How to choose the best plastic surgeon for me and avoid botched plastic surgery?
Finding the right plastic surgeon is the key to making sure you’re happy with your results and have an overall good experience. Although appropriate certifications and experience are obviously important, there are several other factors you should consider when choosing a plastic surgeon. Keep reading as we discuss the six steps you should take to choose a plastic surgeon and avoid botched plastic surgery.
1. Make an Initial List
The best way to begin compiling a list of potential plastic surgeons is to ask your family and friends. We typically value the opinions of those closest to us the most. And although choosing to get plastic surgery is a personal decision, it may help to get advice from a friend or family member. If someone you know has had plastic surgery in the past, ask them about their experience and whether they recommend any surgeon in particular.
After speaking with family or friends, go online to read reviews for those surgeons in your area (feel free to search outside your area if you’re open to traveling). Of course, not every review is honest and reasonable.
Patients sometimes leave negative reviews for unreasonable situations. Examples include unrealistic expectations, not following the surgeon’s instructions, leading to complications, and simply not liking a nurse or staff member. You should use your best judgment to search for the most helpful reviews. Look for reviews that mention things like professionalism, superior customer service, and returning or “long-time” patients.
2. Narrow Down Your List
Once you’ve compiled your list from Step 1, you should have several surgeons to choose from. Now, it’s time to narrow your list down before moving on to scheduling a consultation. First and foremost, make sure each surgeon is board certified. You should check that their credentials are up to date and read about their experience. The surgeon’s mentors, alma mater, and relevant awards/certificates are all useful to determine their qualifications.
Next, visit each surgeon’s website to find before and after pictures of their work. Ideally, you should search for pictures of the surgery you’re interested in to get an idea of the results you can expect. Most surgeons achieve similar results in their patients because they master certain techniques and perfect their work overtime.
Make sure you like the before and after pictures posted. If you aren’t happy with the “after” result, you may not be satisfied with the outcome of your own surgery. Narrow down your list to the highly qualified surgeons whose photos and overall style are most impressive to you.
3. Meet Your Potential Plastic Surgeon
After you’ve narrowed down your list, schedule initial consultations to meet each surgeon in person. You should like your doctor on a personal level, and they should make you feel comfortable discussing your concerns. Because of their professional experience, a surgeon may recommend a procedure you weren’t previously considering. Keep in mind that they’re not trying to offend you – they’re trying to make sure you get the results you want.
If a surgeon says that you aren’t a good candidate for a procedure, most likely, you’re not. But that isn’t a reason to cross them off your list. Visit with each surgeon to get alternative opinions, and make a note of important differences in treatment options, friendliness, and expertise.
4. Visit the Surgery Facility
At this point, you should only have a few surgeons left on your list. Take the time to visit their facilities, if possible, and find out exactly where you will have your surgery. You can research their safety records, patient reviews, medical staff, and anesthesiologist to get a thorough look at the facility’s accommodations.
If your surgery requires you to recover at the facility for an extended amount of time, be sure to check out the patient rooms as well. Comfortable, clean facilities are crucial to ensure a smooth recovery process. If you’re choosing between two similar surgeons, their recovery facility could be the deciding factor. Ask each surgeon what sets their practice apart, and how you could benefit from scheduling treatment with them.
5. Prepare a List of Questions
Now that you’ve narrowed down your list and found your potential plastic surgeon, you should prepare a list of questions to help you make your final decision. Prepare your list a few days in advance and keep adding to it as you come up with more questions. Schedule another appointment with your surgeon to discuss your questions and make sure they’re the right person for your surgery. Examples of good questions to ask include:
- What are my best options to achieve the desired look? (surgical and non-surgical)
- What do I need to do before and after the procedure?
- What are the potential complications of the procedure?
- Who will be administering the anesthesia? (local or general)
- Am I a good candidate for the procedure? Why?
- Are you certified with the American Board of Plastic Surgeons?
6. Choose Your Surgeon
Once you’ve gathered all your information and met with your potential surgeon, it’s time to make a final decision. Most importantly, listen to your gut and take your time. If a surgeon doesn’t “seem right,” chances are you might not have the best experience.
Likewise, don’t feel the need to rush into scheduling your surgery. A good surgeon will encourage you to take your time and make sure you’re ready for treatment. The more comfortable and prepared you are, the better your experience will be.
If you’re searching for a plastic surgeon, we encourage you to check out our procedure pages or schedule a consultation with one of our board-certified plastic surgeons. With over 15 years’ experience and 10,000 clients to date, we’re confident we can help you achieve your desired results.