Deciding that you want to pursue cosmetic surgery is usually a decision that is not made lightly or in haste, and neither should choosing the person to perform that surgery! Once you have made the choice to move forward with a procedure, you need to start researching doctors who are capable of performing for you. This process may seem daunting and intimidating. As highly tenured staff of the plastic surgery industry, we wanted to share with you a few helpful tips for electing your surgeon.
Things to Look For:
Board Certified – make sure the surgeon is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. By law, anyone who is a doctor (i.e. a psychiatrist) can perform plastic surgery. Do not just go by the information on their website – do your research through the board to ensure it is accurate. A board certified surgeon will have undergone both academic testing as well as three to five years of general surgery training and a minimum of two years of plastic surgery training. It also ensures that they are completing continuing education courses and keeping their skills and knowledge relevant.
Malpractice Records – of course this is not something that they would advertise. Do your research – make sure there are no current or previous lawsuits brought against your surgeon. Reaching out to your state medical board can help you obtain this information.
Hospital Privileges – although some plastic surgeries may be outpatient procedures, many surgeons—particularly reputable ones—will partner with hospitals. Hospital privileges ensure that a full background check has been completed.
Healthgrades ratings & Vitals reviews – these services are a great way to find out how the doctor fares from both a patient and industry grading perspective. They also provide you with details about your surgeon’s background, schooling and certifications.
Things to Avoid:
Deals – think about it this way: qualified surgeons spend years of their life becoming eligible to perform surgery. Why would they then go and discount your procedures by 30-50%? Any surgeon offering something that seems “too good to be true” is likely offering just that. Be wary of deals – anything from free lipo with a breast augmentation to 50% off if you pay up front. This isn’t to say that the more expensive the better, but there are other ways to market than to undercut price.
Multiple Procedures – having multiple procedures increases risk, particularly when done in one setting. If you find yourself going in for a face lift consult and walking out with a recommendation of a face lift, breast augmentation and tummy tuck consider the surgeon’s true motivation.