Nutri-logics: Help for selecting a cosmetic surgeon

CARTHAGE, Mo. — Most females seem to resort to one of the four methods for choosing their surgeon for cosmetic surgery: articles from fashion magazines, finding out where celebrities went, getting a referral from a “friend of a friend,” and last but not least … checking out the doctors who advertise their services. Though these ideas may not be the absolute “worst,” they should only comprise the beginning of the search process, at best.

Take the time to get GOOD consumer information … draw up a comprehensive list of questions to ask so you’ll know your options; know which procedures will truly meet your needs, what are the risks and advantages, ad which doctors are performing the safest, most reliable and current procedures. The “latest” method may not always be the best method … I certainly wouldn’t want to be among the “guinea pigs” to help “gain practice” on a new technique!

Not shockingly, physicians tend to downplay the risks involved with most procedures. Before you decide on what to have done, please check the internet under “plastic surgeries gone bad …” At this point, you will know JUST HOW committed you are to the results desired!

Each and every surgical procedure has risks – anywhere from 1-5% of patients encounter some problems or a negative outcome. You must decide if it is worth the gamble of your being one of those statistical percentages. If the surgery goes bad in some way or produces less than idea results, the patient usually has to pay AGAIN to get it corrected. I can’t help, too, but wonder if those percentages are actually considerably higher than published BECAUSE why then do plastic surgeons make sure that every procedure is paid in full before patients go under the knife … curious, don’t you think?

Cosmetic vs. Plastic: the difference

What is the difference between a plastic surgeon and a board certified plastic surgeon? A lot! The issues here would be training and credentials … although a doctor may offer cosmetic, plastic or aesthetic surgery, he or she may not be board certified to perform that surgery. The person could literally be a dermatologist, pediatrician or gynecologist with no training in cosmetic surgery whatsoever. What “Board Certified” means is that the doctor has gone through a very specific and extensive training in a specialized field and passed different exams by aboard of experts in that field. Another “plus” about the Board Certified designation is that they are privileged to perform their craft at an accredited hospital. Even though it seems that most cosmetic surgeons perform procedures in their own offices, it’s good assurance to know that they have reached a skill level that commands working at the best facilities.

A non-Board Certified cosmetic or plastic surgeon may be self-taught and lack formal and extensive training in that field. It is completely fair to ask your doctor if they are board certified in plastic/reconstructive surgery.

Also, make sure to see if your doctor is a member of the ABPS (American Board of Plastic Surgeons). Check on the web to find out if he/she is board certified via http://www.plasticsurgery.org … can’t do any harm, right!? To be certified by the ABPS, a doctor must have at least five or six years of approved surgical training, inclusive of a two to three year residency in plastic surgery. They must also have been in practice for at least two years and pass comprehensive oral and written exams.

What to ASK?

Do your research homework, then feel free to fire away! Here are just a few examples of what to ask …

How many procedures of this type do you do in a given month?

How many surgeries do you routinely do in a day? If it is more than three watch out as the doctor you choose may not be starting and finishing the surgery … you pay him and want him from start to finish!

Make certain the doctor you consult with is truly the one doing your procedure all the way through – you don’t want him leaving or an “attending” taking over.

Ask the doctor if he charges for “re-do’s” and “touch-ups”… if he goofed, you shouldn’t have to pay!

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