Summary: You wouldn’t buy a car without looking at multiple models. In the same way, you should not elect to undergo plastic surgery without looking around for a plastic surgeon and making sure you’ve got the right one. After all, tummy tuck can be a particularly potent and painful procedure. Ensuring you find the right surgeon for your desired outcome. There’s no shame in shopping around as long as you aren’t just looking for easy answers.
The Wisdom in Shopping Around for Your Tummy Tuck
The tummy tuck procedure has a well earned reputation for being among the most painful and challenging options for aesthetic plastic surgery. Surgeons have worked quite hard to diminish some of that pain and to mitigate some of that challenge, but that doesn’t change the nature of this particular beast. Tummy tuck can hurt—a lot. To be sure, it’s often worth the pain. Most tummy tuck patients are incredibly thrilled with their final results and would rate their tummy tuck procedure as “worth it.” But it’s important to know what you’re getting into.
That’s why shopping around for your tummy tuck is exceptionally important. By this, I don’t mean shopping around for a plastic surgeon that will tell you what you want to hear or do whatever you want (those surgeons are quite rare, anyway). Rather, what I mean by this is that you should take the time to ensure you’re finding an excellent plastic surgeon who will give you great results. Let’s put it this way: because the stakes for a tummy tuck procedure are slightly higher than normal, your search should be slightly more intensive than normal.
Starting Your Search Where You Are
If you already have found a surgeon that you work well with, that’s the best place to start. In fact, that’s probably the easiest group of people when it comes to shopping: if you got great results with your first procedure and you trust your plastic surgeon, your job may be done: schedule a consultation and start that conversation right away. However, if you are in the market for a new plastic surgeon, there are some things that you should generally do, whether you’re looking for a tummy tuck surgeon or more general services:
- Look for Board Certified plastic surgeons
- Be sure to look at patient reviews for each surgeon
- If you can, engage the surgeon on social media websites such as RealSelf.com
- Try to find surgeon reviews in other areas—but reputable areas (Yelp, for example, can sometimes be helpful and sometimes not)
- Take the time to meet with the surgeon before committing (in your mind) to the procedure or to the practice)
- Make sure you’re comfortable with the surgeon you select
Most surgeons make their credentials, reviews, and testimonials readily available so that you can see how great they are. If a surgeon hides these documents, that might be a red flag (or at least worth a discussion).
Finding Out What You Want
Part of shopping for a plastic surgeon is discovering for yourself what you actually want. Sometimes you’re not even sure of that until you have to start articulating it to a surgeon. That’s a great thing about consultations in general. That said, one thing you can do even before getting to the consultation stage is look at before and after images. Tummy tuck procedures, in particular, take a certain aesthetic eye to get right. In order to make sure your surgeon has that aesthetic eye, take a look at tummy tuck before and after photos to get a good sense of what your results will be like. This will also give you a sense of how scars may be hidden.
A tummy tuck procedure is, itself, a relatively complex surgery. Not only does it by its nature involve the removal of excess skin, but also the re-structuring of the abdominal muscles (in order to make them tighter). You definitely want to make sure you spend the time looking for a highly qualified plastic surgeon who will give you great results.
In the End it’s Up to You
At the end of the day, you’re the one that’s going to have to make a decision. With something like a tummy tuck procedure—a procedure that could be painful and complex—there’s nothing wrong with taking the time to shop around for the right tummy tuck surgeon for you. Even if you feel comfortable and great with the first surgeon, it’s usually a good idea to schedule consultations with at least two surgeons in order to really discover what you like and what makes you comfortable.
Once you have found the surgeon you like, you should feel comfortable and confident in scheduling your procedure. Tummy tuck surgeons will know precisely the instructions to give you that will help your recovery period be as comfortable and productive as possible. If you’re thinking about a tummy tuck surgery, the first step is shopping around!