The Ultimate Guide To Plastic Surgery

How To Find The Right Plastic Surgeon For You 

If you are considering plastic surgery, you have some decisions to make. While most people spend time thinking about the potential results and procedure, there is a much more important matter to consider. That matter is the choice of the plastic surgeon you decide to go with. You need to carefully evaluate the surgeons on your list before making a decision. This is not only important for your appearance, but most importantly, your safety. Some of these decisions include things like: Is your surgeon board certified? How much experience does the surgeon you are interested in have? And last but certainly not least, how is their operating facility, and how does their staff make you feel?

1. Plastic Surgeon VS. Cosmetic Surgeon

When patients are searching to find the perfect surgeon for them, one of the most common things he/she is not aware of is that there is a huge difference between a plastic surgeon and a cosmetic surgeon. Making sure you know the difference between the two is very crucial. Both must finish medical school however a Plastic Surgeon must complete a residency and/or fellowship in plastic surgery, and then become certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery.

Plastic Surgeon

The American Board of Plastic Surgery is the only board acknowledged and approved by the National Board of Medical Specialties. A plastic surgeon has had at least 6-8 years of training in all aspects of aesthetics and reconstructive techniques of surgery. After the rigorous training has been examined by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (which is the only specialty recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties), they then can perform procedures on patients. A plastic surgeon will have the right education, certification and training for the procedures in their facility.

Cosmetic Surgeon

A cosmetic surgeon is any licensed physician being a pediatrician, psychiatrist, internist, obstetrician, dermatologist, etc. Following with that, many physicians are unfortunately not under the guidance of a properly credentialed board. Some cosmetic surgeons and other medical training individuals think they can offer plastic surgery procedures. However, they really do not have their certification to do so.

2. Find a Plastic Surgeon whose aesthetic sense is appealing to you

Plastic surgery is defined as a surgical specialty dedicated to reconstruction of facial and body defects such as: birth disorders, trauma, burns, and disease. However, in some cases you can spend the time researching what exactly your end goal is, and what surgeon will be the best for you depending on your case. When choosing a plastic surgeon, be sure to find one who appeals to your needs in every way.

Tips to determine the right plastic surgeon for your aesthetic needs:

  • Looking at your surgeons before and after photos of his/her past procedures is always a good idea when you have an end goal in mind.
  • Look for past patients who had a similar reconstruction done to them. This is helpful to give you a small glimpse as to what you can expect.
  • Look for consistency. Do their post-op pictures appeal to you?

3. How do the surgeon and their staff make you feel?

Being 100% comfortable around your surgeon and their staff is KEY. Make sure that you can put all your trust into your surgeon before committing to a life changing surgery.

Ask yourself:

  • Do I enjoy coming to my appointments?
  • Do I trust this surgeon to know what’s safe and what isn’t?
  • Would I recommend this surgeon to friends/family?
  • Can I ask my surgeon any question I may have throughout this process?
  • Can I disclose all of my medical history to my surgeon? (Very important!)

4. How is the operating facility?

ASPS require that member surgeons use surgical facilities that meet established standards for quality and safety. Ensuring that your surgeon operates in an accredited surgical facility means a number of things that are crucial for your safety and well-being are in place. Accredited agencies verify that the operating room has everything needed to respond quickly and appropriately in life-and-death situations. Luckily, it’s pretty easy to do and won’t take much of your time. Here are a few steps that you can take.

What to ask/look for:

  • Find out your facilities level of accreditation. Look for AAAASF, AAAHC or JCAHO
  • Know that you can ask for these qualifications. You are looking for someone who is a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist, or a Board Certified Anesthesiologist that is going to be administering your anesthesia.

5. How does this facility treat their customers?

  • Is the staff approachable and helpful?
  • Am I getting reliable information about my surgery?
  • When I have any questions regarding my surgery, am I getting a prompt reply?

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