Cosmetic Surgeon – How to find one
Your body should be protected at every stage of the choosing cosmetic surgeon process, but while we know that, it’s not always clear just how we can protect ourselves when it comes to our doctor choice.
Choosing the cosmetic surgery surgeon is a difficult process, but it should be. When you want the best results and the minimal risks, you need to know that your body is in the best hands (literally and figuratively) possible.
Some resources for finding your starter list of potential candidates include:
Friends and family If anyone has already had plastic surgery, why not ask them who they like and what they’ve heard about doctors to stay away from?
Your health insurance Though most health insurances companies will not pay for cosmetic surgeries that are deemed unnecessary, those who are listed in your provider plan have been checked out and approved by your health care company.
Your primary care doctor Check with your everyday physician to see who they recommend for your surgery.
Websites More often than ever, surgeons are listed on websites of hospitals in your area, along with their CV and their credentials. This will help you begin to see who’s in your area.
Hospitals You can also call around the local hospitals to see if there’s any surgeon who’s more popular than others.
Nurses, especially operating room nurses Since these are the nurses who see the cosmetic surgeons every day, you might want to check with them to see who they recommend. Just call a hospital to talk with the nursing supervisor and then to an OR nurse.
Once you have a list of candidates, you need to condense this list into the best possible candidates. First of all, check their credentials with a background check and a call to the local medical boards. While this seems a little superfluous, many doctors do practice without a current license, so you need to double check to see that your doctor’s certifications are current and ready to help you.
You will also want to find the resumes of the surgeons you are considering. Look to see where they have practiced and whether they have been at the current practice for a while. You want to see whether the surgeon is stable and steady in their work record as a spotty record might be a sign of past lawsuits or discipline issues.
Check to see if they are a member of the American Board of Plastic Surgery. You can find this information easily online or call the board directly to find out the information and what it takes to become a member.
Also, find out where they are able to practice. Often, cosmetic surgeons will work out of their own surgical facility or be affiliated with a hospital – or both.
WHEN YOU’RE AT YOUR COSMETIC SURGEON CONSULTATION
Once you’ve decided on a few doctors that sound reasonable, it’s time to set up consultations. These visits are generally free of charge or have a minimal co-pay as directed by your health insurance.
At these appointments, ask to see pictures of past satisfied patients who have had the same procedures as you wish to have.
This will give you a general idea of what kind of surgical style the cosmetic surgeon has and what you will be able to expect.
In addition, you should ask about their rate of success, their rate of infection, and their current morbidity rates. While these might be tough questions to ask, you need to make sure that you’re not going to someone who has troubles with keeping their patients healthy.
You will also want to ask about recovery times and what you can expect in terms of the surgery, the pain levels, and the rate of healing. This will help you understand their opinions based on examining you.
And they will examine you in this visit, in most cases.
You should be honest about what you want fixed and how you see your body looking at the end of the procedures.
This will help the doctor understand what you need from them and then they can decide whether or not they are the best person for the job.
If you can, try to see if you can contact previous patients to see how happy they are. Don’t necessarily rely on the brochures and the advertisements
that you see for the surgeon’s office. Try to talk to real people about their experiences with this surgeon.
Other things to look for in a cosmetic surgeon include:
Friendly manner If you’re comfortable with a doctor, you’re more likely to have an open dialogue that helps you get what you want and helps to calm your fears.
Patience with your questions You want a cosmetic surgeon that is willing to answer your questions and make you feel at home.
Non-pushy attitude Some surgeons like to make you feel as though you need to have more work done. Don’t work with a cosmetic surgeon who makes you feel like you need to have additional and unnecessary procedures. Some might be necessary, which is why you want to go to several doctors to hear several opinions to see who you believe.
A compassionate staff Since you will be dealing with the office workers and nurses as well, you need to be certain they make you feel comfortable too.
You will also want to bring up the payment plan during this appointment, as well as an estimate of the work that you want done. By doing this, if your insurance will not chip in, you can begin to negotiate a financing plan, if they have one available.
In the end, trust your intuition when it comes to your doctor choice. If you don’t feel comfortable or you just feel as though something is ‘off,’ try to find another cosmetic surgeon. Chances are good that your hunch is right.