Choosing a plastic surgeon depends on a number of factors particular to your case, such as the specific type of surgery you want and the expertise of the surgeon.
In any case, be sure your plastic surgeon:
> has been certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS) ;
> practiced plastic surgery within at least three years from obtaining certification;
> has hospital privileges for cosmetic plastic surgery;
> is in good standing with the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery and the American Society of Plastic Surgeons; and
> has been approved for ASAPS membership by other qualified surgeons;
If everything checks out, they you can ensure that your doctor:
> is experienced in performing cosmetic procedures;
> works in a facility that is licensed, accredited or certified by Medicare; and
> observes a strict Code of Ethics, ensuring that patient care is provided at the highest standards, and patient rights are respected.
In the U.S., the first and only organization devoted to cosmetic surgery is none other than the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS).
Members of this group are popular for their skills and experience in cosmetic procedures.
Before a doctor obtains plastic surgery board certification, he has to spend no less than five years in surgery training after graduating from medical school. It is vital to remember that not all doctors who call themselves “plastic surgeon” have indeed been trained in plastic surgery, much less certified by the ABPS.
Unfortunately, in most states, anyone who has a medical license can call themselves plastic or cosmetic surgeons, whether or not they have formal surgical training. A procedure with a doctor who is not trained in plastic surgery may still be safe, but you may be disappointed with the visible results.
You need not get confused by any other official-sounding, sometimes fancy-sounding, boards and certifications. You just need to find a surgeon who is certified by the ABPS; if a doctor is ABPS-certified, that means he is fully qualified to do all kinds of plastic surgery.
ASAPS members are well-credentialed when it comes to performing a whole range of cosmetic procedures. Before choosing a surgeon, be sure that the doctor satisfy all the requirements mentioned above. When it comes to your health, there should be no compromises whatsoever.
Also, with everything else being equal, pick a surgeon you are comfortable with. The best way to know if you have some chemistry going with a prospect is to visit them for a consultation.
Finally, make sure you don’t restrict yourself to just one doctor. Consider at least two or three. It pays to make comparisons because this is the only way you can tell if a doctor is indeed the best for you.