Why Choose a Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon?
Plastic Surgeon Qualifications
By law, all licensed medical physicians in the United States are also licensed to perform cosmetic surgery. Because of this, many plastic surgery centers have doctors performing plastic surgery treatments and procedures on patients with little to no training or experience in aesthetic medicine. With such places, there is no guarantee of the level of skill or experience offered. It is extremely important that you take the time to educate yourself regarding the plastic surgery procedure you are considering in order to find a fully trained, qualified and experienced surgeon. Referrals can be obtained from other medical providers you visit, including your primary care physician, dermatologist or other medical surgeons. Additionally, up-to-date information regarding the doctor or practice you are considering may be obtained from your state’s medical licensing agency or medical society.
Those plastic surgeons with proper training and experience will be happy to provide information regarding their professional accreditation and associations. If the doctor is certified by the American Board of Physician Specialties (ABPS), it signifies graduation from an accredited medical school in addition to completion of at least three years of general surgery and two or three years of plastic surgery concentration. At the end of their education and training, he or she also had to have passed comprehensive written and oral exams in order to obtain certification. You may also want to check to ensure that the doctor you are considering has been granted operating ‘privileges’ at an accredited hospital as an attending surgeon.
Plastic Surgery Experience
Interview your chosen plastic surgeon regarding their training and experience with the procedure you are seeking to have performed. Ask to see a copy of the surgeon’s CV. A professional, well-rounded individual will have a CV listing a wide range of procedures and experience. Be cautious of any persons purporting to be an ‘”expert” in one particular procedure, particularly if it is the latest fad in cosmetic surgery. The more experienced the surgeon, the better off you are in their care. You must have confidence that the individual you decide to entrust your care to will do everything they can to prevent any complications and that they are competent enough to handle any unexpected situations that may arise during your surgery or treatment.
Plastic surgery, like every other field of medicine, is an ever-changing and improving discipline. Your research into your desired procedure should provide insight into some of the latest significant developments in plastic surgery and aesthetic medicine. It is recommended that you check that the surgeon you are considering is up to speed on these advances.
You may decide to interview a number of surgeon candidates before making your final decision. It is important to meet each surgeon personally. Be wary of unqualified plastic surgery ‘advisors’ who dole out medical advice without any formal background in aesthetic medicine or plastic surgery. It is hard to believe, but the practice of dispensing medical advice without the qualifications and licensure is quite common. For all intents and purposes, make sure that the surgeon is willing to meet with you in person or consider going elsewhere.
You may be able to receive a recommendation or referral for a licensed, qualified and experienced plastic surgeon from your general practitioner, nurse practitioner or other medical professional you know. Additionally, area hospitals should be able to provide you with a list of the plastic surgeons who have operating privileges at their site as these surgeons have been approved by their peers.
Ask to view ‘before and after’ pictures of other patients who have had similar concerns and undergone the treatment or procedure you have in mind. Don’t be afraid to ask for the contact information of past patients who would be willing to truthfully discuss their experiences with you in order to get a candid view of the surgeon’s manner and professionalism, as well as an idea of his or her realistic abilities.
Fees, Costs, Pricing
Professional plastic surgeons and their staff will be clear, open and honest about all fees involved with your treatment and care. Make sure to ask them to include the operating room fee, anesthetist’s fee, and other separate costs that you think of that need to be considered.
Remember that your gut instincts about a person are probably right. You could be potentially placing your life in these persons’ hands if an emergency situation arose. Do you feel that they can be trusted? Are you confident they have your best interest in mind and share the same goals as you? Do they come with strong recommendations and reviews? Are they skilled and proficient? Do you feel comfortable and at ease around them and at their office? It is your body, and you must make the right decision for you.
Think of the amount of trust a woman must place in her obstetrician or gynecologist. In some ways, a plastic surgery patient places even greater trust and confidence in his or her plastic surgeon as that person alters their outward appearance permanently. Not only is their appearance being changed, but those changes will affect the person’s self-esteem, sense of confidence, personal image and inner sense of self. All of these factors play a larger part in happiness, interpersonal relationships, etc.
Your plastic surgeon should be skilled in both surgical science and medicine. They must have the bedside manner to identify with your needs as not only a patient but also as a person, and have the artistic ability to restructure the human body – skin, muscle, fat, cartilage and bone – while being supportive and comforting every step of the way.
Remember that there is no rush in choosing a plastic surgeon. Many different factors need to be taken into consideration and if you are only focused on finding the lowest cost, beware of too good to be true, all-in-one cosmetic surgery packages. A cheap price usually means cheap work. The choice to make a change in your appearance is too important to not be fully informed and 100 percent confident before proceeding.
To receive more information on the services we offer or to learn more about our practice, schedule a one-on-one consultation with Dr. Karaca by contacting us today.