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Choosing the Right Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon

Sep 2, 2007
We are continually confronted by beautiful, sexy advertisements promising "perfection" in cosmetic surgery. How then does one go about choosing the "right" plastic surgeon?

It is very important that you pay less attention to the ads and more attention to the training, credentials and experience of the surgeon. Any plastic surgeon you consider should be board certified by The American Board of Plastic Surgeons (ABPS) and a member of The American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS).

Add an artistic and aesthetic eye for beauty, form, and balance, and the right board-certified plastic surgeon is not only your best choice-it should be your only choice when choosing a doctor to give you the safe, beautiful results you deserve.

Keep in mind these basic principles when you are shopping for the right surgeon:

1. Verify credentials and training. Many "cosmetic" surgeons advertise they are "board-certified" when in fact it may not be clear which board they are certified with. Any physician is allowed to perform plastic surgery procedures even if they haven't completed any plastic surgery training!

Board certification with The American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS) verifies the surgeon has completed a combination of at least five years of residency training in the field of general and plastic/reconstructive surgery and has been rigorously tested in his/her area of expertise.

Additionally, it ensures that the plastic surgeon has earned his/her degree from an approved medical school.

2. Find out how many years of experience the surgeon has. True familiarity with multiple aesthetic procedures takes many years of training and practice to perfect his/her skills.

3. Check with the appropriate medical board in your state to see whether the surgeon is licensed and whether disciplinary action has been taken against him.

4. Ask for references from trusted family physicians or other doctors knowledgeable about the local medical community. "Word of mouth" is a powerful tool.

5. Don't feel pressured to agree to more than you want. Ethical plastic surgeons will give you options on which procedures may give you the best results based on your desires and concerns, but always remember the final choice is yours.

6. Reputable and qualified plastic surgeons should have privileges to perform cosmetic/plastic surgery procedures at an accredited hospital since they adhere to a strict code of rules and guidelines.

7. Ask your plastic surgeon to show you before and after photos of patients who have undergone the plastic surgery procedure you're considering.

8. Make sure the surgery center where your surgery will be performed is accredited, and that the person rendering anesthesia is properly certified.

9. Believe in your own instincts. A qualified, experienced plastic surgeon should be available to listen and address all your questions and concerns. Plastic/cosmetic surgery by a qualified surgeon can have an enormous, positive impact on your life and self esteem.

Do your homework, believe in yourself, and never be afraid to ask for assistance in achieving all you desire and deserve.
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