December 2008

Q & A – Finding the Right Plastic Surgeon

What credentials should I look for when choosing a plastic surgeon?

The most important credential is board certification. Whether you’re considering cosmetic or reconstructive plastic surgery, you want the skill of an American Society of Plastic Surgeons Member —a doctor with more than six years of surgical training and experience, with at least three years specifically in plastic surgery. Our training and experience make us uniquely qualified to perform your cosmetic or reconstructive procedure . We are also required to perform maintenance of certification over the years to assure that our standards of practice are up to par. Reputable surgeons will have no problem supplying you with contact information for some of their recent patients. Speaking with patients about their experience and results is an excellent way to learn more about your surgeon. Asking tough questions is the best way to get to know your surgeon. It gives you the opportunity to learn about their qualifications, experience, and demeanor. Your questions let them know you’ve done your homework, want to be educated about your procedure, and will be an active partner throughout the process. You can easily find out if your surgeon is board certified by visiting www.plasticsurgery.org .

Are all board certifications the same?

Any group of medical professionals can create its own “certification” board. American Society of Plastic Surgeons Members are certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery – a group designated by the American Board of Medical Specialties to oversee credentialing in plastic surgery of the face and all areas of the body. Their certification requires passing rigorous oral and written exams.

Are “extreme makeovers” routine in plastic surgery practices?

Contrary to what reality shows portray, extreme makeovers are far from routine or common in plastic surgery. Most patients inquire about one particular area of the body that they would like to improve.

During your consultation, your surgeon will ask you a series of questions to gain an understanding of your goals for plastic surgery and discuss them with you on a realistic basis.

Our job is to perform your surgery as safely as possible without additional risks such as prolonged operating time. This will also include a comprehensive medical history evaluation and lab tests to rule out possible risk factors before surgery.

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