Looking for the right cosmetic surgeon to perform a medical procedure is not a small decision. You want to feel that you’ve done your due diligence, especially when it’s an elective procedure and the final decision to go ahead lies with you. There’ll be a sense of guilt if you make a poor choice, especially under these circumstances, so take your time for proper consideration.
7 things to consider when looking for a cosmetic surgeon
It should be automatic to verify whether the surgeon is board certified. Also, just because they have a framed certificate on the wall of their office does not mean it’s still valid and they haven’t been struck off. Formally inquire with their approval body to ensure that they’re still in good standing. This includes whether they’ve had any previous admonishments on their record or complaints by past patients lodged against them.
Do They Specialize or Perform Many Surgical Procedures?
A suitable location where many different cosmetic procedures are performed offers multiple choices for patients and surgeons alike. When there are multiple directions to go in treatment recommendations, it frees up surgeons to make the best suggestions on behalf of the patients. On the flip side, when a facility has a limited range of treatment options, what they can offer, and the doctor’s recent surgical experience will be restrictive. Recommending surgical options outside of what their facility already provides creates a potential conflict of interest too.
Look at Independent Reviews
Don’t just take the medical spa’s word for it. Look into their independent reviews rather than only at any glowing testimonials on their website. While the reviews may not provide a detailed history of a particular surgeon, people are likely to post reviews and mention the surgeon if they’re either extremely happy or the opposite is true. However, don’t be surprised if there are more anonymous reviews than normal. This isn’t necessarily a sign that the reviews are fake because not everyone wants to publicly acknowledge ‘that they’ve had work done’ and may wish to keep that on the down low. Start with Google Reviews, but also look elsewhere. A bit of enthusiastic Googling can go a long way.
Are They a Member of an American Board for Surgical Excellence?
A plastic surgeon is likely to be a member of a board relating to their type of surgery. For instance, they could be a member of the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery or another similar organization (ABCS is the one organization dedicated to cosmetic surgery alone). There aren’t many that cover these types of organizations, so it’s not an extensive list to follow up. Also, others aren’t exclusively focused on cosmetic surgery and cover medical procedures too. If they’re not a member of one of the respected board organizations, that should ring some alarm bells.
Accredited Operating Facility
Cosmetic surgery is carried out either at a surgical facility adjacent to their offices or at a care center. It’s not always clear to patients that the facility itself should be accredited too. This is entirely different from the board certification of the doctor. Several different organizations provide oversight and accreditation. With accredited facilities, the stats suggest fewer than 1 percent of patients encounter major complications post-surgery with mortality at below one in 57,000 procedures. For an oversight, start with the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care.
No Hard Sell or Major Upsell
While every surgeon should want to make money and likely has substantial medical student loans to pay off, this need must be balanced with what’s right for the patient. No one should feel like they’re getting the ‘hard sell’ with cosmetic procedures. Similarly, going in looking for one procedure and being given a heavy upsell to get a second one – especially on a promotional offer or discount – isn’t good either.
While the above may work in sales-oriented organizations, cosmetic surgeons must put patient care first and trust that sufficient bookings will follow. For skilled surgeons, positive word of mouth spreads quickly among people who would consider getting a local procedure done.
Questions Flowing in Both Directions
A surgical consultation should include questions being asked of the patient or potential patient, and not just from your lips to their ears. Cosmetic surgeons must consider when surgical procedures aren’t necessary or advisable. They can only know this by understanding the patient’s medical history, objectives with the surgery, and other factors. Sometimes due to mental health issues, it’s ill-advised to go ahead with further surgeries. A surgeon needs to be responsible enough to ask the hard questions. Doing so, they can isolate those few cases that fall into the above category and appropriately decline to offer their services in such situations.
When paying attention to the points outlined above, you can be far more assured of your final decision.