Choosing a Plastic Surgeon

If you're considering cosmetic surgery, one of the most important decisions you'll make is to choose a surgeon.

These days, you'll find a confusing array of cosmetic or aesthetic procedures offered in settings ranging from hospitals to beauty parlors to shopping malls. To ensure you are dealing with a reputable expert, look for a cosmetic surgeon who is:

  • Board-certified in plastic surgery - A board-certified plastic surgeon has completed years of additional training in surgery and plastic surgery, passed a written exam and demonstrated adherence to ethical and safety standards. Periodic re-certification also ensures that the doctor keeps his or her skills up to date through ongoing education and training. MyMichigan's plastic and reconstructive surgeons are certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery.
  • Specially trained and experienced in the procedure you are considering - Ask how often the surgeon has performed the particular procedure and why he or she recommends this method over others.
  • Affiliated with an accredited hospital - Although many procedures can be safely performed in a physician's office or outpatient setting, you want a physician who can transport and admit you to the hospital quickly in the unlikely event of unexpected complications.
  • Recommended by people you trust - The surgeon should also be able to provide you with patient references.

Most importantly, choose someone who makes you feel at ease. A good surgeon will listen to your concerns, take your personal goals seriously without over-promising and welcome any questions you have - from questions about pain and side effects to costs to the surgeon's own qualifications and experience. Look for someone who clearly explains both the benefits and the risks of each procedure and who offers you alternative options without pressuring you to consider unnecessary or additional procedures.

Don't be afraid to consult more than one surgeon. Doctors expect and encourage patients to seek second opinions and won't be offended if you examine all your options before making this important decision.

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