Read these 6 Choosing A Cosmetic Surgeon Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Cosmetic Surgery tips and hundreds of other topics.
The doctor has just asked you so many questions you feel like you did on that first date when your girlfriend's parents grilled you about your grades, your younger bro who had that stinkbomb incident in school, your college plans and even your shoe size. Unlike that first-date interview, you can actually turn the question tables on your plastic surgeon. Some questions to ask:
I can get a facelift from any plastic surgeon, you think, just like I can get a good burrito from a burger chain. Wrong. With HMOs, insurance companies and health care bureaucracies, it's more difficult to get approval to see a specialist, but if you need to repair a blocked artery, you don't go to a general practitioner--you change your diet and you go to a cardiologist.
If you want facial plastic surgery, when you're choosing a cosmetic surgeon, you'll have better results if you choose a cosmetic surgeon who specializes in facial plastic and cosmetic surgery. That's your plastic surgeon's expertise. While you can choose someone who juggles breast implants, butt lifts and blepharoplasty, there's something to be said for focus. Make sure that the board certified plastic surgeon you select has specialized training in the specific procedures you select.
Several surgeons, for example, say, "Facial surgery only." Check the plastic surgeon's education and training. Has she completed courses and training in facial plastic surgery, such as jaw surgery and rhinoplasty, not to mention face lifts? If she has, she's the surgeon for you. So while you're waiting to see that cardiologist because of eating one too many burritos from burger chains, skip through the plastic surgery directory to "facelifts" or "facial plastic surgery."
Are you thinking about responding to that ad in the local paper for liposuction? Better not, unless the ad mentions the golden phrase, "board certified plastic surgeon," and mentions that the cosmetic surgeon has the approval of the American Board of Plastic Surgery, the major accountability organization for plastic surgeons and their patients.
What does it mean if a plastic surgeon is board certified? It usually means:
He's all smiles, but is that because he cares about you or because he gave himself lip injections? While Patch Adams may have cured patients with humor and understanding, you don't want the Joker as played by Jack Nicholson for a plastic surgeon. You want to be treated with courtesy and respect, but your cosmetic surgeon is not meant to be your therapist or your best friend.
You're choosing a cosmetic surgeon who can perform the best procedure, who puts your interests first. Usually, that means canning the chatter and the golf stories in favor of telling you that you don't need breast enlargement because Pam Anderson would even say it's too much. We've known surgeons who don't make chitchat with patients, but who are absolutely straightforward in assessing the benefits, risks and costs of plastic surgery. If you do find a personable cosmetic surgeon who doesn't make you feel like just another number, great. But we rate other facts higher than the ability to make you smile:
Your chances of having a grievance against your plastic surgeon are as good as your chances of dying in a plane crash. Thousands of men and women have plastic surgery every day, and millions of people fly worldwide despite long lines and security checkpoints. However, if the unthinkable happens and you do need to file a grievance against your board certified plastic surgeon, do your homework in advance. Check your state's medical licensing board at http://www.fsmb.org/members.htm or the licensing board in the country where you live. Also, ask your board certified plastic surgeon whether or not the surgery center where she practices is accredited by The American Association for Accreditation For Ambulatory Surgery Facilities (AAAASF) or Accreditation Association of Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC). Ask the staff what policies exist for filoing grievances.
Do your research on your cosmetic surgeon. Do grievances and lawsuits exist, and what is the status? Bear in mind that many grievances and lawsuits are brought because the patient had unrealistic expectations. Make sure you document your dealings with the cosmetic surgeon and make notes after each visit. Request copies of your files and your before and after photos. You'll probably never need to use this information, but it's helpful for your medical records. After all, should you survive a plane crash and need your face reconstructed, it's helpful to have peace of mind.
Just because your gym has a weight room, that doesn't mean it doesn't have aerobics classes. It's all part of health. Similarly, your board certified plastic surgeon usually has a background in dermatologic procedures. In fact, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, it's mandatory for your board certified plastic surgeon to have extensive skill in: