When you’re looking for a doctor, you’re looking for someone who will ultimately perform surgery on your face, which can be incredibly frightening. It’s important to engage in plenty of research before you finally settle on any surgeon. We’ve compiled a list on how choose the right plastic surgeon.
First, learn about the procedure you want done. See which surgeons are the most prolific. Schedule consultations with several of them, becoming familiar with their skills, what they have to offer, and how comfortable you feel in speaking with them. Treat your consultations as interviews and ask about their procedure, the recovery period, and what the doctors can do to help you meet your expectations.
Make sure that any surgeon you consider is board certified. This means a doctor has at least two three years of specialized training in plastic surgery, along with three to five years of general surgery, and has to pass rigorous testing every year to stay certified. Any doctor can legally perform surgery on you, but you obviously want someone qualified with a lot of focused experience and training with the face.
Ask each surgeon you consider about their experience in your desired procedure. How many surgeries has each of them performed? With common procedures like facelifts, a competent surgeon will perform one almost every week. What was the success rate? If the doctor says he has never had complications, he’s probably lying. Every surgery has the risk of complications, no matter how competent the surgeon. Will the surgeon be performing the procedure in its entirety? You should also go to your state’s medical licensing board website to find out if your doctor has had malpractice judgments. Check to see if doctors are privileged to perform their surgeries in hospitals, which do background checks.
Ask around. Get a sense of each doctor’s ethics, and don’t be fooled by flashy advertisements. Be alert for unscrupulous doctors who will suggest unnecessary procedures—if you come in for a simple rhinoplasty, an unethical doctor might suggest you get a neck- or facelift as well. Not only will multiple procedures cost more, but the risks associated with them will also increase with every additional procedure.
Get others’ opinions on the doctors you’re looking at. Search for online reviews. If a doctor gets a lot of negative reviews, beware. Be sure to review before and after pictures, which a good surgeon should happily provide. If you’re not satisfied with the results others have gotten, you may want to keep looking.
And make sure you are comfortable in the presence of the physician and that you feel he/she has your best interest at heart. Also question who you will be seeing for follow up appointments as it’s important that you continue to see the physician following surgery and not just staff members. You must be able to develop a relationship with your doctor and feel that you are not alone in the process.