The number of people choosing to have plastic surgery has been on the rise, with more than 17.1 million procedures taking place for cosmetic reasons in 2016 alone, according to data provided by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. If you’re thinking about doing the same, it’s essential to be diligent in your research to choose the right professional for the job. With more and more patients electing to have these surgeries, there are also more unqualified physicians and non-physicians looking to get in the game.
A white lab coat doesn’t necessarily mean much. Not only should you meet the surgeon in person, it’s important to check their background to be sure they’re certified and skilled for performing the procedure you want to have, whether it’s double eyelid surgery or a face lift.
But where do you find the best resources to get started? You might naturally go to Google to search terms such as “best plastic surgeons in San Jose,” but you’ll probably get a long list of unvetted results.
Family, Friends, and Co-Workers
If you know anyone who’s had work done, they’ll be one of your best resources. A trusted family member, friend or co-worker will be able to provide an honest assessment, from the initial consultation to the recovery process. If you don’t know anyone, ask a healthcare professional like a nurse, physician assistant or a doctor. Most are aware of who the best plastic surgeons are in your area and can make a recommendation.
Read Online Reviews
Barring a recommendation from a healthcare provider or someone you personally know, you can use the Internet to read reviews of previous patient experiences, getting to know a little about how each one, including how they “operate” in and out of the operating room. As you read, view everything with healthy skepticism as while they can be a great resource, they can also provide some misinformation. If you see an anonymous negative review, for example, it could be someone who is hoping to advance their own agenda rather than sharing an honest personal experience.
Check Credentials Via the American Board of Plastic Surgery
Once you have a list of potential plastic surgeons, check to see if they’re board certified by governing bodies. They should be board certified through the American Board of Plastic Surgery which is the only one of its kind recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties.
All plastic surgeons should have relevant experience in the procedure you’re looking to have performed, and they should be able to show prospective patients real-life results, including before and after photos of their work. That should also be backed by prior patient ratings and reviews. Talk to former patients to find out about their experiences for a good understanding of what you might expect in regard to the provider’s patient care and approach. A good, credible plastic surgeon should have recent and consistent high ratings and reviews.