First and foremost, make sure your plastic surgeon is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (see: “Why Your Plastic Surgeon Should Be Board-Certified By ABPS”). Once you have verified board certification, further assurance regarding your surgeon’s qualifications can be afforded by his or her membership in the American Society of Plastic Surgery as well as the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery.
The next step is to call and set up a professional consultation. Spend time before your appointment to educate yourself online about your procedure of interest so you know what kinds of questions to ask. If you know someone who works in your local hospital or surgery center, you may want to get some input as to your surgeon’s reputation in a surgical setting. I have heard patients say they don’t necessarily care about a doctor’s bedside manner as long as they are technically sound. I would argue that it is not too much to expect both an excellent bedside manner and great technical ability.
Ultimately, a positive connection with your surgeon and your surgeon’s staff is essential. You should be made to feel comfortable from the minute you step foot into the office. It is also crucial that you feel there is good communication and that all of your questions are answered and explained in a thoughtful and clear manner.
If you need help coming up with quality questions to ask your surgeon, be sure to check out my next blog post where I will provide some direction for the types of questions to ask a prospective plastic surgeon.