Selecting a Plastic Surgeon
Plastic surgery is making a significant presence in our society. TV programs, like Nip/Tuck, have brought the reality of plastic surgery to our homes. The procedures can now be watched at the leisure of our living rooms. This has allowed the public to become more aware of what is available to enhance our appearance. It has also developed some pitfalls. The reality shows gives a somewhat false representation of outcomes and recoveries.
Today the major downfall in cosmetic surgery has been the rising number of untrained, non-plastic surgeons performing cosmetic procedures. Who is doing your plastic surgery!
Plastic surgeons are doctors who following medical school, have done from three to six years of general surgery residency followed by a two to three year residency in a certified plastic surgery program. The programs have to be accredited by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. A plastic surgeon that completes this residency training is now qualified to sit for their plastic surgery boards. The surgeon has to successfully complete a written and oral examination to become board certified in plastic surgery. Don’t be fooled by “I’m a board certified surgeon”. There are several different board certifications in surgery.
Once a plastic surgeon becomes boarded, they have to maintain their certification by continuing medical education credits and are held accountable by an ethics board. If these are not met then they can lose their certification.
Plastic surgeons spend years in training to become qualified in performing plastic/cosmetic surgeries. These surgeries may include breast surgery (breast augmentation, breast lifts, breast reductions, and breast reconstruction), body contouring (tummy tucks, liposuction, thigh and arm lifts), facial surgery (facelifts, eyelid surgery, forehead lifts) to just name a few.
When you decide to have cosmetic surgery, do your homework. Some people spend more time researching a new car than they do the person who is going to perform surgery on their bodies.
The first question you should ask your potential cosmetic surgeon is: Are you a plastic surgeon? If the answer is no you may want to consider leaving. If the answer is yes, the next question is: Are you certified by THE AMERICAN BOARD OF PLASTIC SURGERY. If the answer is yes, then discuss his experience in the procedure you are requesting. Sometimes it is helpful if you know a previous patient of the plastic surgeon or question your primary care doctor if he has any knowledge of the plastic surgeon.
Once in consultation, the plastic surgeon should recommend what procedure best fits your particular problem and discuss the procedure thoroughly. The risks, benefits, and potential alternatives should also be explained. There should not be any pressure from the surgeon to do the surgery or other surgeries at the same time. The cost should be given and what the cost covers. The final decision is yours!
A plastic surgeon should have at least six years of training, two years minimum of plastic surgery training . Their training and experience uniquely qualifies them to perform cosmetic surgery.