Your body and health are the most important things in the world. In my experience, you should never risk the integrity of these qualities by setting your life on the table of an unqualified, disreputable plastic surgeon.
Fortunately for the everyday person seeking cosmetic surgery, there are plenty of self-checks you can make on a doctor. You don’t have to know anything about cosmetic surgery to protect yourself, either.
To help avoid life-altering crises, here are two different strategies every patient should use when it comes time to track down a certified, reputable plastic surgeon:
Domestically, every reputable plastic surgeon is licensed by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. This certification shows that surgeons went to an accredited school, completed five years of residency, and has all of the necessary training. If you come across a surgeon saying he or she holds a “board” certification but not by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, assume that the surgeon is hiding something.
In addition, plastic surgeons should be able to perform their work inside of accredited hospitals, not just their personal offices and surgery centers.
The Patient Approach
Today, most patients assume that anyone who claims to know what he or she is doing is certified enough to ruin their lives. This is the worst-case scenario when you wind up with a dishonest surgeon, though there are plenty of non-technical methods for weaseling out the truth. Some of these include:
- Meet with the doctor before scheduling an operation. They should take their time addressing any concerns you may have without selling you on treatments, which leads us to the next point.
- Don’t trust deals, discounts, and favors. The majority of plastic surgeons in the U.S. have comparable rates based on experience, and few (if any) offer deals.
- Ask to see before and after pictures of other patients who underwent similar operations.
- It’s also important to check up on the doctor’s history. With a simple Google search, you can find reviews, testimonials, and any media mentions of a surgeon. Find any red flags?
- Ask for references once you go into the office. This way, you can get a personal review from a colleague or former patient. If anything, this proves that a plastic surgeon is legitimate.
Finally, it’s crucial that you feel right about a consultation and a surgeon. What’s your comfort level? Did the plastic surgeon hide from questions? Do you feel completely out of place, nervous, and cheated?
If this is the case, the odds are always in your gut’s favor. The patient has the power in these circumstances, and if at any time something feels wrong, then get out. It’s as simple as that.