Face+Body Blog
  • 22 April 2016

Imagine having a procedure done that cost you a pretty penny and you’re still not satisfied with how your nose (or any other feature) looks or feels.

You still see the bump and secretly you’re now wishing you hadn’t travelled all the way to a plastic surgeon in the middle of nowhere just to save a few thousand dollars. Heartbroken, you decide to search for another surgeon for a second opinion, a famous and skilled one this time, who’s been doing the job for years and then learn that your own doctor wasn’t even qualified to perform the procedure. Imagine! Can this get any worse? Well, technically speaking yes, it can. How about living with the very same look for the rest of your life and that’s without all the money you just invested (read it as wasted)! The thought itself makes me shudder. But this is how you will face the music for not realizing the importance of  doing your homework before going under the knife. Did you just read Homework? What Homework? Well, this article is here to answer the million dollar question, what homework? Not very surprisingly, there has been an increase in the trend of suing plastic surgeons over errors/mistakes made during surgeries. This increase is a consequence of unrealistic expectations of the client, the general increase in the number of procedures being performed, as well as substandard work. Procedures that account for 80% of legal actions being taken against surgeons include;

  • Breast surgery
  • Face lift
  • Nose reductions
  • Weight loss procedures
  • Eye-lid operations

Think about it! First the pre-surgery anxiety, then the ordeal of going through it, followed by post-surgery depression and now the hassle of legal action. So much trouble just because you didn’t do your homework. Yeah, you got that right! You didn’t do your homework. Before you even begin searching for plastic surgeons and places where you can try your luck, work on your mindset! Make yourself understand that cosmetic procedures are serious procedures, the results of which would have a huge impact on your appearance as well as psychology. Maybe, even your life! You cannot take them lightly.

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Take Cosmetic Procedures Seriously

Cosmetic procedures like all other surgeries come with their own set of risks and complications. Invasive or non-invasive, it is meant to be taken seriously, because not only will it enhance your outward appearance, but boost your confidence too. Likewise, a botched up procedure wouldn’t just affect your body, but how you feel about yourself. So please take cosmetic procedures seriously!

Finding a Plastic Surgeon

Answering a simple question will give you an idea of what to expect in this section. Would you let a dermatologist perform a gall bladder surgery on you? No! You wouldn’t. Because you know that a surgeon and dermatologist both come from different wings of medicine and specialize in their regions only, trained to strictly treat their own areas. Then why let a non-plastic surgeon perform a cosmetic procedure on you? Start with word-of-mouth referrals, the simplest area to begin your hunt for the best cosmetic surgeon. Look around for people in your circle who have undergone such procedures. Try asking neighbors about plastic surgeons with a good reputation. Gauge their confidence regarding their doctor by questioning them about;

  • How they got to know of the surgeon themselves
  • How satisfied were they at the end of the procedure
  • Did they get what they really wanted
  • Would they ever consult the same doctor again for maybe another procedure or a revision?
  • If possible, ask for before and after pictures so that you can assess the differences yourself

Bottom line: Go for their personal experiences so that you can see the result as well. Don’t rely on your neighbor’s aunt’s friend’s daughter’s experience because that kind of kills the credibility of an authentic ‘personal’ experience for obvious reasons. You cannot afford to play Russian Roulette here.

Validating Credentials

Needless to mention, deciding on a plastic surgeon is a nerve-wracking ordeal. You really don’t know if the doctor you’re thinking about is an actual surgeon or if all the fancy signs and business cards are fake and testimonials are paid for.   Now that you’ve extracted every bit of information using your social and communication skills, it’s time to get tech savvy. Get on the internet and look for experienced board certified plastic surgeons in your geographic area. Look for the names recommended to you by different people and validate their skills, experience and training. While anyone can have a fancy medical vocabulary, only a board certified surgeon would be able to make it to the list of American Society of Plastic Surgeons. A heads up for those who didn’t know, validation of certification is extremely important because non-certified medical doctors are allowed to perform procedures (in Miami) too, but you wouldn’t want an inexperienced person to deal with your case? Would you? Bottom line: adequate  board certification and experience should be your top priority. Your safety and well-being should be your surgeons most  pressing concern.

Be Informed

Make sure you’re well aware of what the procedure is, how it’s done, what are its pre-requisites and how long and strict the post-operative care is. Not only will this keep you well informed but also help you in preparing questions for your surgeon and assuaging any anxiety. Also, this is your doctor’s job to cover every aspect of the procedure starting from the benefits to suggesting alternative treatments. Being informed doesn’t necessarily mean having knowledge about the procedure and your new look. It also includes knowing about your surgeon. Question your surgeon regarding their experience, certification and if they have ever handled a case like yours before (no matter how simple and short it is) Bottom line: Know every bit of detail. Ask silly questions. Remember you have to sign the Informed Consent Document.

Learn About the Working Place and Staff

As important as the board certified surgeon is, an efficient staff and a sterilized, spotless working place are equally important. While you may not have access to the entire operating area, you can always request for photographs of the clinical setting. Make sure the surgery is performed in the presence of trained medical personnel and proper equipment with sterile techniques. Sterility is of utmost importance because an infection can have a devastating as well as a fatal consequence. Make sure you’re aware of the protective measures taken (gowns and masks), ventilation system of the operating room and the efficiency of the staff. Bottom line: A clean environment boosts your confidence and strengthens the doctor-client trust relationship! While you have every right of taking an action against the surgeon (conditions apply), you cannot turn a blind eye to the fact that this could have been prevented, had you done your homework well. Your homework- selecting the right,  experienced board certified plastic surgeon after thorough research of the best places with the best plastic surgeons qualified enough to do justice to all the emotional and financial investment made towards a more confident lifestyle.  

References [1] Blog/your-safety

Top 10 Doctor 2014,2013 Patients Choice Award,2013 Vitals Most Compassionate Doctor,Real Self Top Doctor,American Society of Plastic Surgeons Members,Members of The American Board of Surgery,American Board of Plastic Surgery Members-Board Certified Plastic Surgeons
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