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Choosing Your Cosmetic Surgeon, you get what you pay for

You’re about to spend $1,000s on some life-changing surgery, make sure the Cosmetic Surgeon you choose is right for you, and the procedure you’re planning.

Your highest priority should be on finding the best provider for your specific needs. Specifically:
•    Choose a surgeon with an abundance of experience and documentation of previous surgeries. •    For a plastic surgery procedure, choose a plastic surgeon rather than a doctor from another specialty that performs plastic surgery.
•    It is important to ensure that the physician you choose understands the goals you have in mind and agrees that they are realistic and attainable.
•    Make sure your surgery will be performed in a properly credentialed operating room.
•    It is important to select a physician who is using high quality products (such as implants) from a reputable manufacturer.
•    Be wary of physicians who offer pricing significantly lower than national or regional averages or bargain/gimmicky prices, such as Groupon or “deal of the day” offers.
•    Be certain that the quoted price you receive includes all expenses (i.e., no hidden fees).

How to Find the Right Cosmetic Surgeon for You
Your choice of cosmetic surgeon will be a choice you live with for years, if not your entire life. A successful procedure will make you feel more like yourself and give you greater confidence for years to come. On the other hand, ending up in the hands of an inexperienced surgeon increases your chances of having poor results, which can lead to additional costs, time, and heartache.

1. Make sure the cosmetic surgeon is board certified
Many people think they can depend on state medical boards to ensure that surgeons are qualified to perform the procedures they advertise, but the fact is that the government does not require a surgeon to be specifically trained in the procedures they offer. This problem is most acute in the area of cosmetic surgery, as many doctors with general surgery or other medical training hop on the cosmetic surgery bandwagon in pursuit of greater profits. Ask each surgeon you interview: are you board certified by the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery? (or similar).

2. Confirm the surgeon’s experience in the specific procedures you want Each area of cosmetic surgery requires different skills: you can imagine how operating on a nose with bone, cartilage, and breathing passages would be quite different from operating on a breast, which is primarily comprised of soft tissue. Given this, cosmetic surgeons can have subspecialties within the field.

3. Choose a surgeon whose aesthetic sense appeals to you
We all know that what one person finds beautiful may be unattractive to another. For this reason, you can’t just trust a friend’s recommendation or solely depend on the cosmetic surgeon’s experience. You need to look carefully at the results for each surgeon you interview.
How to determine a cosmetic surgeon’s
aesthetic sense:
•    Look at before & after photos. Compare each doctor’s results for the procedure you want. Which surgeon’s results appeal to you personally?
•    Pay closest attention to patients who have similar qualities to you (Consider taking a selfie to your consultation for reference):
•    Facial procedures: look for patients who have a similar facial structure, are around your age, and have some of the same concerns, whether it’s a sagging neck or prominent hump on the nose.
•    Breast procedures: look for patients who have a similar torso and breast shape. For instance, if you have narrow shoulders and widely-spaced, small, asymmetrical breasts, patients with those qualities in the before images will give you a better sense of how that surgeon tailors a procedure to patients with your concerns and body type.
•    Body procedures: look for patients with a similar shape to you. If you tend to carry extra weight around your hips, or have a sagging tummy, see how the doctor helped patients like you. Hint: Be open to considering related body procedures, as you may find that a concern you thought could be treated with liposuction is best treated with abdominoplasty.
• Look for consistency in a surgeon’s results for all patients who have had the procedure you are considering. Do their results look like you want to look after your surgery?

4. Pay attention to how the surgeon and staff make you feel
Surgery is a big deal, and there can be curves in the path to your new look. You need to feel 100% comfortable with your cosmetic surgeon and their support team. Choose a cosmetic surgeon whom you like and trust completely with your safety and results.

5. Find out about the operating facility
Your safety during surgery depends in large part on the anesthetist and the operating facility. Accredited operating rooms include key life support systems just in case something goes wrong.

6. Customer service matters too!
You want to be sure you are being served and treated well. Much of this will be obvious a few minutes after you walk in the door of a cosmetic surgeon’s office.
Use this checklist as a guide during your consultation:
• Are you certified by any of the recognized societies or associations?
• Are you a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons?
• Were you trained specifically in the field of plastic surgery?
• How many years of plastic surgery training have you had?
• Do you have hospital privileges to perform this procedure? If so, at which hospitals?
• Is the office-based surgical facility accredited by
a nationally- or state-recognized accrediting agency, or is it state-licensed or Medicare-certified?
• How many procedures of this type have you performed?
• Am I a good candidate for this procedure?
• Where and how will you perform my procedure?
• How long of a recovery period can I expect, and what kind of help will I need during my recovery?
• What are the risks and complications associated with my procedure?
• How are complications handled?
• What are my options if I am dissatisfied with the outcome of my surgery?
• Do you have before-and-after photos I can look at for each procedure and what results are reasonable for me?

Courtesy: www.realself.com and www.westlakedermatology.com
For more information on all aspects of Cosmetic or Plastic Surgery:
American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery: www.surgery.org
American Board of Cosmetic Surgery:
www.americanboardcosmeticsurgery.org
American Society of Plastic Surgeons: www.plasticsurgery.org
American Association of Plastic Surgeons: www.aaps1921.org
American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery: www.cosmeticsurgery.org

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