect your personal outcome.
Does the doctor answer all your questions clearly and fully? Your doctor should be frank about issues such as recovery time, potential side effects, risks, and realistic expectations for the outcome of the procedure. While “before and after” photos make a convincing statement, be sure to ask if the photos represent typical results.
Does the doctor ask you about your reasons for having the procedure, and are you comfortable talking openly with this doctor? A good cosmetic surgeon will explain all alternatives to the procedure and will not pressure you into making a rapid decision.
Tips For Choosing The Best Plastic Surgeon
MAKE AN INFORMED DECISION AFTER RESEARCHING YOUR PROCEDURE AND READING THROUGH PLASTIC SURGERY GUIDES
ARRANGE AN INITIAL CONSULTATION TO RECEIVE PERSONALISED INFORMATION ABOUT WHAT’S POSSIBLE FOR YOU
CHECK YOUR SURGEON’S CREDENTIALS BEFORE AGREEING TO SURGERY
LOOK FOR ARTICLES IN THE MEDIA
CONTACT THE AUSTRALIAN SOCIETY OF PLASTIC SURGEONS (ASPS)