6 Tips on How to Find a Plastic Surgeon
If you’re considering plastic surgery, do your homework before you get a procedure done.
Maybe you’ve decided to get liposuction for your thighs, or maybe you’ve decided to correct a deviated septum, or fix something else that’s been on your mind for a while. Of course if you’re going to have any work done, as the cool kids say, you’re going to have it done by a plastic surgeon. Every once in awhile there’s a horror story or three in the news about people pretending to be plastic surgeons or doctors who claim they’re a plastic surgeon and it turns out they’re really a dentist. They get jail time and their patients have to endure painful reconstructive surgery. How do make sure you’ve got someone who’s competent and good at their job? Research! Do lots of research before you even meet the doctor.
Dr. Adam D. Schaffner is a New York City based plastic surgeon who’s been interviewed by ABC’s Good Morning America, The CBS Evening News and is one of the few plastic surgeons who has been board certified in both facial plastic surgery and head and neck surgery. He’s been listed in the Guide to America’s Top Surgeons by the Consumer Research Council, Marquis Who’s Who in America and other publications as a top plastic surgeon in his field.
Dr. Schaffner explains what you should look for when finding a plastic surgeon. Here’s his list of what you should look for in a doctor.
1. Make sure your surgeon is board certified in plastic surgery (not just board certified in an unrelated specialty).
Make sure that he or she specializes in the area in which you want plastic surgery. If he or she doesn’t specialize in what you want done, don’t have it done.
2. Is the doctor affiliated with a hospital?
Only those surgeons who are properly trained to perform a given procedure may perform that procedure in a hospital. If the doctor tells you that you can go to any emergency room if there’s a problem, he’s not affiliated with a hospital and that is a major warning sign that you shouldn’t ignore.
3. Make sure the plastic surgeon works in an accredited facility.
Accredited means the facility has been inspected by one of the recognized accrediting organizations and meets strict standards designed to protect patients. If the facility is not accredited, it may not be fully prepared to handle emergencies which arise.
4. Ask for photos.
When sitting down with your prospective doctor, ask to see before and after photos of his patients of the procedure you’re thinking about having done. Really look at the photos of how they look. Ask if you can contact the patients to talk to them about their experience. If the doctor doesn’t have a lot of photos, or is reluctant to either show them to you or doesn’t want you to contact a previous patient, go elsewhere.
5. Does your surgeon teach?
If your plastic surgeon has an academic appointment and teaches other doctors how to perform plastic surgery, consider that a bonus. If your surgeon tells you these things are not important, look elsewhere.
You know you can find anything, even your ex-boyfriends on the web, right? Well google your prospective plastic surgeon. If you google “plastic surgeon ratings” or “plastic surgeon complaints” or any derivative of those two, you’ll find a wealth of information from patient experiences to state ratings.
As Dr. Schaffner says, “Remember – you only get one body and one life. It is always harder and more expensive to try to correct problems than it is to get it right the first time. You should also know that sometimes it is impossible to correct deformities resulting from improperly performed procedures. Do your homework. You’ll be glad you did when you look in the mirror after your procedure.”
Tell us: have you considered plastic surgery?
PJ Gach is Senior Editor: Style + Beauty at BettyConfidential.