Choosing a highly qualified plastic surgeon is one of the best things you can do to ensure a successful procedure outcome. But this is sometimes easier said than done. There are potentially dozens or even hundreds of plastic surgeons in your city and pinpointing the most qualified one can be quite challenging. In this article, we highlight 7 important qualities to look for when assessing plastic surgeons.
1. Board Certification
As frightening as it may be, any physician in the United States is allowed to refer to themselves as a cosmetic surgeon. This is why board accreditation is the first and foremost quality to look for in a plastic surgeon. The American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS) and the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery (ABCS) are both tasked with credentialing plastic and cosmetic surgeons, respectively. These are independent bodies whose role is to ensure that professionals in this industry adhere to the highest standards of quality and safety.
Experience is a major consideration when looking for the right plastic surgeon to perform your procedure. A surgeon who just finished their training may not have the same level of hands-on skills as a practitioner who has performed dozens of successful procedures. More so, some surgeons have specialized training in areas such as microsurgery, which may make them better suited for some procedures such as autologous breast reconstruction. Ask your surgeon how long they have performed the procedure you are interested in. Make sure to see before and after photos so you get an impression of the kind of results they can achieve. More often than not, chances are that you’ll get better results by working with a highly experienced surgeon.
3. Facility Accreditation
Certain, inherent risks are associated with plastic surgery – and any other surgical procedures for that matter. Complications such as excessive bleeding may occur even in healthy patients. It is important to ensure that your procedure is performed in an accredited facility that provides emergency care in such an occurrence. Even if you are having a minor, outpatient procedure at the surgeon’s in-office operating room, they should have operating privileges at nearby accredited hospitals in case of any complications. Your safety must always be a priority. You should also learn if the surgeon is assigned to you throughout the surgery or if they are also responsible for other patients.
4. Reliable References
Good plastic surgeons should have reliable references and recommendations to back up their work. These may include past patients who liked the surgeon’s work and are willing to recommend them to other patients. When it comes to board certification, this can always be verified by visiting the certifying body’s website or getting in touch with them.
5. Post Operative Care
Proper post-operative care is very important in order to ensure a successful procedure outcome. A good surgeon should be ready and willing to stick with you until you are fully recovered. They should provide detailed aftercare instructions and remain accessible to answer your questions and provide any support you may need during recovery.
6. Compassionate Approach
Patient and surgeon rapport is very important when it comes to plastic surgery. You need to work with a practitioner you feel free communicating with and who understands your needs and concerns. A good surgeon should inspire confidence and make you feel understood. Otherwise, if their approach is bad, you may be up for a very difficult surgical journey.
7. Reasonable Cost
Most plastic surgeries are considered to be elective in nature. For this reason, they are not covered by health insurers. This is why it is important to learn how much you can expect to pay for the surgery. This should allow you to make arrangements for financing ahead of time. It is, however, important to point out that you should never make a decision based on cost alone. Some of the more seasoned plastic surgeons tend to charge more for procedures – and justifiably so! Furthermore, the treatment approach (even considered the same procedure) will vary from one patient to the other based on their own unique needs and requirements.
Most plastic surgeries performed today have a very high satisfaction rate. For instance, up to 98 percent of women who have a breast augmentation say they are happy with the outcome of their surgery. Still, to ensure a satisfactory outcome, it is your responsibility to work with the best surgeon and make an effort to care for yourself.