How To Choose the Right Plastic Surgeon
By Chelsea Campbell
You’ve finally made up your mind to get that cosmetic procedure done. You’ve done your research, scouring before and after photos on the web, reading articles about what the procedure entails, and have pictures in your mind of what you will look like post-op. But hold on -- your homework isn’t done quite yet. The next step is finding the right surgeon to help you feel your beautiful best. Read on to learn some tips for choosing a skilled plastic surgeon.
Make Sure Your Plastic Surgeon is Certified and Specialized
Did you know that any doctor may legally perform plastic surgery or cosmetic procedures, even if they were not specifically trained for it? Although many skilled doctors are able to perform these procedures for extra income, they lack the specialized training required for these complex surgeries and may not be completely qualified to execute them properly.
Exclusive groups like the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (ASAPS), and the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (ISAPS) ensure that their surgeons have the necessary education and specialized skill training to safely and successfully perform plastic surgery. It is worth taking the extra step of checking whether or not a surgeon is board-certified, and through which organization. You can often search the boards’ websites to see if your doctor’s name is listed.
Check Experience and Expertise
Not only do you want a board-certified surgeon, but you also want to make sure that they have been trained to perform your specific procedure. Different parts of the body require different expertise, so ask your doctor about their training and about their experience level performing that particular surgery. An adequately experienced doctor will perform procedures almost weekly, so ensure that the surgery you are interested is something that your doctor does on a regular basis. If it is a newer procedure, you can ask your doctor to provide you peer-reviewed information about the safety and success of it.
Additionally, by going to the Federation of State Medical Boards website you are able to search a particular doctor and see their records and any malpractice judgements they might have against them.
Do a Portfolio Check
It’s a wise idea to check your potential surgeon’s portfolio to examine their past work. Here you can compare before and after photos of former patients and determine if you are impressed by the results. You should pay particular attention to patients who have a similar body type to you so that you can get a realistic idea of how the procedure will look on you. Even better is if you get the chance to speak to patients who have undergone the procedure, as you can ask them about their rate of satisfaction, the healing process, and whether the results met their expectations.
If you have done your due diligence and researched your surgeon, checked his or her portfolio, and have a realistic idea of what your surgery will require, the last, albeit most important step is to decide if you feel comfortable with the doctor. Schedule a consultation so that you can discuss your medical history and they can give you a detailed, pragmatic sense of the procedure and recovery time in its entirety. But most of all, trust your intuition. Do they take the time to answer all of your questions with transparency and patience? Do they have good communication skills and put you at ease with their confidence that this procedure is suitable for you? Do you trust that they are knowledgeable and experienced? This is a doctor who is altering your appearance, so you cannot be too astute in your discernment.
The Price is Right
Being thrifty has its benefits, but making permanent changes to your appearance is not an area to let your inner bargain-hunter loose. Keep in mind that cosmetic surgery is not normally covered by insurance, so make sure that your procedure is in your out-of-pocket budget to begin with. Although it’s perfectly fine to compare costs and find something that fits in your budget, the old adage “if it seems too good to be true, it probably is” often rings true. Many inexperienced or under-qualified doctors will aim to lure patients in with great deals. Steer clear of doctors who seem desperate for clients and choose a doctor who has reasonable prices, lots of experience, an impressive portfolio, and beautiful, satisfied customers!
This article appears exclusively on ZALEA.com.
Keywords: plastic surgery, plastic surgeon, plastic surgeon considerations, plastic surgery tips