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How You Should Be Choosing The Best Plastic Surgeon for You

Plastic surgery does not contain any plastic, the word ‘plastic’ here refers to something which can be flexible and moldable. Today the significance of plastic surgery has been diminished to Hollywood bodies, chiseled jaws, straight noses and buxom figures. But plastic surgery has more noble beginnings with reconstructive surgery to remove disease or deformities.

Apart from fixing a deformity or disease, plastic surgery now is largely cosmetic in nature. And how good your plastic surgery goes depends on the person performing it. So if it’s fillers, breast augmentation, facelifts, tummy tucks or liposuction you need, a good doctor can make all the difference, while making you look youthful and ‘natural’. So how do you find a ‘good’ plastic surgeon? Step one; avoid finding one on Instagram, for sure! And then follow these tips we have here;

Get a ‘real’ qualified doctor

These days, any doctor with a general medical degree can become a ‘plastic surgeon’ just after having taken a weekend-long course on a specific surgical procedure, say breast augmentation. So you will find a host of gynecologists, physicians and even dermatologists who have ‘plastic surgeon status’. These are often people who start doing the procedures to test their hand at it, since there is a lot of money to be made in the field of plastic surgery. If all goes well, they continue doing these procedures, but eventually their lack of expertise and training causes huge issues to the patients. Imagine being a human guinea pig for a general physician who is trying his hand at a nose job! By not going to a specialized doctor, you are risking disfigurement, infection, scarring or even death in extreme cases. Fixing a botched up surgery can take multiple expensive corrective surgeries, while other surgeries leave permanent or long lasting damage.

Two Words: Board. Certified.

American Board of Plastic Surgery or ABPS is the only official board for cosmetic procedures and plastic surgery in our country. According to the ABPS, there are roughly 6,800 certified plastic surgeons in our country and they are the experts in their respective field of surgery. Find out if your chosen doctor is board certified or not by searching for their name on the ABPS website. Because of the extensive checklists and tests, which the doctors have to undergo, only a few good ones get board certified. And to remain board certified, they need to undergo the test again in 10 years. So rest assured, you’ll be in good hands under their care.

The Before and After Photos

Apart from the checking if your doc is board certified, check the doctors portfolio of ‘work’ or their photo galleries. Have the doctor show you what the results are, only specific for the procedure you want. So if you’re there for a nose job, just look at the before and after images specific to a nose job. Also, check for only those images where the person looks similar to you, and not someone who is of a different ethnicity, height, build, age, gender etc. This would help you visualize what the post-surgery results would look like on you.

Ask your doctor for references from previous patients

Considering that your doctor has nothing to hide, ask if you can speak to someone who has undergone the same procedure. This of course, should be done with the permission of those patients, and only after their consent is sought, should you contact them. You can ask all relevant questions regarding pre- and post- surgery care, side effects, follow ups etc. Anything which will help you resolve your questions without getting too personal. If the doctor does not share the contact information with you, go online and do a simple Google search on your doc. You’ll be surprised what the internet can come up with.

Say ‘No’ to plastic surgery tourism

Surgery and medical procedures on the whole are a lot cheaper in many other countries and the trend is that people actually fly or travel to other countries to get work done on them for a lot less money. But remember, you get what you pay for down there. There have been many cases of patients suffering from infections, disfigurements and even death due to wrongly executed surgery practices and lack of post-op care. Staying within the US ensures that you can be followed up on, and have continuity of care, which is lacking if you travel aboard for procedures.

Go armed with questions

When first going to visit your doctor, it’s best to do some research about your procedure and have a list of questions ready for him or her when you meet them. A handy guide of questions are;

* Ask about certification

*Ask to see the facility where you will be operated on

* Ask what would happen in case there is an emergency

* Ask about the risks involved and the recovery

* Ask to see the doctor’s previous work

* Ask if you have other alternatives to the procedure you want to undergo

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