When you make the decision to move forward with either your reconstructive facial plastic surgery or cosmetic surgery you will want to pick the right surgeon for you. Informed patients benefit immensely from understanding their doctor’s medical background and specialties and identifying their core surgical skills prior to their office visit. Facial plastic surgery is a big decision and in order to have a solid and positive outlook on their prospective procedure (and the plastic surgery industry in general) patients expect a smooth and professional experience from the office. However, by doing some basic homework in advance a patient can make better informed decisions and receive far more out of their initial consultations than those starting from scratch.

There are thousands of facial plastic surgeons and all will promise to provide you with the best quality of care. While all may be able to offer you quality care, many may not be a good fit with your needs and personality. Meeting with a few doctors for an initial consultation should give the patient a feel for who is “right” for them and weed out who is not. Trust your gut, it is always right.

Here are some things a potential cosmetic surgery patient should inquire about prior to their surgical

consultation and surgery:

Medical Background

Most patients just assume when they are sitting down with a cosmetic plastic surgeon that they have the proper credentials to handle their case but the reality is that not everyone out there is licensed properly to perform certain facial surgical procedures. Be inquisitive and ask about a surgeon’s background to make sure they are allowed to perform anything on you and how often they perform these procedures. Most plastic surgeons will be more than happy to discuss this information with you; they will probably even show you their certificates! Steer clear of anyone that can not show you their credentials or provide you with patient referrals.

Physical Location

The evolution of the web has made the world a much smaller place. Patients have access to doctors from around the world at their fingertips. While most patients are interested in a local option for their facial reconstructive or plastic surgery work consider the best doctor for the job and then your location. It is not uncommon for patients to fly to a destination surgery. Not only do they benefit from receiving the very best care available but also from a lack of hometown distractions from recovery, anonymity, and a holiday of sorts.

Operation Cost

Surgical costs can vary greatly from office to office. Patients are often drawn to the least expensive option looking for the best “deal” available while others are drawn to the most expensive option with the “you get what you pay for” theory. While cost is an important component of your decision, consider what you are getting for the cost – many offices may combine a few procedures into one while others may itemize your surgery. Are the numbers way off from the rest? Talk with the office about what each procedure entails with the price tag. A side note: Do not be dissuaded by an office that is unable to provide you with surgical costs prior to meeting with you. Plastic surgery offices generally are not able to provide a surgery “price list” because surgery costs vary depending on the amount of work required for each procedure. A facelift is not one size fits all. There are a number of variations and each variation has a different price tag – usually based on the length of surgery, location of the procedure, and its difficulty – and are best determined during a consultation.

Board Certification

Make sure you pick a board certified surgeon to perform any surgery on you. Board certification means that the doctor has completed and passed an examination displaying their expertise within their field of medicine. This will allow you to rest assured that the most qualified surgeon possible will be performing your surgical procedure. A word of caution: a doctor may be board certified in one area but not in others. Confirm that he or she is board certified for the procedure(s) you are contemplating. You would go to your board certified dentist for a facelift, would you?

Good Reputation

Search online for your plastic surgeons name or their practice name and see what you come up with. If they are a reputable cosmetic surgery practice those search results should be squeaky clean. Aside from having no negative press you should see plenty of good press as well. Picking the right cosmetic plastic surgeon is vital to the success of your procedure. You must feel comfortable on every level with your surgeon in order to be completely satisfied with your procedure. Take the time to really learn about your potential surgeons before you decide to go under the knife.

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