Finding the right Plastic Surgeon
Choosing the right plastic surgeon is a big decision and should not be done hastily. There are many things you should ask when interviewing your plastic surgeon but it’s also very important that you try to get the answers confirmed as far as possible. That the surgeon is board certified is very easily checked online.
Almost all plastic surgeons can claim to be "board certified," however make sure that the board certified surgeon is certified for plastic surgery by the right organization (most likely American Board of Plastic Surgery - ABPS). Also you need someone that is highly skilled with the specific procedure. The surgeon you choose should have extensive experience of performing your specific procedure.
Choosing an ASPS Member Surgeon ensures the surgeon: Has at least 6 years of surgical training and a minimum of 3 years specifically in plastic surgery, is trained and experienced in all plastic surgery procedures including breast, body, face and reconstruction, operates only in accredited medical facilities, adheres to a strict medical code of ethics, meets continuing medical education requirements, including standards and innovations in patient safety, is board certified by The American Board of Plastic Surgery or in Canada by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, read more about Plastic Surgery Board Certifying Organizations
To speak directly to one of our call center experts about this distinction and to book a free consultation with a board certified surgeon in your area, use the number in the upper right corner of this page!
What To Ask In A Consultation
Make sure you're comfortable with the surgeon and that he or she addresses all of your concerns. He or she also should be more than happy to answer all questions, provide testimonials, credentials, proper certification, before and after photos, testimonials etc. If you have any concerns after the consultation or feel that your well being is not put first – find another surgeon!
There are several things your surgeon should address but most importantly you should discuss risks, recovery, the surgeons experience of the actual procedure, realistic expectations, expected result & cost.
Plastic surgery is surgery and as with any medical procedure there are risks. To reduce risks, you should be in good health. An infection, diabetes, heart or circulatory problems eliminates you as a candidate right away! It's also important to disclose your entire medical history to your surgeon!
Complications from plastic surgery can include: disappointment with the results, scarring, bruising, numbness, nerve damage. Severe complications include e.g: Blood clots, Injury to organs, seizures, cardiac arrest, excessive blood loss.
20 things to find out from Your Plastic Surgeon
- 1. Is there anything in my medical history that you feel disqualifies me as a candidate for this specific procedure?
- 2. What is your complication rate with this procedure?
- 3. What type of anesthesia will be used during the procedure?
- 4. What are the risks associated with this procedure?
Initial recovery time may take weeks, but it’s usually not until after several months you see the full result of the surgery. Swelling might for example not fully subside until several months after surgery also it may take time for all the skin to tighten up. After the surgery you'll e.g. need to wear compression garments also you might be in a lot of pain. Usually you can go back to work and other activities within one to three weeks depending on the surgery. Your surgeon should depending on the procedure schedule multiple post-op visits to monitor and check your recovery.
Questions to ask:
- 5. When will I see the full result of the surgery?
- 6. How long will recovery take?
- 7. When will I be able to go back to work?
- 8. How many post-op visits will you scheduled to monitor and check my recovery?
The Plastic Surgeons experience of the actual procedure
- 9. How many times have you done this procedure?
- 10 .Can you provide me with 2-5 references to patients on whom you have performed this procedure?
Realistic expectations & expected result
- 11. Can I see multiple before and after pictures of patients on whom you have performed the same or similar procedures?
- 12. What kind of result is realistic that I expect given my unique prerequisitions?
- 13. Do you feel I have realistic expectations?
- 14. How long can I expect the result to last, will I have to undergo the procedure again?
- 15. What is the exact breakdown of all fees for this procedure?
- 16. Will there be any other costs involved?
- 17. What other medical staff will assist with the procedure?
- 18. Where will the procedure be performed?
- 19. Will you yourself be performing the procedure/surgery if I choose to go with you?
- 20. Do you have hospital privileges to perform this procedure? (and at which hospitals?)