Choosing a Surgeon

Cosmetic Surgery & Choosing the Surgeon:  HOW DO I BEGIN?

As insiders, there are several criteria that should enter into the choice of a surgeon.

1) Finding a Talented Plastic Surgeon 

The first criterion is finding a competent and talented plastic surgeon: Is the surgeon highly capable at performing the most advanced plastic surgery?  You should look at their training if you are familiar with training programs. Look at whether the sureon trains others, teachs others in the performing of surgery, or whether they are recognized by their peers as an outstanding plastic surgeon (Recognized to give talks at National Cosmetic Surgery meetings).  Have they had surgical fellows(physicians) who have spent time with them in a surgical apprenticeship?  Do they have a medical school academic appointment in a surgical field, do they teach and provide surgical instruction as an adjunct to professional meetings, How much surgery have they performed, how long does the procedure take them, and how long will you be on the table(Maximum of 4 hours)?  Do they take precautions such as devices on your legs to prevent blood clots?

2) Surgeon who Genuinely Cares

Find the Surgeon who genuinely cares about their patients and what their patients really desire? Are they readily available or do you go through a receptionist or a call service to reach them?  Do you feel that they know YOU and care about your surgical journey. Do they give you their phone number if you need them? This is important as you pursue your dreams and expect support from your doctor.  Your doctor should not just show up, perform surgery and disappear. Your doctor should listen to your needs, help you make decisions and support as well as abide by  your decisions?  CHECK Availability before AND after surgery.

3) A Surgeon who is Current in the Field

Talented Surgeon

Is the Surgeon current in his field?  Does the surgeon attend meetings, keep up with new products, and most importantly, remain competent in the latest surgical advances in the field such as the far safer and effective tumescent liposuction for local anesthesia in breast surgery, face lifts, tummy tucks?  You do your homework and so should the surgeon. All doctors need to keep up with rapidly advancing improvements in today’s medicine.  Does the staff prepare you prior to surgery (stopping certain medications that cause bleeding)?  Give you written directions for before and after surgery?

4) Where is Your Surgery Performed?

SURGERY:  Where your surgery is performed is an important question. Is the liposuction surgery done in a dedicated room in the office?  Or is the surgery performed in an Approved Surgical Facility with Registered Nurses and Physician Anesthesiologists. It is important to check your state licensing facilities to find out what type of facility is being used by the surgeon and what safeguards the facility has for your welfare. Does the surgery happen in assembly line style or with you, the patient, carefully, singly, provided for?   Is the surgery performed in a hospital, with less personal staff and less cosmetic surgery-familiar staff, with more opportunity to be exposed to MRSA infection? Is your privacy maintained with private access to your car afterward? Do the staff make you feel special with the finest care? What type of anesthesia will be performed and by whom?


5) Does Your Doctor Give a Clear Explanation of Charges?

PROBLEMATIC TACTICS: Does your doctor give a clear explanation of charges?  If the surgeon quotes on price and charges other add-ons later, you should inquire further.  No bait and switch tactics to get you in the door should be overlooked.  Also, be cautious about negative comments on Google as often in the highly competitive cosmetic surgery field, false comments are posted in competitive markets against a competent competitor.  Once there, they are never removed whether they are true or not.  Do your evaluation more carefully.  Look up your doctor’s education and “Curriculum Vitae.”  There you will find the contributions made to their field such as peer-reviewed articles and book chapters, their education, academic and other honors, awards, teaching, organization membership.  Lastly, don’t necessarily base your decision on the surgeon charging the lowest fees.  For example, we have seen patients go to cheaper Mexico and come back sporting enormous scars, infections, and other complications. We take care of their complications.  It was not cheap after totaling the further expenses incurred and emotional drain of the unexpected problems.

6) Check Your Doctor Out

Lastly, actually check your doctor out.  Make an appointment and during this time assess his/her character, personality and bedside manner.  Assess what approaches the physician makes to your problem and how they will solve it.  Does the doctor listen to you and honor your choices and decisions?  Do you feel comfortable with this person?  How does the surgeon represent himself?  Is their office attractive, clean, comfortable, patient-oriented?  Are his staff friendly and interested in you as an individual? Do they seek to practice at a high level of thoroughness?  Do you feel as though you are joining a caring family?



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