Choosing a Plastic Surgeon

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Choosing to have plastic surgery is an important decision, and so is selecting a plastic surgeon. For those interested in plastic surgery, it is paramount to consider the procedure as they would any medical treatment and check their physician’s credentials.

Whether considering a minor office procedure or surgery, patients must determine that their physician is qualified to perform the procedure. With the growing popularity of surgical and less-invasive cosmetic plastic surgery treatments – more than 6.5 million last year – comes the increase in unqualified practitioners stepping up to take advantage of the growing number of patients.

The American Society of Plastic Surgeons recommends patients follow these guidelines when choosing any cosmetic plastic surgery procedure.

  • Check Board Certification:
    Determine if your physician is certified by a board approved by The American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS). Members of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons are certified by The American Board of Plastic Surgery, the only board recognized by ABMS that certifies physicians in plastic surgery of the face and all areas of the body. This ensures that the plastic surgeon has graduated from an accredited medical school and completed at least five years of additional residency, usually three years of general surgery and two years of plastic surgery.

  • Look For Specialty Group Affiliation:
    Membership in the ASPS ensures that not only is the plastic surgeon certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, but that the plastic surgeon regularly attends continuing medical education courses and adheres to a strict code of ethics

  • Ensure Safe Facilities:
    Everyone who chooses cosmetic plastic surgery has the right to a safe procedure. Injectables should be administered in a setting with appropriate medical personnel and necessary equipment to observe patients and manage potential complications, as well as provide for the disposal of medical waste as required by Occupational Safety and Health Administration regulations. ASPS requires all members who perform surgery under anesthesia to do so in an accredited, licensed facility.

  • Be Informed:
    Speak with friends and family about the procedure as well as with a physician. When a treatment decision is made co-operatively between the physician and patient, the physician should explain the risks, benefits, alternatives, and reasoning for the proposed treatment, after which an informed consent document should be signed by the patient.

  • Require a Medical Evaluation:
    When considering a cosmetic plastic surgery procedure, consult with a physician for an evaluation, as well as a full medical history, to determine what is most appropriate.

  • Ask Questions:
    Are you certified by The American Board of Plastic Surgery?
    What is the best procedure for me?
    What are the risks involved with my procedure?
    Will my procedure need to be repeated?
    How much downtime should I expect?
    Do you have hospital privileges to perform cosmetic surgery?