Making the decision to undergo a plastic surgery procedure can be very exciting, but it’s also a huge responsibility — you definitely don’t want a botched plastic surgery. The importance of knowing how to find a good plastic surgeon cannot be understated when it comes to your health and wellbeing.
Picking a plastic surgeon that you know is qualified often starts at the consultation. Consultations are your opportunity to ask questions and to ensure that your plastic surgery experience will meet strong standards of quality and safety. It’s your first interaction with your potential surgeon, so this is also a great time to gauge how comfortable they make you feel.
In any plastic surgery consultation, make certain that you ask these following questions.
1. Are you a board certified plastic surgeon?
Knowing whether the plastic surgeon you are considering is board-certified or not is a huge priority. Being certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery is important because, technically, any doctor (from a psychiatrist to a general surgeon) is legally permitted to perform a plastic surgery. Board Certification requires general surgeons to undergo a minimum of 2 to 3 years of training in plastic surgery and to take written and oral tests. Once certified, they must still take written tests every 10 years in order to stay accredited.
2. Will my procedure be performed at an accredited facility?
This question is of the utmost importance — you never want to have your surgery performed in a setting that’s unfit for your procedure. The American Society of Plastic Surgery requires facilities with surgical rooms to meet strict standards for equipment, personnel, and room safety in order to be accredited.
Be sure that the plastic surgeon can show proof that their operating site is accredited. You may also want to look out for practices that offer bargain prices or bundle offers for getting multiple surgical procedures at once. A super low price tag may not include after procedure costs and may be reflective of low quality or of an unaccredited facility.
3. How often have you performed the procedure?
Knowing how practiced the surgeon is in regards to the procedure you hope to have can help you figure out how comfortable you are in having them perform it on you. Former president of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, Dr. Rod Rohrich, put it this way, "If I'm coming to you for a facelift, you'd better do it almost weekly.”
You can also ask related questions, like whether you can see before and after pictures of their patients who underwent the same procedure you want. You can even ask if you can talk with any past patients, or research your surgeon online to make sure he or she has a good record.
4. Do you have any hospital privileges?
While many plastic surgeons have their own practice or work from a private practice, some of them also work in hospitals. In order to work in a hospital, physicians must first pass rigorous background checks before being granted the privilege to work there. If the plastic surgeon you are considering also works at a reputable hospital, then they’re probably a plastic surgeon you can trust.
5. Do you have any aesthetic preferences? If so, what are they?
Even when a plastic surgeon meets all of the check-off points, they may not be the best plastic surgeon for you. What you envision as your ideal image may not be what they envision (even when you explain it well). A great way to gauge this is by closely examining the results of the procedure you want on former patients who have a similar body type to yours. You may want to look at patients around your age and with similar facial/body features. Check out their before and after photos and ask yourself: do I like how the procedure looks on them?
At the end of the day, the questions you ask a plastic surgeon during your consultation will vary based on your specific wants and needs, and that’s fine! Regardless of whatever additional questions you have for your potential plastic surgeon, be sure to always include the questions above. Never feel like you’re asking too many questions or being too bold with what you ask. Surgery of any kind is a very serious matter and you need to be sure that you are putting yourself in the right hands.
At HZ Plastic Surgery, you can always ask whatever questions are on your mind during your consultation. As a premier plastic surgery practice, we understand how important the consultation experience is for patients. The first step toward a successful plastic surgery experience is an effective consultation where the patient can learn everything they need to about the practice and the doctor; and the doctor can get to know the patient and their needs as well.