After deciding to have facial plastic surgery, the next most important decision you can make is choosing the surgeon to perform your procedure. Trust is essential when it comes to plastic surgery. You want a surgeon who not only does what he or she says he or she will do, but also a surgeon who has the training and experience he or she claims to have. Luckily, there are several things to look for when picking a plastic surgeon.
One of the most important things to look for when choosing a surgeon is board certification. Board certification isn’t the same thing as having a medical license. Being a licensed doctor simply means that a person has met the minimum requirements, such as completing medical school. It doesn’t mean that a doctor has actual experience in a specific field or speciality.
Board certification goes beyond licensure. Before a surgeon can become board certified, he needs to complete an additional training program in the specific field, such as plastic surgery. The prograin needs to be between three and five years in length. The surgeon also needs to pass an exam and needs to have recommendations from the doctors who trained him. A surgeon also needs to follow a code of ethics to become board certified.
Experience With Your Surgery of Choice
Ideally, your surgeon will perform the surgery you want regularly. Some surgeries are more complex than others, such as rhinoplasty, so you want a surgeon who is well versed in the specific procedure and who can prove that experience. When interviewing your surgeon, ask how many times he or she has performed the specific surgery and how many of that type of surgery he or she performs each week or each month.
Another way to gauge your surgeon’s experience with a particular surgery is by reviewing photographs of other patients. The surgeon should have a selection of before and after photos to share with you, so that you can see not only his work and experience, but also get an idea of what the surgery can and can’t do.
Satisfied Past Patients
It helps to do some digging when picking out a surgeon. Find out what past patients have to say about him. You can do this in several ways. One option is to look online at review sites and read reviews posted there.
While online reviews can provide some guidance when it comes to choosing a surgeon, it’s worth noting that they should be taken with a grain of salt in some cases. For example, if a surgeon has several incredibly positive reviews and one scathing review, it can be hard to tell if the scathing review is an accurate reflection on the doctor’s skills and abilities. The other drawback about online reviews is that they might not necessarily come from real patients. Some sites use questionnaires completed by patients in the doctor’s office after their procedure. But others let just anyone create an account and offer their opinion, even if their two cents isn’t based on an actual experience.
Ideally, the surgeon will be able to point you in the direction of patients who can give you honest feedback about their experience and help you decide if he or she is the surgeon for you. Remember that there’s a difference between a patient who is giving a testimonial and one who is giving you an honest, in-depth review. A testimonial from a patient typically focuses only the positive, while a reference or review from a past patient might cover all areas of his or her experience.
While you don’t have to become close friends with the facial plastic surgeon you decide to work with, it is important that you have a sense of rapport. When you meet with the doctor for an initial consultation, you want to feel comfortable asking a number of questions about the surgery, about the recovery and about getting ready for the procedure. If you feel that the surgeon isn’t taking your questions seriously or that he or she is rushing you through the consultation, consider that a red flag. The person who operates on you should listen to your concerns and do his or her best to answer any questions you have in detail.
In West Palm Beach, Florida, Dr. Michael Schwartz is a double board certified facial plastic surgeon with more than two decades of experience. He is able to answer your questions about a specific procedure, show you before and after photos and put you in touch with past patients. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Schwartz, call 561-228-5888 today.