7 Factors to Consider When Choosing Plastic Surgeons

choosing plastic surgeons

The top five cosmetic surgeries performed in 2020 were nose jobs, eyelid surgeries, facelifts, liposuction, and breast augmentations.

Are you interested in undergoing one of these procedures this year? If so, you may be in the process of choosing plastic surgeons.

Yet, considering the many options for surgeons, you may feel overwhelmed with your search. We want to make your search a little bit easier, and that’s why we created this guide.

Looking for plastic surgeons near me? Then keep reading this article for the top seven things to consider during your search.

1. Plastic Surgery Qualifications

Undergraduate and Medical Degree: The journey to becoming a plastic surgeon begins with obtaining an undergraduate degree followed by an M.D. from an accredited medical school.

Surgical Residency: After completing medical school, aspiring plastic surgeons must dedicate three years to surgical residency training.

Specialized Training: Following general surgical residency, plastic surgeons embark on three additional years of specialized training in the field of plastic surgery to achieve full accreditation.

ABPS Certification: Upon successfully completing residency and fellowship, plastic surgeons must obtain certification from the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS). This certification is crucial as it is the sole board in the United States authorized to certify plastic surgeons. Choosing an ABPS-certified plastic surgeon ensures their adherence to the highest standards in the field.

American College of Surgeons Fellowship: For added assurance, consider selecting a plastic surgeon who is a fellow of the American College of Surgeons. Such fellowships demonstrate the surgeon’s advanced training in specific areas like pediatric or aesthetic plastic surgery.

2. Special Certifications

All of the above certifications are more than sufficient to prove a cosmetic surgeon’s qualifications. But if you want to go one step further, only choose surgeons who are members of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.

This membership shows the surgeon has undergone the proper training to administer cosmetic procedures. It also shows the doctor possesses high ethical standards and works in an approved surgical facility.

3. Disciplinary History

You don’t want to choose the plastic surgeon of your dreams just to find out he or she has a history of scamming patients. That’s why it’s critical to check out surgeons’ malpractice and disciplinary history before making a final decision.

Malpractice is when a doctor acts illegally or negligently during a professional exchange. For example, ordering unnecessary cosmetic surgery and/or making an error during a routine procedure can both be considered malpractice.

Check out your state website to search for malpractice claims against your chosen cosmetic surgeon.

4. Plastic Surgery Experience and Expertise

When it comes to any type of medical procedure, experience and expertise matter. You don’t want to hire a doctor who’s only performed plastic surgery for a year. And you also don’t want to hire a plastic surgeon for a nose job when his or her expertise lies in breast augmentation.

The more years your plastic surgeon has practiced, the better his or her skills will be. And the higher likelihood you’ll love the final outcome. The same thing goes with the number of times your surgeon has performed the procedure(s) you want to undergo.

Another reason experience and expertise matter? Plastic surgery can be risky. The more experience and expertise your surgeon has, the better he or she can prevent complications or reduce the impact should complications occur.

During your initial consultation, ask your doctor how many years he or she has practiced. Then, ask about the number of times he or she has performed the procedure you want to have done. You may also want to ask for complication rates and before-and-after pictures.

5. Referrals

If you want to skip all of the above steps, you can simply ask your primary care provider for a cosmetic surgeon referral. Your doctor will know reputable and trustworthy professionals in the area.

You could also ask family and friends. Did your cousin or acquaintance recently get a nose job, and you love the results? If so, it’s a great idea to ask for a referral to his or her doctor.

Of course, reading online reviews can always help, too. Pay special attention to reviewers who post their before-and-after photos. These photos can serve as concrete evidence of your chosen plastic surgeon’s skills (or lack thereof).

6. Insurance Coverage

When comparing surgery costs, consider this: most insurance providers don’t offer coverage for cosmetic surgeries. According to Cigna, insurance sometimes covers facial reconstructive surgery. However, to qualify, the procedure must:

  • Improve your physical function
  • Correct a congenital defect
  • Correct an injury or disfigurement obtained during an accident

Some insurance plans may also cover breast reduction services if breast size causes significant pain. Breast reconstruction after a mastectomy is also often covered. Rhinoplasties (i.e., nose jobs) may be covered if they’re shown to increase your ability to breathe.

7. Personal Preference

There’s one thing online reviews, references, and even before and after pictures can never tell you about a plastic surgeon: comfort. Always choose a plastic surgeon you trust and feel comfortable around.

Once you have a shortlist of cosmetic surgeons you like, schedule an in-person consultation with each of them. Plastic surgery facilities like La Belle Vie even offer complimentary consultations for all prospective patients.

During your consultation, pay attention to your doctor’s communication style, professionalism, and staff. Particularly look for surgeons who offer you all of your options and are willing to explain concepts you don’t understand. 

Choosing Plastic Surgeons Is Easy With This Guide

When selecting a plastic surgeon, prioritize verifying their professional qualifications and certifications. Disciplinary history, along with a proven track record of experience and expertise, should weigh heavily in your decision-making process.

To ensure a well-rounded decision, seek referrals from trusted sources and consider scheduling an initial consultation. This not only allows you to gauge compatibility with the surgeon but also provides an opportunity to inquire about insurance coverage for the planned procedure.

Are you searching for a plastic surgeon in Wilmington, NC? Get in touch with La Belle Vie today to request your complimentary consultation.

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