Is the surgeon a member of The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons?
This society requires that a surgeon be board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (see below), be a member of ASPS (see below), and have a practice that is over 50% cosmetic. This means that they have the training and perform mostly cosmetic plastic surgery instead of mainly reconstructive. Verify by either calling 888-272-7711 or look them up on the web at www.surgery.org
Is the surgeon a member of The American Society of Plastic Surgery?
This society requires that a surgeon be board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, and has been in practice at least two years. Verify by either calling 888-4-PLASTIC or look them up on the web at www.plasticsurgery.org
Is the surgeon Board Certified by The American Board of Plastic Surgery?
Note that any other word in place of Plastic is not the same, i.e. Cosmetic, Aesthetic, Facial Cosmetic, etc. Verify by either calling 1-215-587-9322 or look them up on the web at www.abplsurg.org.
Is the surgeon authorized to perform the procedure in any hospital in town?
All hospitals verify training and education and they only allow surgeons who are adequately trained for specific procedures to perform them in their hospital. They also have committees that monitor potential problems to help insure patient protection.
Do you feel comfortable with the surgeon?
Feeling uncomfortable with the surgeon can actually affect the outcome because you may be more stressed and hesitant to ask questions that are important in how the procedure is done and its outcome.
Do you feel comfortable with the staff?
This is important because often you spend more time dealing with the staff than the surgeon.
Is the surgeon reachable if you have questions or problems?
Your surgeon or his nurse should be reachable 24 hours a day for any questions you may have. It’s better to ask a seemingly simple question than to ignore a potential problem.
Can you talk to previous patients who have had this procedure?
If you are given the option to speak with a patient who had the procedure that you are considering, it is normal for this to take up to a couple of weeks to happen. Due to patient confidentiality, the patient’s name cannot be given to you, and it can take a while to reach the patient and get them to call you.
Do you like the before and after pictures of other patients?
A surgeon’s level of expertise is often evident in the before and after pictures.
Will the procedure by performed in a certified facility?
Your health should be the primary concern and certain procedures need to be done in a sterile surgical facility. Whenever anesthesia is used, you will want to be adequately monitored. Going to a certified facility helps guarantee that you are in good hands and a safe environment.
What is the surgeon’s policy for revisions?
While we always hope for an uneventful recovery, once in a while a minor revision is required in order to get the best result. To protect yourself, find out how the surgeon charges for revisions.
How many procedures has the surgeon performed?
If you are the first patient that a surgeon is doing a specific procedure on, you have the right to know. Going to a surgeon who performs your procedure on a regular basis will increase your chances of getting a good result.