Four Questions You Must Answer When Researching Your Plastic Surgeon
Posted February 21, 2018
What is the surgeon board certified in?
“Board certification” is a term that is often used when reviewing what a patient should look for when researching their Plastic Surgeon. The real question to ask should be “What field the surgeon is board certified in?”. There are physicians, other than plastic surgeons, that may perform cosmetic procedures although they are not covered within their specialty. A surgeon can claim to be board certified and not address that their certification is in a different field or specialty. When considering plastic surgery, the risk of complications in an elective cosmetic procedure is small, and the chance of being satisfied with the results high in the properly trained hands of a board certified plastic surgeon. It is also recommended that your surgeon be a member of both the American Society of Plastic Surgery and the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons. A surgeon can only be a member of these organizations if they are a highly trained plastic surgeon and have completed the necessary requirements for board certification in plastic surgery.
Are you comfortable asking the surgeon questions?
As a potential patient you should feel confident asking the surgeon any question you feel is important regarding their surgical training or regarding the procedure you are interested in. Be wary of the surgeon who becomes anxious or irritated when you begin to ask questions regarding credentials and qualifications. You are entitled to see all the qualifications for both the surgeon and the facility in which your procedure is to be performed. It is also encouraged to seek other opinions by other board certified plastic surgeons and choose the surgeon that makes you feel the most comfortable and relaxed in their care.
Where does your surgeon perform his surgery?
Your surgery should be performed in an accredited hospital or surgery center. These credentials should also be available for patients to review prior to surgery. Be sure the facility is inspected and accredited independent of the physician to ensure that the facility has met strict guidelines for competency, safety and cleanliness. To determine if a surgical center is licensed you can look-up the facility here. In addition, The health and safety standards are set by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). Details can be found here.
What do some of the doctor’s recent patients have to say about the surgeon you are researching?
With all the available information on the internet, it is easy to see what previous patients have said about the surgeon of your choice. How many times has he/she performed the surgery? Read reviews and request to speak to patients that have had similar surgical procedures done by the surgeon you are researching. Review pre and post op photos of patients he has operated on. This can also help you with your own expectations of your procedure. It is important to ask questions and be confident with the information received.
If you want to keep track of these things while meeting with surgeons a little more easily, head to our Surgeon Checklist!