There are many steps that are necessary to get a good plastic surgical result. You must make certain that your expectations are realistic and that the reasons you desire a procedure are sound. The next step is finding a qualified plastic surgeon to perform the procedure. This is a critical factor since your health; safety and overall satisfaction are at stake. We live in a media world and there are many avenues to obtaining information about a particular practice, procedure and plastic surgeon. Advertising is present both on the internet as well as television and radio but this in and of itself does not provide enough data to make this decision. Look for additional sources such as friends, relatives and neighbors. If they personally had a good experience with a particular surgeon then this helps to form your opinion.
Word of mouth is one of the most reliable sources of information. That friend who had a good experience will be a wealth of knowledge. Important questions to ask include: Are you happy with your results? If you could do it all over again would you have made the same choices? Was the plastic surgeon easy to work with and responsive to your individual needs? In the future if you want another cosmetic procedure would you use the same plastic surgeon?
Other questions to ask the plastic surgeon include the following: Are you board certified and if so by which certifying board? The American Board of Medical Specialties is the oversight board that has designated the American Board of Plastic Surgery with the task of certifying plastic surgeons. The criteria to be admitted to this board are a minimum of 6 years of training following medical school. Two to three of these post medical school years must be in plastic surgery. Following successful completion of training a candidate to the board must pass a written and oral examination. How experienced are you with this type of procedure? Are my expectations realistic? Do you have photographs of previous patients? Where will the surgery be performed? What type of anesthesia is involved? Will this anesthesia be delivered by a nurse anesthetist or a physician anesthesiologist? What are the common complications? What happens in case of an emergency? How long is the recovery process? When can I get back to work? What are the costs?
A good, qualified plastic surgeon will never be offended by these types of questions. In fact, they are generally welcomed since a well educated patient becomes an equal participant in the healing process. Do your homework, select a well qualified plastic surgeon and be confident that you have made good choices.