Six Tips, Tools and Warnings for Picking Your Plastic Surgeon
1. Go Prepared
Be sure to research the type of surgery or procedure you think you would like to get. Starting from a position of knowledge will make you more comfortable during your initial consultation and will allow you to understand the doctor and ask questions more easily.
2. Ask Questions
No question is a bad question. Questions are a time for your uncertainties and fears to come out; it is also a great time to get to know your doctor. Her reactions and answers should be good clues to you for a future relationship with the doctor.
For a good list of questions see Susan Archer’s Plastic Surgery Primer 3.
3. Developing a Good Relationship is Key
When going in for an initial consultation, you are not only getting your doctors advice, but also feeling her/him out. You want to establish a good report with your doctor before getting an injection or going into surgery. Developing a good relationship with your plastic surgeon will also give you more confidence in their ability to perform the procedure as well as knowing they will be there for you if something doesn’t go quite right.
4. You Have to Be Comfortable
If, after steps 1-3, you feel uncomfortable find another surgeon. There are sure to be plenty of good plastic surgeons in your area. Don’t be afraid to trust your instincts or hurt someone’s feelings. Trusting your doctor will make you happier especially as the anesthesia sets in and the scalpels come out.
5. You Must See a Qualified Doctor
Many procedures are now taking place in hotel rooms or apartments; this is an extremely dangerous situation. When considering plastic surgery you must see a doctor in their office, and check up on him or her to make sure you can trust them. Do not trust anyone but a board certified plastic surgeon to inject substances into your body or cut into your flesh.
Many of the underground practitioners have little to no experience or medical knowledge. Some will even use common household or construction materials for injections the safety and sterility of which are completely unknown. Each woman must realize that this is incredibly serious stuff and that she is responsible for her own body. Often the price one pays for a black market procedure is far higher than initially thought. Many times sufferers of bad procedures must have several expensive corrective procedures to fix problems caused by greedy idiots.
6. A Board Certification Verification Tool for Plastic Surgeons
To check on the board certification of the surgeon you are thinking about seeing, check the ‘Who’s Certified’ tool at http://www.abms.org. Once you get there, click on the ‘Who’s Certified’ link at the left of the page. They require you to login, but this only takes a few moments and then you can search by name, state and specialty. This is the site of the American Board of Medical Specialties, which is an umbrella group that handles the certification information for 24 different member boards.
Finally, finding a good surgeon should not be a daunting task, just remember to do your homework and if you have any questions please ask our resident plastic surgery specialist Susan Archer. She can help you with a vast collection of resources and information.