Plastic surgery has made tremendous strides in the last few decades, so hundreds of thousands of people have surgical procedures every year.
The American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) reports that about 250,000 people had plastic surgery in 2018, including breast augmentation, liposuction, and tummy tucks.
But if you decide to spend the time and money on plastic surgery, you should research plastic surgeons. If you type ‘best plastic surgeon’ in your city into a search engine, you’ll probably see two pages of results. So how do you know who to choose?
The truth is there’s no ‘best surgeon’ for every person and procedure. There are several criteria you should use to decide if a surgeon is right for you:
Check For Board Certification In Plastic Surgery
Any surgeon you are seriously considering should have board certification by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS). Before you even set up a consultation, it’s recommended to check if the plastic surgeon has this accreditation.
Remember that medical credentials can be confusing to the layperson. Therefore, it’s important to look specifically for ABPS certification because this is the sole plastic surgery board recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties.
You also should check if the provider is a member of ASPS. It isn’t a certifying organization, but it’s highly respected, so it’s a good sign if they belong.
These credentials are crucial to show the surgeon is highly trained and qualified to do your procedure. This is even more important these days because there are many doctors who can legally call themselves ‘cosmetic surgeons’ with minimal training in plastic surgery.
Check Their Surgical Style and Methodology
Training and anatomical knowledge are essential, but the best plastic surgery also requires a sense of artistry. According to Beverly Hills plastic surgeon Dr. Nicholas Lahar, “Every patient’s body is unique, so the ‘best’ surgeon for a specific procedure is probably one whose style of work aligns with your aesthetic goals.”
Lahar adds that if you choose a surgeon whose style appeals to you, they can tailor your procedure to your body and aesthetic tastes, so you get the best results.
Check The Surgical Facility
Many plastic surgery patients don’t give a second thought to where the surgery is performed. But they should.
Plastic surgeries are usually done outside a hospital, so it’s vital to check if the facility has the best quality and safety standards.
You should verify if the facility is accredited by one or more of these:
- State licensing organization
- Joint Commission on Accreditation Of Healthcare Organizations
- American Association for Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgery Facilities
- Accreditation Association For Ambulatory Healthcare
Verify They Do Your Procedure Often
Having an experienced and board-certified plastic surgeon is critical, but it also is essential they do your particular surgery often.
One of the questions you should ask is how often they do a given procedure. For example, there are highly regarded plastic surgeons who only do facelifts; they do thousands of facelifts every year.
It’s likely that a surgeon who specializes in facelifts and has excellent patient reviews will provide the best results, even if it’s more expensive. It’s your face, after all, so having excellent results is critical.
Find A Surgeon You Like And Trust
Just like when you search for a family doctor or dentist, you should look around to find a plastic surgeon you like and trust. But, again, having good communication and rapport with the plastic surgeon and staff will make the process go more smoothly.
When you find the right surgeon, you will feel better about your procedure and talk more openly and honestly with them. Remember that you’ll be seeing the surgeon and staff several times during and after the procedure, so finding someone you connect with matters.
On a related note, find an honest surgeon. The best surgeons aren’t there to tell you what you want to hear; if surgery isn’t right for you, they should tell you.
For example, a patient may go into the doctor’s office believing they need to have a particular dermal filler for their face to reduce wrinkles.
But the surgeon may tell them that the filler they want won’t work for that part of the face, or another procedure could be better, such as laser resurfacing.
Having a straightforward and honest surgeon means you won’t always hear what you want, but it will be best for your satisfaction and results.
Go Over Patient Reviews
One of the best things about our online world is it’s easy to check how patients feel about their doctor or plastic surgeon. You can check online reviews for plastic surgeons at:
- Google Reviews
Remember that if a surgeon does enough procedures, they may have an occasional negative review. But check if and how the surgeon followed up. And if you see the vast majority of patients give positive reviews, that’s a reliable indicator.
Plastic surgery offers innovative and affordable ways for people to reach their aesthetic goals. If you choose the best surgeon for your procedure and situation, you’re likely to have results you’ll love.