How to choose a Plastic Surgeon

Your choice of plastic surgeon will be a choice you will live with for years, if not your entire life.  Here are some tips to help you find the right plastic surgeon for you.

Ensure that your doctor is a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, or ASPS. You can ask your doctor and check the ASPS website at www.plasticsurgery.org.  You should also ensure the doctor has hospital privileges, even if your surgeon is performing your procedure at an outpatient surgery center. Hospitals do background checks on surgeons, which provides a measure of comfort to you, and it is also important that your doctor is on staff at a hospital so he or she can admit you if you experience complications.

Check out the surgeon’s work.  Your Plastic surgeon should be able to provide before and after photos for the procedure you are interested in.  Often surgeons will post pictures on their website or have photos in their office.

The surgeon’s bedside manner. It is critical that you feel that your surgeon understands your concerns and that you feel comfortable asking him or her questions. How did you feel during your consultation? Did the surgeon encourage you to ask questions? Did he or she take the time to listen to you and answer your questions?  Did you feel comfortable disclosing your full medical history and habits?

Professional office staff.  The office staff will be a significant part of your experience, from answering questions over the phone, scheduling your surgery and appointments, discussion fees and payments, and as an integral part of your physical examinations and follow up appointments. Was the staff  professional and courteous? Do they answer your calls and return messages promptly? Were fees, procedures, risks and benefits clearly explained and presented?

Make sure you prepare for your consultation by bringing a list of questions and researching your plastic surgeons credentials, experience and training.