Tips for Finding a Good Plastic Surgeon
The first vital point you need to understand as you choose a plastic surgeon is that only physicians with a Plastic Surgery certification are Plastic Surgeons. While that may sound obvious, “plastic surgery” often gets confused with “cosmetic surgery,” which is not one of the officially recognized medical specialties by the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS).
There are no tips to guarantee that you will find the perfect surgeon or get perfect results, but here are some to help you make a smarter choice:
Board Certification, License and Professional Standing
As we have said earlier, when it comes to the performance of plastic surgery procedures, the ABMS only recognizes the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS). So don’t be blinded by fantastic reviews or a glamorous office. On the ABPS website, you can check if they’re certified. To find out if the doctor is licensed or has good professional standing, go to your state medical board’s website and submit a records requrest.
The American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) require that surgeries requiring significant anesthesia be performed only in accredited facilities. There are three providers of such accreditation in the U.S. – the American Association for the Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgery Facilities (AAAASF), the Joint Commission, and the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care, Inc. (AAAHC).
This can serve as a shortcut when you assess a particular surgeon’s qualifications. Only surgeons who have passed a hospital’s stringent background checks can be granted privileges in it. Therefore, if a surgeon is connected with a reputable hospital, that is a good sign that they are qualified and of good professional standing.
Aside from general information regarding a surgeon, like whether they have a license or board certification, the details are just as crucial. On your first meeting with a prospective surgeon, ask away! How long is your experience as a plastic surgeon? How experienced are you with the specific procedure I want? Do you have malpractice insurance? What contingency plans are in place, should there be an emergency? Etc. etc. etc. etc.
A personal consultation isn’t only a perfect opportunity to ask questions. It’s also your chance to see how you get along with each other. Observe how the surgeon conducts himself towards you. This will help you set expectations from the surgery and after.
Pictures and Client References
Spend time looking at before-and-after photos of the surgeries your prospective surgeon has performed, specifically the procedure you want for yourself. Still, you shouldn’t rely on these completely. Finally, ask for client references so you can call them and ask them about their experience with the surgeon.