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Choosing a Plastic Surgeon: Top 10 Things to Ask

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If you’re planning plastic surgery, choosing the right surgeon is critical. A good decision can make all the difference in a smooth, safe experience as well as great surgical results.

If you’re not an expert, how can you recognize one? All it takes is a bit of research and knowing the right questions to ask at your consultations:

QUESTION: What board certification do you hold?

WHY YOU CARE: Believe it or not, a doctor does not have to be certified in plastic surgery to get out the knife. Some dermatologists, gynecologists and others decide to add cosmetic surgery procedures to their repertoire. Choose a surgeon who’s certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery — a group that requires extensive training in the field — or perhaps a surgeon certified by the American Board of Facial Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery if you’re seeking facial surgery.

QUESTION: How many of these procedures have you performed?

WHY YOU CARE: Obviously you don’t want to be one of your surgeon’s first patients. But even a seasoned surgeon may not have much experience in the procedure you need, especially if you’re seeking surgery that’s less common like breast reconstruction.

QUESTION: Will you describe all my options including the pros and cons?

WHY YOU CARE: You want to be sure your surgeon offers a variety of options, and that they'll be able to tailor the procedure you’re considering to your unique needs. You don’t want cookie cutter surgery.

QUESTION: Will you help me understand what you recommend and why?

WHY YOU CARE: This question can assist you in finding out if the doctor has truly listened to your goals and wants to please you while minimizing risks.

QUESTION: Can you show me relevant before and after photos?

WHY YOU CARE: Nothing can tell you more about a surgeon’s skills than results. Enough said?

QUESTION: Could I speak with a couple of your prior patients?

WHY YOU CARE: It’s comforting to have your impressions of a surgeon confirmed by someone who has gone before you.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.



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