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.