How To Choose A Great Cosmetic Surgeon
The decision to commit to a cosmetic surgery procedure is a big enough one all by itself. Equally concerning for any pre-op patient is choosing the surgeon who will perform the transformation.
Image credit: Gwydion M. Williams
By the time the choice is made to go through with a procedure, most patients have already consulted with their preferred doctor, but that’s not always the case. For those who are still in the ‘surgeon shopping’ process, it’s important to have a game plan for the search, and to know what to look for and how to spot red flags.
We understand how important is a decision you have ahead of you if you’re shopping for the right surgeon for your desired procedure. We’ve compiled this guide to serve as a good starting point for your search. Hopefully these tips can help you at least narrow down your choices or even pinpoint the perfect physician.
First of all, you will certainly want a board certified surgeon. Ask each surgeon for these credentials, and if they don’t have an official licensure or certification, or can’t furnish proof of them, cross them off the list. You can verify the surgeon’s claims through the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery, as well as state-level agencies.
Credentials are vital, but once you’ve verified that your candidates are certified, you’ll want to grade them on past performances and look for more specific match-ups with your criteria and desires.
The internet will likely be your best companion for the rest of the surgeon search. Most cosmetic surgeons – or at least their clinics – will have a relatively comprehensive website that should provide all the information you’re looking for. In fact, if this information about a specific surgeon seems hard to find online, even with extensive searching, you might think about eliminating that doctor from the list of potentials.
If you’re able to reach your desired doctor’s website, check out their “about” page and look into their affiliations and accolades. Don’t linger too long on this page, our real target here is the before-and-after photo gallery.
If there’s no pre / post op photo gallery, this could be your cue to move on to the next candidate. Any reputable cosmetic surgeon will be proud to offer up a plentiful portfolio of pics.
Look through and study the photos, especially those most closely similar to you and your expected procedure. Go one step further and save some choice pics that you compare with other doctors’ photos.
Next, you’ll want to review as many patient testimonials as possible. Do your research online for reviews that are not biased because once you are in the doctor’s office, you likely will not read a negative review on their wall. See if the doctor’s office has a support group they would recommend and go and meet other patients that have had previous experience with that doctor and his office staff.
Finally, interview the Doctor personally, don’t be shy about asking questions. When you go, have a list ready of at least five to ten questions to ask the doctor. Some good questions to ask are what are his credentials, how many surgeries has he performed, and what is his success rate. How long has he been performing the type of surgery you are interested. Of the failures, were they mostly the patient’s fault due to lack of post op care or other reasons. Where does he have rights to perform the surgery, if this is not an in office procedure?