The American Society of Plastic Surgeons recently reported that nearly 18 million people underwent some type of surgical or minimally invasive cosmetic procedure in the U.S. in 2018, nearly a quarter-million more than 2017. It’s becoming increasingly common, and safer than ever, depending on the particular procedure, but if you’re thinking about getting some cosmetic work done, it’s still important to do plenty of research first.
The question is, where to begin. These are some of the best resources for cosmetic information to get you started.
American Board of Cosmetic Surgery
The American Board of Cosmetic Surgery (ABCS) has been around for 30 years and is the only certifying board that exclusively tests a surgeon’s experience and knowledge in cosmetic surgery. Surgeons can only obtain ABCS board certification if they pass rigorous oral and written exams, possess at least one recognized board certificate, and complete a comprehensive fellowship training program. These very strict qualifications tend to eliminate many plastic and cosmetic surgeons, so if you find one who is certified by ABCS it’s a sign of a highly skilled professional.
The ABCS has a trustworthy website with a wealth of reliable information on cosmetic and plastic surgery, delving into topics that include everything from how to find the right surgeon to pricing and preparing for a consult.
American Society of Plastic Surgeons
The largest plastic surgery specialty organization in the world, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) was established nearly 90 years ago and represents most board-certified plastic surgeons in the U.S., as well as over 8,000 across the globe. A leading authority on reconstructive plastic surgery and cosmetic surgery, its website is an excellent resource that discusses patient safety, provides before and after photos, the latest news in cosmetic and plastic surgery, and much more.
RealSelf is one of the most trusted sources for those who are considering an elective cosmetic treatment, providing the opportunity to learn about cosmetic procedures in detail. For example, if you visit the page for double eyelid surgery, you can find out if it might be a good option for your particular situation, what the risks are, what to expect during and after the surgery, before and after photos, unbiased reviews from patients and more. It also lists over 20,000 board-certified doctors, ratings and even personalized answers from the experts.
The Mayo Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center based in Rochester, Minnesota that is world-renowned. Its information only consists of evidence-based, credible scientific sourcing. It offers extensive information on nearly all types of medical procedures, including cosmetic surgery as a non-biased resource to learn about risks, recovery, expectations and results, and more.
American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery
The American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery (AACS) was founded in 1985 and is aimed toward cosmetic surgery practitioners, but it is also a trusted resource for patient safety through cosmetic surgery education and provides a special section just for patients. It offers information to guide your search for a qualified cosmetic surgeon, procedural information and more.
*This article was contributed.