How to Pick Your "Cosmetic Surgeon"
The single most important decision a patient makes when deciding to
undergo cosmetic surgery is the choice of your "cosmetic surgeon".
Unfortunately, almost any licensed physician (or dentist in some states)
can perform cosmetic surgery in his office without any formal training.
Medical boards have little jurisdiction over office based surgery so it is up
to the public to be well informed. Much confusion and misinformation
exists in the media regarding how to find a well trained and qualified
surgeon to perform your cosmetic surgery. The following guidelines will
help you find a surgeon who is right for you.
- Make sure your surgeon is certified by the American Board of Plastic
Surgery (ABPS). This is the only recognized board to certify surgeons
in both cosmetic and reconstructive surgery of the entire body (and
face). Other boards may sound similar but there are is only one ABPS.
Call the ABPS directly at 215-587-9322 to verify your surgeon's board
- Be certain your surgeon is a member of the American Society of Plastic
Surgeons (ASPS). The ASPS was established in 1931 and is the oldest
and largest organization of board certified plastic surgeons in the US
- Whatever cosmetic surgical procedure you are considering, make sure
your surgeon has privileges to perform this particular procedure in an
accredited local inpatient hospital. This ensures you are under the care
of a board certified plastic surgeon who can handle any complication
that could arise and has been approved by a credentials committee of
his peers in the community.
- Ask your surgeon how many times he has performed the operation
you are considering and how many years he has been in practice.
- Ask your surgeon to speak with other patients who have undergone
- Ask to see his before and after photo book to examine his results.
- Make sure you have a "connection" with your potential surgeon. He
should have excellent people skills, answer all your questions, and
demonstrate confidence and compassion. You should like him or her.
The process to find a qualified plastic surgeon for cosmetic surgery may
sound complex, but it is rather straightforward once you have done your
homework. It will be the most important step you take to ensure the best
possible outcome in your cosmetic surgery outcome.