The field of plastic surgery has gown significantly over the last fifteen to twenty years and continues to grow as more people are seeking ways to achieve their ideal body image. As a potential patient, how are you supposed to know what plastic surgeon to choose and what qualities are important? As one would guess, it is considerably easier to get good results with a single good surgery than it is to be forced to undergo multiple procedures to fix the results of a botched plastic surgery. And although liking your surgeon can help to some degree in choosing a plastic surgeon, there is more information to consider.
Following a few simple steps can likely help you to avoid less trained surgeons and ensure that your procedure and recovery will go as well as possible:
- Check that your surgeon is well trained and certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. There are a number of “cosmetic surgeons” that claim to be certified by the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery. However, the Board of Cosmetic Surgery is not officially recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties, and is therefore not an actual board. Also, many of these surgeons are not plastic surgeons even though they claim to be able to perform plastic surgery. The bottom line is you need to do a little research.
- Ask questions. Ask specifics about what your surgeon was actually trained in. Once again, there are many “cosmetic surgeons” that claim to have adequate experience in the field of plastic surgery. Ask specific questions about their training, like what they trained in, where they trained, and the number of procedures in this area that they have carried out.
- Advise your plastic surgeon of any medications that you are currently taking, and provide your complete medical history. This information is crucial prior to undergoing an procedure (no matter how minor). The more information your surgeon has before the procedure, the better he or she will be able to foresee any potential risks.
- Check that the surgical facility is officially recognized and that there are licensed, skilled staff that will administer and monitor you before, during, and after your procedure.
- Lastly, make sure that you are comfortable with the surgeon and the staff. Surgery can be frightening, so the more you know and the more comfortable you feel before, the better you will feel after.
While good credentials cannot guarantee a positive outcome, they are an important step in the right direction. To verify whether your plastic surgeon is board certified, contact the American Board of Plastic Surgery or visit their website at www.abpsurg.org.
A good plastic surgeon will talk with you, at length, about your goals and expectations prior to moving forward. You can think of plastic surgery like a journey. They begin a step forward and continue to a chosen end point. Like a journey, you should know where you are going before you start. Good outcomes are no accident and the careful choice of your plastic surgeon can make all the difference.