How to Choose a Plastic Surgeon: 9 Helpful Tips
Of all the consequences of the pandemic lockdowns, a surprising one is an increase in aesthetic surgeries. With more people using video technology for work meetings and family calls, they spent more time than usual looking at themselves.
Couple that with more time to devote to recovery because of working remotely, the number of people typing “plastic surgeon near me” into a search bar rose.
The most popular types of plastic surgery continue to be breast augmentation, tummy tucks, and liposuction.
If you plan on getting plastic surgery, it’s important to find the right surgeon. Stick around for nine helpful tips on how to choose a plastic surgeon you can trust.
1. Look for a Board Certified Surgeon
You want a plastic surgeon who is board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS). In order to receive this certification, the surgeon has to undergo a rigorous board certification process. The ABPS is the only plastic surgery board that’s recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties.
You also want to verify membership in the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, a well-respected organization that requires its members to maintain training and patient safety standards. This will protect you from falling prey to untrained doctors who call themselves cosmetic surgeons.
2. Research the Surgery Facility
Does the doctor practice at an accredited facility? Cosmetic plastic surgeries commonly take place outside of the hospital. Learn more about any facility the surgeons you’re considering using are employed.
Does the facility have high safety standards? What is the quality of patient care?
Look for certifications like state licensure, Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO), American Association for Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgery Facilities (AAASF), Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care and/or Title XVIII Medicare participation.
3. Get Referrals
When you make the decision to have plastic surgery, you might start your search by getting a list of referrals from your primary care physician or other healthcare providers.
Your friends, family, and neighbors might also be a source of information to help you in your search. Once you have a list of recommendations, it’s time to do your research and set up consultations.
4. Question Experience
Experience is extremely important when you’re looking for a plastic surgeon. You want someone with a lot of experience in dealing with your condition or procedure.
You want to feel confident that you’re going to get the outcome you desire with little to no complications. Ask the surgeon how many times they’ve performed the procedure you need and what are the chances of experiencing complications due to the procedure and your specific risk factors.
5. Look at Patient Reviews or Get References
Use the internet to find patient reviews of the surgeons you’re considering. What people say about their experiences will give you an idea of what to expect. You’ll learn about how the doctor practices medicine and how the medical practice runs.
Patients usually write about things like staff friendliness, appointment scheduling, wait times, results, follow-up care, etc. You’ll learn how patients feel about the doctor’s style, professionalism, and how well he or she addresses questions and concerns.
You can also ask the surgeon or the staff for references. Do they have any previous patients who would be willing to talk to you about their experience? Can they show you patient testimonials?
6. Look at Your Insurance Coverage
This is a practical matter…what if anything does your insurance cover? Look for plastic surgeons who participate in your insurance plan.
However, you don’t want to go with a surgeon based solely on that criteria. You should still vet those surgeons for their credentials, experience, and certifications.
7. Find Someone You Trust
When you’re having a procedure that has a big impact on your personal appearance, it’s important to have complete trust in the surgeon performing the procedure. Find a surgeon with whom you feel a connection and have a good rapport.
Find someone who puts you at ease and takes the time to discuss your goals and asks the right questions about your overall health and lifestyle.
The right provider will also give you a realistic timeline for recovery considering your medical history and will help you through the recovery process.
8. Learn More About Various Procedures
What exactly do you want to improve about your appearance? Do you have something that’s been bothering you for years? Research the procedures you’re considering.
Do you want breast augmentation? Do you want to remove fat with liposuction? Do you feel like you have overly large lips that are out of proportion with your other facial features? Consider a lip reduction. It’s quick procedure that can be done on its own or in conjunction with other plastic surgery procedures.
9. Surgeon’s Style and Approach
Cosmetic surgery differs from other medical procedures in that it requires a little bit of artistry on the part of the surgeon. Look for a surgeon who can tailor your treatment to your uniqueness and your aesthetic goals.
The surgeon should be able to customize treatment specifically for you and your needs. Look at the surgeon’s gallery of before and after photos. Is there a variety of results or does everyone come out looking the same?
How to Choose a Plastic Surgeon
Now that you know some tips on how to choose a plastic surgeon, you can feel confident in your search for the best plastic surgeon in your area. Once you find an experienced, board-certified plastic surgeon you’ll be on your way toward realizing your aesthetic goals. You’ll be a happier, more confident you!
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