Just as there may be individuals to avoid working with in any profession, there are a few plastic surgeons out there you should probably give a wide berth. Let’s say you’ve done the obvious homework: checking that your prospective choices are certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, researching their Web sites and asking other doctors and former patients for input. Is there anything you can do to avoid a surgeon who passes all these tests yet still has unhappy patients?
First, I’d advise you to keep in mind that many highly qualified plastic surgeons may have a few dissatisfied patients. There could be a variety of reasons that are the patients fault, from neglecting to reveal important medical information to failure following instructions. Some women have unrealistic expectations; others may have body dysmorphic disorder, a condition that distorts how they view themselves. And yes, sometimes a good surgeon just makes a mistake.
With all that in mind, here are some suggestions to increase your chances of steering clear of the bad apples out there.
After ensuring your prospective surgeons are board certified, the next step you should take is to check with your state’s medical board or department of health. Most are easy to find using a search engine, and most can confirm that the surgeons you’re considering have an active license in your state. Many will also tell you whether there is any disciplinary action pending.
Next, you may want to research your prospective choices using a site that provides background information on doctors and consumer ratings. One example is healthgrades.com. Through this site, you can find basic information on plastic surgeons and see patient ratings. (You can also purchase a more extensive report for under $15. Just be careful you understand what you’re buying, as some of these kinds of sites are famous for “enrolling” you in more service than you need.)
Next, you can jump into the wild world of complaints boards, forums and discussion groups. This is where the “grain of salt” saying really applies.