What to Look for in a Plastic Surgeon

Opting to have plastic surgery is a very personal decision – one that can alter your life for the better! For this reason, choosing a plastic surgeon is a decision that should not be taken lightly. You want to feel confident that your surgeon will make you feel comfortable and get you as close as possible to your desired results.

Researching plastic surgeons may seem like a daunting task at first. But we have you covered on key qualities to look for in your plastic surgeon! Below is a list of characteristics you should look for in a plastic surgeon:

1. Board Certified or Board Eligible
One of the most important characteristics you should check for is whether or not your surgeon is Board Certified or Board Eligible by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. In order to be certified, doctors must practice rigorously all yearlong and must pass a test that confirms their knowledge in plastic surgery and in their area of specialty. Those who are Board eligible are in good standing with the American Board of Plastic Surgery but have not yet taken the required test, usually because they want more hands-on experience in the field and in their specialty of choice before being certified. You can make sure to ask your surgeon if they are Board Certified during your consultation or by searching online on the American Board of Plastic Surgery website.

2. Experience with Surgery of Interest
It is also important to understand how much experience your surgeon has with your procedure of interest. If you are considering a breast augmentation, for example, you will want to know that your surgeon has performed hundreds of successful breast augmentations with favorable results. Some surgeons choose to focus only on two to three procedures throughout their careers and become experts at those specific procedures. You can typically see what types of procedures a surgeon specializes in by looking at their website or social media channels, where they typically post before and after photos of their work. This is also a question you can ask your surgeon during your consultation.

3. Before and After Photos
Because plastic surgery is such a personal decision, it is likely that the results you are looking for vary tremendously from the patient before you. Looking at a surgeon’s before and after photos can help determine if they will be able to give you the aesthetic you desire. Most surgeons have public Instagram accounts or websites where they display their work for interested patients to see. You can also call ahead of your consultation and ask if your surgeon can provide you with some before and after photos to view during your visit.

4. Good Reviews
Websites like RealSelf.com are dedicated to providing patient reviews of their experiences with surgeons all across the country. These reviews go over a range of personal details that are typically not covered in regular Yelp or Google reviews. Reviews typically also include photos and day-by-day entries from the patient, journaling their experience from start to finish. What’s even better is that RealSelf is a private community, and only registered users can access reviews and comments by other patients. Lots of good reviews from other patients who had the same procedure you are looking into are a good indication that you will have a positive experience with that particular plastic surgeon.

5. Good Opinions from Family and Friends
The best doctors come with great recommendations and typically receive most of their new patients from previous patients’ recommendations. If you have a close friend or family member who recently had a procedure you would like to have and they have great results, ask them if they would recommend their surgeon. Knowing someone close to you had a wonderful experience and loves their surgical results can help put your mind as ease and make you feel more comfortable with your decision.

6. Consultation Availability
Although you don’t need to book an in-person consultation with your surgeon, if you are unsure about whether or not their credentials will shine through in their interactions with you, it might be best to make an in-person appointment with them before booking your procedure. There is no better way to gauge a person’s credibility than by meeting them in person!

7. Good Bedside Manner
Lastly, patients should consider whether or not they “click” with their surgeon. Having any plastic surgery is a serious medical procedure. You want to be sure you feel as safe, comfortable and calm as possible going in. You will likely be in communication with your surgeon before and after your surgery for a considerable amount of time as you are healing. If you feel connected with your surgeon, you are likely to be calmer and more positive during your recovery time, which can help tremendously in streamlining your post-op period. Having a good rapport with your surgeon will help you feel confident in your decision and put the focus on your results and the new and improved you!