It’s easy to spot a bad plastic surgeon…but what about a great one? And not only a great one, but the right one for your breast augmentation?
The answer is probably a lot simpler than you think—here are the sure signs of a professional and competent plastic surgeon.
These terms get lumped together a lot, but there’s actually a massive difference between cosmetic and plastic surgeons.
Say you’re a doctor—maybe a general practitioner, maybe a podiatrist. Either way, one day you wake up and decide, hey, there’s more money in cosmetic surgery.
You might be shocked to hear this, but just about any doctor can enroll in a weekend cosmetic surgery “course,” and by the start of the next work week he’s leaving as a “board-certified” cosmetic surgeon.
I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t trust a mechanic whose only practical experience is a 2-day class. And I certainly wouldn’t trust a doctor with that little experience.
Fact is, comparing cosmetic surgeons to plastic surgeons is like night and day.
First of all, the American Medical Board doesn’t even recognize cosmetic surgery as a legitimate specialty!
A true, blue, certified plastic surgeon has undergone years and years of rigorous, hands-on training before they’re allowed to practice. Board-certification takes even longer and it’s even more difficult.
So when you’re shopping around for a surgeon, please, please be sure to double-check their certification—are they a cosmetic surgeon from an online school, or are they a hardworking, dedicated plastic surgeon?
If their certificate doesn’t have the American Society of Plastic Surgery logo, it’s next to worthless.
Besides being board-certified, a fantastic indicator of whether your surgeon is nationally recognized as a top-notch healthcare providers is his membership in the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS).
ASAPS is invitation-only, so their certificate means your surgeon is known and vouched for throughout the medical community.
Among others, the society’s goals include patient advocacy and both medical and public education.
The other major benefit of choosing an ASAPS member as your doctor is that…
Despite the fact that private office surgery centers are safe, most of them are not accredited. ASAPS doctors all operate in either Medicare-certified or state-licensed facilities.
Plus, hospital privileges are yet another insurance policy. It means that a hospital committee feels confident enough in your surgeon to let him use their facilities.
Certifications are all great, but the best surgeons get results that speak for themselves. Once you know your doc is the real deal, also make sure he…
Even though a recommendation from a friend is always a good sign, you have to realize that every body and procedure is different.
Your best bet is to ask the doctor to see before-and-after photos of patients with very similar body structure to yours.
If you have narrow shoulders, find women with narrow shoulders. If you have an asymmetrical chest, find “before” shots of women with asymmetrical breasts. Now look at the “after” pictures. If the breasts in those photographs are close to your ideal, you’re in the right place—your surgeon is more likely to adapt his procedure to your unique body and vision.
And speaking of your needs, ask yourself…
This one is simple—do you like talking to your doctor?
Is the rest of his staff friendly? Knowledgeable? Is the office clean? Does he spend as much time with you as necessary? Answer all of your questions? Does he give you realistic expectations for the surgery, including any risks?
Do you feel comfortable around him? Comfortable enough to discuss your full medical history and exact expectations for the procedure? Do you trust him?
Sometimes good doctors and good patients just don’t “click.” But you’re going to be seeing your surgeon a lot—from consultation to procedure to follow-ups—so it’s vital to pick one who really “gets” you. When in doubt, go with your gut instinct.
Finally, make sure that…
Don’t be ashamed to talk about price up front…and definitely ask before you make a commitment.
You should be suspicious of fees that are way too low or very high. The last thing you want is a cheap, poorly performed operation, leaving you in need of another surgery to fix mistakes from the first one. Expensive surgeries are usually performed by “celebrity” doctors that care more about money than they do about you.
That being said…it’s best to choose a surgeon based on professionalism, comfort, credentials, and experience—not cost.