So you’re interested in plastic surgery. Who isn’t these days? Everywhere you look in newspapers, magazines and especially on television, someone is having plastic surgery. Plastic surgery is no longer the well-guarded secret of the rich and famous. We are all fascinated by it and want to learn more about it. Who knows, maybe we even want to have plastic surgery for ourselves. How do we get started? Everyone seems willing to give advice about plastic surgery but unfortunately, most of this advice is misleading and just plain wrong. How do you get the real information so that you can make a real decision? The answer is – find the best plastic surgeon you can and talk to him.
The key word in plastic surgery is surgery. This is not a manicure or haircut. This is surgery. Take it seriously and set your standards high, very high. You want someone who can guide you. You may know what you want, but you may not know the best way to get it. A good plastic surgeon will devise a plan customized to your specific needs, not put you on the assembly line to get the “standard” procedure. He may even suggest something that you may not have considered. The goal should be to give you the absolute best result in the safest way possible. While no surgical procedure is without risk, that risk should be minimized in cosmetic surgery. You can minimize that risk for yourself by being very selective in your choice of plastic surgeon and by doing your homework – educate yourself.
While we will have personal reasons for choosing a particular plastic surgeon, there are some criteria that you should insist on.
- Board Certification in Plastic Surgery – this guarantees that your surgeon has had rigorous training specifically in plastic surgery and that he has been in practice at least two years. Be cautious if your surgeon is not board certified or certified in a different field. Members of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons are all board certified plastic surgeons held to the highest standards.
- Hospital Privileges – make sure that your surgeon has privileges to perform the procedure you want in an accredited hospital. While he may chose to perform this procedure in an office operating room or ambulatory care center, having privileges at a hospital shows that he has passed the rigorous background checks performed by accredited hospitals. If he doesn’t have such privileges, he may not be adequately trained for them.
- Comfort Level – during your consultation, do you get a good feeling about your surgeon? Does he listen to you and answer your questions clearly? Does he take the time to make you feel at ease? Do you trust him and feel confident with him? Trust your instincts.
The above criteria are a must and will narrow down the field significantly. But remember, you are setting your standards very high. This is surgery and you want great results with the least risk. How do you find a top plastic surgeon? You have to look even closer.
- Training – look at all the institutions where your surgeon trained. The top institutions provide the best training. The best surgeons are recruited and trained by the top institutions.
- Years of Training – more training and experience usually mean better care for you. The minimum requirement is only 5 years of residency training. Top surgeons have had 7 or more.
- Additional Board Certification – This represents training and competence in addition to plastic surgery training. This does not replace board certification in plastic surgery.
Plastic surgery can transform your body and lift your spirits. However, in the wrong hands, the results can be disappointing or even disfiguring. Educate yourself and demand the highest standards and you will enjoy the wond