Top 5 Things to Look for in a Credible Plastic Surgeon
- 03 March 2017
- Dr. Nidal (Nick) Masri
How many plastic surgery horror stories have you heard that were caused by a plastic surgeon’s errors?
How many patients have suffered because they hadn’t checked the credentials of their chosen surgeon?
How many times have patients prioritized cheap plastic surgery over a board-certified surgeon?
With thousands of plastic surgeons out there all claiming to work miracles, choosing the right one can be a tall order. It’s all a matter of hit and miss – unless you take the plastic surgeon’s credibility into account.
Being credible means being trustworthy and dependable. Here are some of the things you need to check to make sure that you’re dealing with a credible plastic surgeon:
When choosing a plastic surgeon, nothing is more important than his qualifications. And an essential requirement that he should have is a board certification.
The truth is, any licensed doctor in the United States can perform plastic surgery, regardless of his specialization. That means even a gynecologist or an ophthalmologist can legally do your tummy tuck – even if he isn’t trained to do it in the first place.
To avoid this problem, make sure that your plastic surgeon has been board-certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. This organization is the only certifying board officially recognized in the United States.
It signifies that the plastic surgeon you are dealing with graduated from a reputable medical school and completed residency training in both general and plastic surgery. The board certification also means that he has had a significant amount of practice in the surgery he is specializing in, so he knows what he is doing.
Your plastic surgeon’s medicine education, residencies, and training should also be considered when checking out his credentials. Make sure that he graduated from an accredited medical school and trained in an accredited residency program.
To verify your chosen plastic surgeon’s credentials, you can research them on the website of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. You may also check out the Department of Health Florida portal if you’re choosing a Miami plastic surgeon.
Reviews and Recommendations
The experiences of other patients with your plastic surgeon is also a good gauge of his capabilities.
Thanks to the Internet, looking for plastic surgeon reviews has become so much easier. You simply have to drop by the surgeon’s website to check out his patient ratings and testimonials. Websites like Real Self also allows patients to review plastic surgeons they’ve encountered.
But before you wade through hundreds of these online reviews, take note that you can’t trust them all. Sometimes, competitors plant negative reviews to mar a surgeon’s character. There might also be instances when the surgeon himself creates a fake positive review to enhance his reputation. After all, no one is verifying the veracity of these reviews.
As such, look for consistency in these online testimonials. If you find multiple negative reviews, then maybe you should steer clear of that cosmetic surgeon.
You should also consider word-of-mouth recommendations from friends and family, especially if they had firsthand experience dealing with the surgeon. Don’t forget to check with the state medical board to know if your prospective plastic surgeon had run into trouble before.
Accredited Clinic and Hospital Privileges
Thinking of getting that Groupon voucher for a Botox session? You might want to think twice about getting services from such clinic chains offering discounted treatments.
Clinic chains that allot a huge chunk of their revenue on advertisements and promos often put more emphasis on the number of patients they get rather than their quality of care they give. It is better to find a low-key accredited practice that has a longstanding excellent reputation, as they are more focused on the quality of service that they provide.
But while there is nothing wrong with doing minor procedures in an outpatient clinic, you should also consider getting a plastic surgeon with hospital privileges. This will come in handy during emergency hospitalization cases, as well as major procedures like body lifts and breast reconstruction that require further care.
Plus, most hospitals only allow board-certified plastic surgeons to perform cosmetic treatments in their facilities, so you can be sure that you are dealing with a credible surgeon if he has operating privileges in a reputable and accredited hospital.
Ask your plastic surgeon about his hospital privileges. You may also check with the hospital if they are affiliated with your prospective plastic surgeon.
Before and After Photos
If you are dealing with an experienced plastic surgeon, he should have a portfolio of before and after photos of his previous patients for your reference. These are usually available on the plastic surgeon’s website, but you can ask for them just the same when you visit for a consultation.
To get the most out of browsing these before and after photos, look for body types or conditions that are similar to yours. For example, when you’re looking at brachioplasty photos, check out a patient with a similar skin tone as yours to see how scarring would look like. Ask for specific photos of ear pinning patients if you’re looking for the same otoplasty procedure. Check out the photos of a 50-year-old female patient if you’re around the same age.
If the photos look too perfect, ask the plastic surgeon if they have been digitally altered. Don’t be afraid also to ask the surgeon if he performed the surgery in the photo you’re looking at, as some clinics might have documented the work of multiple plastic surgeons in their before and after portfolio.
Good Initial Consultation
Your initial consultation with a prospective plastic surgeon may be a subjective gauge of credibility, but it sure is an important and telling one. It should leave you feeling confident about your course of action, treatment plan, and choice of plastic surgeon and personnel.
It is your plastic surgeon’s responsibility to determine whether you are a good candidate for surgery through physical evaluation. That means that he should not only tell you which treatments you should have but also explain to you how it will be done and the risks involved in surgery. He should not just agree with what you want, especially if he knows that your expectations won’t be met satisfactorily.
The initial consultation should serve as an avenue for you to ask questions not just about the surgery, but also about the plastic surgeon and his team.
If you don’t feel at ease after the initial consultation or you encountered problems – like an assistant meeting you instead of the surgeon himself or the lack of proper answers to your concerns – then consider looking for other options.
When it comes to looking for a credible plastic surgeon, following the guidelines stated above will dramatically decrease your risk of having bad plastic surgery. Kick things off by Scheduling a Free Consultation with one of our experienced and board-certified plastic surgeons here on Face + Body Cosmetic Surgery.