How to choose
the right plastic surgeon
First, you should talk to at least three board-certified surgeons well trained in your area of concern. They should be board-certified by one of these organizations. While there are many other professional organizations out there with qualified surgeons, these are the primary ones you should look for:
- The American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS)
- The American Society for Dermatologic Surgery (ASDS)
- The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD)
- The American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (AAFPRS)
Personal recommendations can be useful. Ask people you can trust who have undergone a similar procedure for referrals. Get opinions from friends, family members, acquaintances, your doctor, or other qualified physicians and medical professionals such as nurses and surgical technicians. Plastic surgery is a very competitive field, so you will find many claim-to-be surgeons in your search for the right one. Ask about their training in the specific procedure(s) you are interested in, and check in your surgeon’s credentials, including certification, education, and license. You can also find out whether the surgeon was subject to disciplinary action.
Come to your consultation ready to ask questions
You have probably narrowed down your choices by now. The next step is scheduling a consultation and asking some questions. Your consultation is an excellent time to find out about your surgeon’s experience and express your wishes or concern. Here are a few example questions to ask your surgeon:
- Does your surgeon perform this procedure habitually?
- Is the surgeon friendly and professional?
- Does he answer all your questions?
- Are the answers realistic?
- Does the surgeon use a certified surgical facility with up-to-date equipment and certified anesthesiologists?
Pick the right candidate
After you have chosen a surgeon and picked a procedure, you can get a second opinion, so you feel more confident about your decision. Exclude any surgeon that lacks experience in the type of procedure you have chosen or avoids talking about surgery risks openly. A surgeon that can’t show before and after photos of other patients undergoing this procedure should not be trusted. Your surgeon should be involved in post-operative care and be courteous and respectful at all times.
While some surgeons have outstanding credentials, that doesn’t guarantee a positive outcome unless he has experience and a proven track record. Get away from surgeons with bad reviews online. Sites such as RealSelf allow patients to review surgeons. Overall, pick the surgeon that has expressed an understanding of your goals and has come with the best plan to reach them.
- The cost of the procedure should be similar to the prices in the local area.
- Take heed of surgeons who charge too much.
- There should be a direct correlation between the price and the quality of the results.
- Get quotes from several surgeons.
- Pick the surgeon with the best results and reputation.
- Remember a surgeon without the proper training will achieve mediocre results.