If you are considering plastic surgery, it is important to know that not all surgeons are created equal. There are specifics that you will want to look for such as board certification, good communication and positive results.
Board Certification and Affiliations Do Matter!
Did you know that different types of doctors, such as dermatologists, general surgeons and ENTs, can perform cosmetic procedures? While these physicians are legally permitted to perform these types of procedures, they do not have the specialized training that is used in plastic surgery.
Take into consideration these facts when deciding on your plastic surgeon:
- If your potential plastic surgeon is claiming to be “board certified,” it is very important to take a closer look at the exact type of certification they have. Is their certification specifically targeted to plastic surgery or in some other area of medicine?
- Is their board certification with the American Board of Plastic Surgery? To get this certification, plastic surgeons must show proof of their education, training and skills. They are tested rigorously and are required to have continuing education to keep their certification.
In addition to board certification, you will also want a surgeon who is certified and affiliated with professional organizations in areas pertaining to cosmetic and plastic surgery. To become members of certain groups and organizations, a surgeon must exude exemplary skills and training and have the utmost ethical standards. One of the organizations that you will want to look for is membership with the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. A vital question that some patients forget to address is hospital affiliation. A surgeon has to meet strict requirements to perform surgeries in hospitals, and if your surgeon does not have an affiliation with a hospital, it is a big red flag. Even if you’re having a plastic surgery procedure at an outpatient clinic, which is very common, it is worth asking where the doctor has hospital privileges, because hospitals complete background checks that you can check out when necessary.
Open Communication is Vital
We all have people we instantly connect with, and some we just don’t! If you can’t imagine sharing your most intimate details with your surgeon, he or she is probably not the right person for you. Your surgeon is going to need to know your medical history, current medications and other information that may be uncomfortable. In addition to baring your soul, you will also have to reveal the parts of your body that you are most embarrassed about. This is no easy task. Knowing that you can trust the surgeon to be professional, confidential and compassionate are key to having a successful partnership.
Your surgeon should be open to your questions, giving you honest answers and knowledgeable advice. You may be wondering how you are supposed to know if you are getting good information and not being played. Here are a few things you can look for to help you gauge your interaction with your surgeon:
- Does the surgeon encourage you to ask questions?
- Are the surgeon’s answers to your questions realistic?
- Is the surgeon friendly, yet confident and professional?
- Does your surgeon discuss your procedure thoroughly, including the possibility of a second surgery and what your financial responsibility will be if that happens?
- Does the surgeon suggest other procedures unrelated to the one you are interested in? Example: The surgeon suggests a neck lift when you have come in looking for liposuction.
Look For Results
Most plastic surgeons will have a photo book or website gallery filled with before and after photos of patients. You will want to view the photos of the procedure you are considering. Ask questions to see if you are a similar body type or if can expect the same results as those in the photos. Check out testimonials to see if previous patients are pleased with the outcome of their procedure performed by the surgeon. Most importantly, you need to have realistic expectations. Everyone is different, bodies are different, the healing process is different and therefore, the results each person will experience are going to be different.
Dr. Huddleston is a board certified plastic surgeon, serving the Tri-Cities for over two decades in Kingsport, TN. Dr. Huddleston holds the highest standards in patient care and safety. He is honest, straightforward about his recommendations and strives for the best possible results which are natural, healthy and beautiful. If you have any questions or would like to schedule a free consultation with Dr. Huddleston, please contact our office today.