Whether you have a medical need for plastic surgery, or are addressing a purely cosmetic concern, choosing a good plastic surgeon is paramount to the process. Even the least vain amongst us would be quite upset with a botched surgery. This is a decision that should be made with proper care and forethought. Don’t rush. Here are just a few helpful tips for guiding your decision.
Cosmetic Surgeons are Not Plastic Surgeons
Many people see the terms ‘cosmetic surgeon’ and ‘plastic surgeon’ as interchangeable, but they are not. Any doctor can bill themselves a cosmetic surgeon and perform procedures such as breast augmentations. But, these people have not undergone the same degree of training as a true plastic surgeon, and the risk of complications and unsatisfactory results is much higher.
When it comes to using the services of professionals such as lawyers and doctors, it is easy to assume everything must be on the up-and-up, and while it usually is, making assumptions can be a dangerous thing . When evaluating potential plastic surgeons, always check they are certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery in particular. Any other sort of board certification is virtually meaningless when it comes to these types of procedures. Doctors certified by this board have at least three years general surgery training, two years of plastic surgery training, are bound by a strict code of ethics, and passed very stringent oral and written tests.
So, before you schedule a consultation with a plastic surgeon, check for this certification before doing anything.
Be Wary of Low-Price Cosmetic Surgery Centers
Plastic surgery can be expensive, and it is understandable you want to minimize the costs. But, don’t let the desire to spend as little as possible drive you to a subpar surgeon. Chances are you are going to a plastic surgeon to improve some aspect of your appearance, so ending up disfigured or with a poor result is not something you want to raise the risk of unnecessarily.
Many of these centers that offer lower-cost procedures are run by people who are highly motivated by profit, and minimizing their costs as much as possible. Most surgeons there may be retired or poorly trained, and are paid by the hour. Some of these surgeons may be training to be a ‘cosmetic surgeon’ and the patients here are essentially their guinea pigs. Not only are you more likely to end up with bad results, you may be putting your life in danger.
Just like you want to check on proper certification, you want to see if a particular surgeon is in good standing and properly licensed. You can check his records with the state medical board, who tracks disciplinary actions against a physician. Some states allow you to check information online while others require you to make a request and send the information by mail.
Pay attention to what happens during the consultation to ensure you find the best fit. The doctor should be patient with you and thorough. He shouldn’t be rushing through the meeting, or seeming like he doesn’t want to answer your questions. A good surgeon will not make bold claims about results, and will be sure to ask you plenty of questions to get a feel for what you want, and whether you have realistic expectations about the procedure. Don’t forget to pay attention to your gut instinct—if someone just doesn’t feel like a good fit, keep looking.