Tips for Choosing a Cosmetic Surgeon

Before taking on the challenge of any kind of cosmetic surgery, there are a few basics that you need to understand. Although the basic idea of cosmetic surgery is to make you look younger, more beautiful or to correct undesirable cosmetic effects from other surgeries or accidents, there are also risks, costs things to consider. You should be aware of both the solutions available and what treatment options are available and what you should expect from your surgery.

Cosmetic surgery, for the most part, is elective (meaning optional). Generally, this means that medical insurance will not cover the costs associated with your procedure. Many insititutions are now offering financing options for cosmetic surgery and that is becoming a more popular option. You can also opt to pay the bill entirely on your own, which will of course require diligent saving (or a good credit limit!)

Once you have figured out how you will finance your elective procedure, the next step is find a skilled, highly recommended professional to perform the surgery. Ideally, you will want to find a surgeon who specializes in the particular procedure you are interested, or at the very least has performed your surgery several times previously.

It's a good idea to arm yourself with as much information as possible (check out our "Intro to Plastic Surgery" article). Ask you surgeon about the following:

  • What is his/her experience with the type of surgery you are requesting?
  • List your requirements for the final results and ask if he/she feels they are achievable.
  • Inquire about recovery time and any special precautions you will need to take (antibiotics, etc.).

Remember: you are the one paying the bill, so you have a right to feel completely comfortable with your surgery. Talk to your surgeon for at least 30 minutes if not an hour, even if you just let him talk about his previous patients. Listen, ask questions, but make sure when you leave you are either definitely going to use that surgeon, or definitely not using that surgeon. There should be no doubt in your mind!

Experience and skill is the the most important qualification of a plastic surgeon. These two traits are what make the difference between an "okay" job, and a stunningly flawless result. In most major metropolitan areas there will be at least a few surgeons to choose from who possess these primary traits. Another trait to consider when choosing between skilled surgeons is "bedside manner." Your surgeon should make you feel completely comfortable the moment you sit down to talk with them. Although some amount of apprehension or nervousness is completely normal, any doubts about your surgeon will make both the procedure and the recovery much harder on your body. Make sure you and your surgeon have an excellent professional-relationship.

The very basic qualification you should request is a record of the surgeon's license to practice in your area. Ideally, you would want to see several years worth of unblemished, un-interupted licensing in your area. This means that the doctor is familiar with the particular aspects of recovery in your climate. However, doctors can be licensed without having actually performed your particular operation, so inquire about client references. A good doctor will have patients lined up to talk about their wonderful service, and at the very least they should be able to provide before and after photographs which clearly display their work. Never use a surgeon who cannot provide some kind of references.

A cosmetic surgeon needs to provide his patients with lots of things. A good surgeon must understand the requirements of his patient. He must know as to what his patients wants and expects from the surgery. They should take a first hand approach in telling the patient what they will do, what can be accomplished as well as the best way to go about it. To help the patient, a good surgeon should provide him with all the required information about the surgery. They should make the patient comfortable and feel at home. You must trust your doctor and have complete faith in his abilities!

Most of all, make sure that your surgeon is really listening to what you want. Don't ever be talked into additional procedures that you aren't comfortable with. A great surgeon will be open, warm, honest, professional, skilled, and have a personality that meshes well with your own. Always trust your instincts, and never choose a surgeon who you aren't 100% sure about.