When choosing a plastic surgeon there are many factors to consider. It's important to find a surgeon who is well-trained, that you feel comfortable with, and someone who will give you reliable recommendations for the surgical procedure that you are considering.
First, make sure that you are seeing a board-certified plastic surgeon. Only board-certified plastic surgeons are certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. This is the only board that is recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS). This is the main governing body that certifies board-certified physicians in many different specialties (Neurosurgery, Dermatology, etc). Beware of physicians certified by a "board of cosmetic surgery," as these are not true board-certified plastic surgeons.
It's important to look at before-and-after photos of the procedures that you are considering. Make sure to look at patients who have similar anatomy. Basically, make sure their before pictures look similar to you! For example, when considering breast augmentation, find women with a similar height, frame size, breast size and shape. These are the best examples of how you could expect to look after the procedure.
Read reviews about your surgeon. RealSelf, Yelp, RateMDs, Vitals, and Healthgrades, are all good resources to evaluate reviews. It's important to read the reviews critically. Are the surgeon's patients writing nonspecific, or generic, comments or are they taking time to educate other prospective patients regarding what to expect. Taking extra time writing their reviews can be another sign of truly happy patients. Not all of the surgeon's reviews need to be five stars. It's okay you have some reviews that are less than perfect.
Your surgeon's training, photographs, and reviews are an essential part of selecting a top surgeon. However, the best plastic surgeon for you is the surgeon with whom you feel most comfortable with. It's not uncommon that I have patients come to my office for consultations after seeing other surgeons. Many feel frustrated that they were rushed through an appointment without a full explanation of the procedure, recovery, risks, or benefits. Your surgeon should take the time to answer all of your questions and should work hard to give you realistic expectations of how you will look after the procedure. Your surgeon should always make you feel comfortable. If you ever feel that you need more explanation regarding a procedure, never hesitate to schedule another consultation with your surgeon.
When considering cosmetic surgery, it never hurts to have more than one consultation. Consider several consultations with board-certified plastic surgeons. This will give you the best opportunity to choose the procedure, and surgeon, that are the best fit for you.
If you are considering cosmetic surgery, call our office, or visit our website, to schedule a consultation today.
Dr. Austin Hayes is a Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon with offices in Portland, Seattle, and Hood River.