It doesn’t make a difference if you’re having breast enhancement surgery, a Mommy Makeover or an eye lift, all successful plastic surgeries start with the same thing: a well-trained, board-certified surgeon. In addition to appropriate certifications, you’ll want to make sure you’re working with a surgeon who is trained and experienced in the surgery you’re interested in, shares a similar sense of aesthetics and with whom you — on a very basic level — get along.

Before You Schedule Your Appointment

“The first thing you want to do is to find out what area his or her training is in,” says Jeffrey Spiegel, MD, chief of the division of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and a professor at the Boston University School of Medicine. “Make sure they are a plastic surgeon — obstetricians, dentists, dermatologists and others may call themselves a surgeon when they have no or little experience in plastic surgery.” Before you even schedule a consultation, check the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery’s website to find out if your doctor is board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (only board-certified surgeons can become members of ASAPS).

Then, go one step further, advises Dr. Spiegel. “If you’re looking to have your nose operated on or a facelift, for example, you’re probably better off going to a facial plastic surgeon than a general surgeon.” That person will have the most experience in that particular surgical specialty. In some cases, a surgeon may have a certificate of training in a specific type of surgery.

At the Appointment

While you don’t have to be best friends with your plastic surgeon, you do want to feel comfortable with the person you’re entrusting your body or face to. “You should have a positive feeling that person you’re going to be working with is a good fit for you,” says Spiegel. In addition to asking about the surgery you want, the doctor should ask why you want the surgery. You also should not feel like you have to hand over a deposit for your surgery on the day of your consultation. “You don’t want to be pressured into signing up for surgery immediately,” Spiegel says. “The consultation shouldn’t feel like a sales pitch.”

To that end, you may want to try a test Spiegel has learned from his patients. “I’ve had potential patients ask me about something that doesn’t bother them to see if I’m honest.” For example, a patient who really wants a nose job m