How do you choose the best plastic surgeon for you and your needs? Well, the answer to that usually has to do with research, even if you’re getting a referral. You want to make sure that you’re choosing a surgeon who will give you the best possible chance to achieve the transformation you’re after–and that can take a bit of time.

Selecting the Right Plastic Surgeon for You

If you’ve decided to undergo plastic surgery, the next logical question becomes: how do you choose the best plastic surgeon for you? After all, there’s no shortage of plastic surgeons out there (especially if you include cosmetic surgeons as well). That can make it difficult to find a place to start.

Because if you have no experience in the world of plastic surgery–and most new patients don’t–how do you go about finding a plastic surgeon that you connect with?

For first time plastic and cosmetic surgery patients, all of those choices can be a little intimidating, including that first choice: who your plastic surgeon is going to be. That’s why we’re offering some tips designed to help you start your search. Of course, it should be noted that this article is not intended as a substitute for medical advice–it’s for entertainment purposes only. But hopefully we can be a little help when it comes to knowing how to choose the best plastic surgeon for you.

Where to Start Your Search

Where you start your search for a plastic surgeon will vary depending on your own particular starting point. Are you interested in a specific procedure? Or do you just feel as though something is “off” and you aren’t quite sure what procedure will take care of it?

  • If you know what procedure you want: You can start by searching for surgeons who specialize in that procedure. Often, surgeons will tend to tout one or two procedures as their something they tend to specialize in. This doesn’t mean that other surgeons are incapable of performing that procedure–it just means that those specializing surgeons might be a good place to start.
  • If you don’t know what procedure you want: Start by searching for surgeons in your area. It’s worth comparing reviews, before and after photos, and even biographical information. You’re searching for something that clicks with you–and it’s not a bad idea to start researching procedures at this point as well. All of this information is usually readily available on surgeon websites, so that’s always a great place to start.

Most searches for surgeons start on the internet–with a quick use of your search engines. If all else fails, it’s a good idea to start very, very local and go from there, especially if you don’t have a referral from any other medical professional.

Board Certification Matters

So what are the kinds of things you should look for when you’re searching for surgeons in your area? Surgeons are going to have all kinds of certifications–and the sheer number and complexity of those certifications can be a little overwhelming. It can be difficult for a novice to know what certifications and awards really matter.

So there’s one certification that new patients should pay attention to more than others, and that’s board certification. When a plastic surgeon says that he or she is “board certified,” it means that the surgeon has earned a certification from the American Board of Plastic Surgeons.

This is an official body that has very strict criteria for awarding certification. So you can rest assured that your surgeon has met certain experience and educational thresholds. Board certification also must be renewed every so often, so you can at least be assured that a surgeon who is up to date on board certifications is regularly checking their skills.

Consultation

The final step in the journey to choose the best plastic surgeon for you is the consultation. During your consultation with a surgeon, you’ll talk about your desired results and the best way to achieve those results (you’ll usually narrow it down to a procedure or two).

But the consultation is also an opportunity to get to know your surgeon a little better, both in terms of the skill and professionalism of the surgeon and in terms of the personality. To be sure, plastic surgery isn’t necessarily a popularity contest–you want a competent surgeon above all else.

But you also want a surgeon who will listen to what you have to say–at least, many patients do. So, your comfort level with a surgeon is not something to necessarily downplay or ignore. A consultation is a great time to get a feel for your surgeon, so don’t be afraid to ask a lot of questions.

Take the Time to Find the Right Surgeon

At the end of the day, it’s important to ensure you’ve taken the time to find the right surgeon. It’s possible that this search may be incredibly quick, or it could take you a while. But it’s important that you feel confident before moving forward.

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