When choosing a plastic surgeon it’s important to do your research. Don’t assume that all plastic surgeons are the same have the same credentials, and are board certified as it isn’t a requirement to practice plastic surgery.

Check for Certification:

The American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS) qualifies and trains candidates on the best patient care practices.

With that said, the term “board certified” doesn’t mean that the doctor received the same training as a plastic surgeon would that received their board certification from the American Board of Plastic Surgery. When looking at a surgeon’s credentials be sure the certification is from the American Board of Plastic Surgery. If a doctor is certified by ABPS they have met the following requirements:
1. Earned a degree from an accredited medical school
2. Completed 3 years of general surgery
3. Completed 2-3 years of supervised residency in plastic surgery
4. Have at least 2 years in a professional practice
5. Have passed rigorous written and oral exams

Check the surgeon’s record:

A quick check of good service and patient care can be found through testimonials often on the doctor’s website, as well as in their offices. But go beyond what previous patients have said and do a bit more research looking into the state’s medical board to find out more about the surgeon’s records. Contact the board and ask for a medical report about the doctor in question. Pay close attention to any settlements or records of disciplinary action. Also be sure to check for licenses to practice medicine within that specific state, as regulations are different in different areas.

Ask about hospital privileges:

This is important because hospitals are required to do background checks and a surgeon without hospital privileges is a red flag. For certain plastic surgeries the procedure can be done in an outpatient clinic, but more often they need to be done within a hospital setting especially if a patient needs to be admitted.

Ask questions:

  • How many times has the physician performed the procedure?
  • How long has the physician performed the procedure?
  • What other procedures does he/she perform?
  • Who will assist in the procedure? Their qualifications and training?
  • Are all involved licensed in good standing?
  • What is involved in the procedure? How is it performed?
  • Can I get advance copies of all forms I have to complete and sign prior to procedure?
  • Are you insured for malpractice?
  • Will the physician use sedation? If yes, what level of sedation will the physician use?
  • Who will administer and monitor the sedation?
  • How long will the procedure last?
  • How long will the sedation effects last?
  • How long will it take to recover in the facility before discharge?
  • Where will the surgery take place?
  • What are the emergency plans?
  • To which hospital would you be taken?
  • Will post-operative medicine be necessary?
  • Will there be noticeable scarring?
  • Will the physician perform the procedure from the first cut to the last stitch?
  • What are the risks associated with this procedure?
  • What are the warning signs or concerns to watch for?
  • Do you do revisions and at what cost?
  • Have you ever had any lawsuits and what were they? Settled
  • Have you ever had any deaths at surgery?


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