Finding the right plastic surgeon is a major life decision, but it doesn’t have to be a stressful one if you know what to look for. Plastic surgery can be a competitive field, and you want to make sure you find a surgeon who puts your needs first — and not someone who’s just going to recommend the most expensive procedures to you. To help you make the right choice, here are five ways you know you’ve picked the best plastic surgeon for your needs.
Is the Doctor Actually Board-Certified?
The first and most important thing to establish is whether or not the plastic surgeon has been certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. Be sure to check this carefully: some plastic surgeons will try to pass themselves off as board-certified, when in fact they are only members of a society or fellowship with a similar-sounding name. To be clear, the doctor should be a member of professional organizations such as the American Society of Plastic Surgeons — but if they aren’t certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, find another doctor. Don’t even consider getting work done by a surgeon who isn’t board-certified.
Examine the Doctor’s Education and Experience
Obviously, a professional plastic surgeon needs to have received a doctorate from a well-esteemed university. Examine the doctor’s credentials: where were they educated, and how many years have they been in practice? Did they complete a residency at a hospital? An expert surgeon should also have current hospital privileges at one or more hospitals, and this should be something that can be easily verified.
Does the Doctor Have Experience in the Procedure Itself?
Experience matters when it comes to choosing a plastic surgeon — but is it the right kind of experience? You want someone who is expert at performing the procedure you are considering, and someone who has done that procedure time and time again to excellent results. One thing you can do is to examine the doctor’s gallery of before and after photos to see if you are satisfied with the results. If the surgeon doesn’t even have a gallery of before and after photos for the procedure you are considering, that’s a warning sign right there. Also, look for testimonials specifically related to what you are looking at having done.
Does the Doctor Get the Kind of Results You’re Looking For?
Aesthetics can a subjective matter, but an important one: Look at the results the doctor has achieved with other patients, and ask yourself if that’s what you want to look like. Try to find examples of patients with similar concerns and procedures to those you are considering.
Meet With the Doctor in Person for a Consultation
Don’t ever make a final decision on a doctor without meeting with them in person for a consultation. The surgeon should be able to explain the procedure in simple terms so that you understand everything it involves. This is where you get your questions answered — and if you walk away feeling confused or concerned, that doctor is not the right one for you. You should never feel pressured into proceeding. The plastic surgeon should be courteous and professional and should be able to address any concerns you have, so that you are confident you have made the right choice.