How to Go About Finding the Best Plastic Surgeon?
You may have come to that point where you think plastic surgery might be the best means of improving your physical appearance or body. If that’s the case, it is important to get your choice of plastic doctor or surgeon right. Whatever choice you make will be one you will either be happy about or regret for years to come. You don’t just settle for any doctor that claims to be able to carry out such a procedure. Due diligence is essential when choosing whose services to employ. We provide tips that can help you find the best plastic doctor.
Why you need to be cautious
You will appreciate the need to know the best specialist to hire if you have at some point heard some horror stories of jobs gone awry. Some individuals end up with a disfigured appearance, thanks to a procedure they thought would improve their looks. What could be responsible for such botched jobs?
A major contributing factor is somewhat inadequate regulation of cosmetic procedures. There are almost no federal or state laws to sufficiently protect patients, as applies to most forms of medical surgery. Practically anyone with medical qualifications and license is allowed to perform surgical procedures.
It is therefore not surprising to see a variety of medical professionals claiming to be able to do plastic procedures. You may find a dermatologist, general surgeon, and oral surgeon – even a dentist or gynecologist – claiming to be capable. These professionals often used “cosmetic surgeon” to qualify themselves – a designation supposedly not recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties.
You see how an unsuspecting patient can easily fall prey to unqualified professionals? So what can you do to find the best plastic surgeon?
Factors to consider when selecting a doctor
There are certain important factors you need to give careful consideration in choosing an expert to work with. We discuss here probably the most important ones.
Certifications and memberships
The most essential thing you probably have to do is ensuring your plastic surgeon has board certification. In the United States, the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS) certifies qualified professionals. Some may also be certified by the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery (ABCS) or any other board. But note that ABPS is the only one that the American Board of Medical Specialties recognizes.
Cosmetic surgery is just a specialty under plastic surgery. For a doctor to qualify for ABPS certification, such must undergo 5-6 years of surgical training, of which at least two must in particular be in plastic surgery. There will also be need to take both written and oral tests before being certified. Validity of such certification is 10 years. There will be need to have another written examination and case review before the surgeon can be certified again.
In addition to certification, you may also wish to consider memberships of relevant bodies. Examples of such societies or associations include the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) and the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS). Fellowship of the American College of Surgeons (ACS) will be a plus as well.
To find out if a doctor is certified click here!
It is crucial to consider the experience your doctor has in the particular procedure you intend having. Surgeons may have sub-specialties they focus on. Because of this, recommendations by friends and family members may not be ideal here. The same professional that did a great job with breast enlargement surgery may not be equally efficient at rhinoplasty (nose surgery).
You should endeavor to ensure your doctor has convincing experience. Ask about the training they have in the procedure. Seek to know how long he or she has been performing similar procedure. Discuss at length what the surgery in focus will entail and ask all questions you deem pertinent.
Show of expertise
It is one thing for a plastic surgeon to claim expertise and another for them to have done well. Request to see evidence of what they had achieved with past clients. Ask for “before and after” images to assess the quality of results. But be extra careful here because some doctors are said to alter these pictures in Photoshop. Search for patients that looked a lot like you do currently and examine the results they had.
While this is not essential, you may consider the honors the plastic surgeon has received over the years. Awards and important positions in relevant bodies could be pointers of expertise. Papers published in peer review journals may also suggest a highly qualified professional.
Facility for procedure
You need to know about the facility that will be used for the procedure you are planning for. Such needs to be up to the best of standards. Among the essential for such operating facility are life support systems. Ask about where your doctor performs surgeries and find out if it has necessary accreditations. An example of these is that by the American Association for Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgery Facilities (AAAASF).
Standard hospitals than can be used for plastic procedure typically consider the qualifications of a doctor. Adequately trained surgeons must have board certification or be in the processing of getting it. Those who do not have hospital privileges often resort to the use of their offices or outpatient surgery centers. Procedures done in such places are risky.
Your safety should be covered if you are able to ensure that a standard facility is used for your procedure. To further guarantee this, ask about the anesthetist that will be involved. The choice is very pertinent to your safety. The ideal person should be certified by the American Board of Anesthesiology. He may also be a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA).
The best plastic doctor for you is that with pleasant manner and conduct. He or she should be personable. You need to feel comfortable in their company and free to discuss anything. Some have even compared the relationship that should exist to a marriage.
Your surgeon has to be someone you can connect with emotionally. There is need for them to be able to communicate with you well and be patient enough in answering your questions. You need to feel confident enough to discuss your medical history with them. This can save your life!
Beyond your doctor, staff at the office needs to make you feel at home. How do they treat you when you meet them? With care or indifference? Do they provide helpful, prompt response? This consideration might not look that relevant, but it can contribute to getting good results without harming your health.
There are some things you do not want to place too much importance on in your search. Here are a few:
Online forums – You can get useful tips from forums on the Internet. But be wary of “excessively” glowing reviews of certain doctors. Online forum members are highly anonymous. You often don’t know who’s who. The same doctors might be behind such reviews either directly or indirectly. You may treat the information as part, not the whole, of the selection process.
Search ranking – Also, the doctor who comes top in your web engine search is not necessarily the best. Where a website appears in the rankings is more about how well it is optimized for the search engines.
Adverts – The fact that a doctor is able to “bombard” you with ads does not mean he is the best plastic doctor. Anyone who can afford it can put up ads, even you. So this is not a good measure of expertise. Besides, the advertising may cause how much you pay to be higher.
The factors we discussed above are the most important when choosing the best plastic surgeon. They can help avoid becoming another victim of botched jobs. This may require you speaking with more than one doctor. Do not feel pressured to settle for the one you first consulted.
Your family doctor could also be considered to provide recommendations. But note that you may have to pay more for the services of a plastic surgeon that knows his onions.