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5 Tips to Choosing the Right Plastic Surgeon

Posted September 24, 2014 in Plastic Surgery Advice

Choosing the right plastic surgeon is crucial. Nearly all of us have heard plastic surgery horror stories, in which cases of patients in search of physical cosmetic alterations end up choosing a plastic surgeon that botches up their body or even worse, puts their lives in jeopardy. We have heard cases like these, even from celebrities such as Donde West, the mother of Kanye West, who died tragically from a plastic surgery procedure gone awry. There is no question about it, whenever you go through surgery, whether by choice or because there is no other alternative, there are always risks involved. Infections, or messed up physical appearances, can be worrisome to those seeking a solution to a problem with their looks.

So how can you be sure that you make the right choice? Price alone should not be the determining factor in choosing a plastic surgeon. In fact, that should be at the bottom of the criteria. Instead, here are 5 things to look for in choosing the right plastic surgeon:

  1. Board Certification: This should be at the top of your list, since only surgeons who have been certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery should be allowed to perform such a risky procedure. Board certification means that the doctor has completed 3 – 5 years of specialty training in general surgery, plus at least 2 – 3 years of plastic surgery, plus the successful completion of both oral and written exams to become qualified. Legally, any doctor is allowed to perform any procedure, but you would not want a podiatrist doing your facelift, would you? Check the plastic surgeon’s board certification, first and foremost.
  2. Awards and Recognition: Has the plastic surgeon you are considering choosing won any awards? Notable achievements indicate a higher degree of excellence, so find out if they have earned any “top honors” as this is a good sign that the plastic surgeon knows what he/she is doing.
  3. Reviews: Reading reviews of past patients is a lot like getting references. People can go online and find out what other people who have experienced the doctor’s services first hand are saying and whether they are satisfied with the plastic surgeon’s level of competence. Check with several websites. RealSelf; DocScores.com;Healthgrades.com; and many other dedicated websites offer patients a chance to critique their doctor firsthand.
  4. Hospital Privileges: Many plastic surgeons offer outpatient services, which are fine, but it is still a good idea to ask the doctor if they have hospital privileges. Why? Hospitals always do background checks, so if the doctor is not permitted hospital privileges it is definitely a red flag.
  5. Plastic Surgeon’s Record: How many successful procedures has the plastic surgeon completed? What is their skill in certain areas? Some doctors are better at facelifts, while others have mastered breast augmentation. Others have multiple skills and talents, but these are good questions to ask. Also find out the plastic surgeon’s record in academics, because if the doctor was a high achiever in medical school, this is most likely to reflect in the quality of their work on the patients they attend to.

Of course, trust is also one of many important factors in choosing the best plastic surgeon in South Florida. Listen to your instinct and keep “external factors” in mind, such as your comfort level with the physician in question. It is a good idea to ask a lot of questions. Especially if you are having multiple procedures.

As a final tip – be honest with the doctor! This can prevent many mishaps and decrease your risk. Sometimes people are not totally honest with the doctor, so if they do not know about your medical history, smoking history and if you are on any medications, etc. then the results can be highly undesirable.

We hope these tips prove helpful in choosing the right plastic surgeon.

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