Cosmetic surgery is becoming more and more popular in the United States and around the world. People of all ages and backgrounds are finding ways to improve their aesthetics and self-confidence in terms of aging, hair care, and overall body curves.
Whether you’re interested in taking care of wrinkles, getting some work done on your nose, or even a hair transplant, you need to find the right plastic surgeon for the job. This isn’t exactly as simple as looking up a new family doctor or pediatrician.
To better understand how to choose a plastic surgeon, use the tips below.
1. Define What You Need
Cosmetic surgery involves all sorts of things, as you probably gathered from the examples mentioned above. Some surgeons specialize in implants and laser treatments, while others prefer to operate on the nose or help clients get rid of their stubborn double chin. There are even dentists who specialize in cosmetics.
This is why you have to really think about what you’re looking for before you even start searching. The better you’re able to define the results you want, the more you can narrow down your options. Such a focus makes finding a plastic surgeon much easier.
The next step then becomes going online to look for surgeons in your area or asking friends about the work they’ve had done. You may even find a few amazing surgeons worth traveling to, like Columbus Aesthetic & Plastic Surgery.
2. Check for Certifications
Once you have a few of the best plastic surgeons for your needs lined up as possible choices, take a closer look at each one. Visit their website and find out a little more about them.
Where did they go to school to become a surgeon? How long have they had their own practice? Most importantly, what kind of certifications do they have?
The most reputable plastic surgeons will have more to show for their work than a medical degree. They will be board certified in specific areas of cosmetic surgery and likely have a few local/national awards, too.
3. Find out a Surgeon’s Experience with Your Procedure
Although awards and certifications are a good sign, they don’t tell the whole story. To be sure your preferred surgeon can perform the surgery you want well, find out how often they do that procedure.
Some may not have done a breast reduction in a while, and others may only have completed a few facial contouring treatments recently. It’s best to pick a surgeon who knows all the ins and outs of a procedure, which only comes with repetition.
The right person for the job you want is someone who does the services you’re looking for frequently. They have the treatment down to a science and have perfected the way they do things from start to finish.
4. Look at Before and After Photos
Another way to make sure you’ve picked the right plastic surgeon is to look at the before and after photos of past clients. Not all results look the same, even if they are considered to be a job well done. In other words, every surgeon has a different aesthetic they tend to lean towards.
This has more to do with personal preference than it does with medical training. Think about it like getting multiple opinions for a diagnosis or some other form of medical treatment. Every doctor thinks differently and has their own way of solving things, even if they all specialize in the same thing.
If you’re stuck between two trustworthy, well-experienced professionals, choose the one whose patients’ results look most like what you want. This should give you a little more peace of mind when thinking about what your final results will look like.
5. Read Patient Reviews
Speaking of peace of mind, never choose a cosmetic surgeon until you’ve read the reviews past patients have left. Reviews are basically the stories behind the before and after photos that a surgeon shows; they give you invaluable insight as to who a surgeon really is and the kind of work they do.
Many reviews often mention the consultation experience, how comfortable a surgeon made them feel, and the quality of the support staff. They will talk about everything from how long they had to wait once checked in to how the recovery process went.
This may sound a little too in-depth, but in reality, it helps you understand what you’re getting yourself into. The best reviews don’t leave out a single detail. They’ll mention the good and the bad to give you an honest perspective of how well their surgery really went.
6. Schedule Multiple Consultations
After looking at before and after photos and reading reviews, you should have your options down to a very small list of two or three possible surgeons for your procedure. At this point, the best thing to do is to set up a consultation with each one.
A consultation is your opportunity to get into all the nitty-gritty details you need to discuss. This includes anything from the pre- and post-surgery timeline to the medical costs and the level of pain or discomfort you can expect. Most importantly, it’s your time to get a feel for how comfortable you are with each surgeon.
You may be sitting in front of the most qualified person on paper, who has plenty of happy clients to show for themselves. But, if you don’t feel a connection with this person, you need to keep exploring your options.
Try to schedule the consultations as back to back as possible in order to keep all the information fresh in your mind. This allows you to make the best comparison when you’re done with all of these appointments.
7. Set Clear Expectations
In addition to gauging the relationship you can have with your surgeon and understanding the details of the surgery, a consultation is your time to set crystal clear expectations. The more detailed you are, the more likely you are to get the look you’re going for.
Talk to the surgeon about what brings you to them. Tell them everything you’ve tried to maintain your looks and enhance the level of confidence you have about what’s bothering you. Be sure to talk about long-term details, too.
Some surgeries will require you to get further treatment in the future and others may change your way of life for a little while during the recovery process. That “little while” can be anywhere from a few days to a couple of weeks to even a handful of months!
Discuss all of these things up front. You may realize there’s a better option out there than what you thought you needed, or end up deciding you want even more work done. Either way, information and clear communication is everything.
8. Ask What’s Needed of You
Remember, communication goes both ways. Before you wrap up a consultation, ask what each surgeon needs from you.
This is the doctor’s time to talk about rules regarding things like diet restrictions and activity levels that you need to follow before and after surgery. Many procedures will require you to take a step back from the gym for a certain period of time and ask you to lower your alcohol intake too. If you’re getting work done on the face, you may not even be able to eat certain foods for a while after your surgery.
Pay close attention to everything the doctor says. He or she might advise that you have someone drive you to and from the office on the day of surgery or that you make arrangements to have time off work for a few days.
Always keep in mind that everything discussed in this part of the consultation is in your best interest. Some rules may sound a bit extreme or over the top, but the better you follow the doctor’s orders, the better your outcome will be.
9. Confirm Who Your Surgeon Will Be
Before you wrap up a consultation, confirm who your surgeon will be. Sometimes, an assistant or a nurse will speak on behalf of the doctor during a consultation. This is common for surgeons who have packed schedules.
But, it’s better to have a consultation with the person who is actually going to be doing your procedure. It only takes a few moments to confirm the representative you’ve been talking to is, in fact, the doctor who will be working on you. While this sounds a bit silly to do, it makes a big difference in the grand scheme of things.
10. Make Your Final Decision and Prepare for Surgery
After doing all the research necessary and contacting all of your top options, it’s time to make a decision. Reach back out to one of the cosmetic surgeons you’ve talked to and tell them you’d like to move forward.
As you’re scheduling the procedure, make sure you don’t have any important work deadlines or personal vacations around the same time. This allows you to totally focus on your surgery and recovery.
How to Choose a Plastic Surgeon: Research Your Options First
Can’t wait to see what you will look like once you’ve completed your post-op recovery? As exciting as this thought may be, you still have to find the right person for the job.
Keep all the topics above in mind as you discover how to choose a plastic surgeon for yourself. To start the research process, click here!