Plastic surgery is a relatively common and effective means of improving your looks, but it’s not something you want to leave to just any surgeon. Achieving the result you desire requires a surgeon with skills, experience and knowledge. Essentially, you aren’t just investing in a cosmetic improvement; you are investing in the expertise of the surgeon. But how do you select the right doctor to perform your surgery? The following guidelines can help.
For starters, you want to make sure your doctor has the right credentials to perform the procedure you want. There are a myriad of accrediting agencies, but the gold standard is the American Board of Plastic Surgery. When shopping for the right plastic surgeon, ask to see their certifications. If they aren’t certified by the ABPS, they aren’t delivering the gold standard. Also, write down their certifications and double check the certifying agency’s Website. For instance, the ABPS Website allows you to enter the first and last name of the surgeon, as well as the city, and state to find out if in fact, they are certified. Another good certification to look for is one with the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS). These surgeons only operate in accredited facilities. They also have at least six years of surgical training and experience, with a minimum three years of plastic surgery experience. Furthermore, they are peer–reviewed for safety and ethical standards. You can also check on certifications at the American Board of Medical Specialties Website. Because you are the one investing the money, it pays to do your homework. It may seem like a simple task to ask to see certifications, but many people automatically assume that if they are practicing, they are certified. This isn’t always true.
Also, ask the surgeon if they have hospital privileges. Even if you are having your procedure at an outpatient clinic, ask if your surgeon has hospital privileges and if so, ask them where? Double check this. It’s important to know if they have these privileges, because hospitals perform background checks, and adhere to a high quality standard of care. This means that your surgeon will have met high benchmarks for serving you.
You always want a plastic surgeon with experience. However, experience doesn’t necessarily mean the surgeon is offering a proper technique. They may have performed the surgery a thousand times and made the same mistake a thousand times. Find a highly respected surgeon with a solid reputation for performing the surgery you want. For instance, if you want a facelift, find a doctor who specializes in facelifts.
Finally, take advantage of a consultation. Almost every plastic surgeon will offer a consultation to discuss your cosmetic goals. During this time, a quality plastic surgeon will answer all your questions thoughtfully and clearly, including addressing any risks that may be involved. Go in armed with questions. The plastic surgeon also shouldn’t pressure you into one type of surgery over another. They may make recommendations, but they should leave the final decision to you. In some instances, patients have experienced horror stories from unwanted procedures. Don’t be fooled by the charm of your potential surgeon. Make a decision based on the facts presented. You want a plastic surgeon who is transparent. Remember, they are here to help you achieve your cosmetic goals.