Your choice of cosmetic surgeon will be a choice you live with for years, if not your entire life. A successful procedure will make you feel more like yourself and give you greater confidence for years to come. On the other hand, ending up in the hands of an inexperienced surgeon increases your chances of having poor results which leads to additional costs, time, and heartache.
Finding a board certified cosmetic surgeon who has plenty of experience in your procedure of choice is critical to getting the results you desire. If you get a referral from a friend or doctor, be sure to find out if they have the right qualifications before the consultation.
Top Qualities to Look for in a Cosmetic Surgeon
It is important to have a board certified surgeon because legally, any doctor is permitted to do any procedure. If you use a board certified cosmetic surgeon, you know he or she has completed three to five years of training in general surgery and a minimum of two to three years of training in cosmetic surgery.
Board certificated cosmetic surgeons also have to do continuing medical education and take a written test every ten years.
You want your surgeon to be certified by any of the following:
- American Board of Cosmetic Surgery
- American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery
- American Board of Plastic Surgery
- American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery
- American Board of Maxillo-Facial Surgery
Experience in the Procedure You Want
Experienced cosmetic surgeons perform a broad range of surgeries on a regular basis. Be sure the cosmetic surgeon has plenty of experience in the particular procedure you plan to have. If considering a “new” technique or technology, patients should inquire whether results that substantiate safety and effectiveness have been published in a peer-reviewed journal.
Questions to ask your potential cosmetic surgeon:
- How did you train in the procedure I am considering?
- How long have you been performing this procedure?
- How many times have you performed this type of procedure?
Before granting operating privileges, hospital review committees evaluate a surgeon’s training and competency for specific procedures. Wherever the surgery will be performed, be sure that the surgeon has operating privileges in an accredited hospital for the same procedure being considered.
The consultation is an important opportunity for questions to be asked and answered. It should include a candid discussion of risks as well as benefits of the surgery. A thorough consultation also involves a review of medical history including any existing medical conditions. All these factors help the surgeon to custom-tailor the operation to best meet the needs of each patient.
- Does the surgeon encourage you to ask questions?
- Are the surgeon’s answers to your questions realistic?
You’re going to be spending quite a bit of time with your cosmetic surgeon both before and after surgery. Plus, surgery is a big deal, and there can be curves in the path to your new look. You need to feel very comfortable with your cosmetic surgeon and their support team.
Questions to ask yourself:
- Do I feel like I can trust this surgeon to recommend what is safe and right for me?
- Would I feel comfortable asking this surgeon any question I might have throughout the process?
Throughout the process of improving your appearance, you want to be sure you are being served and treated well. Some of that will be obvious a few minutes after you walk in the door of the surgeon’s office. Here are some tips on other things to consider.
- Is the staff friendly and helpful?
- Are all fees clearly stated? Is the quote all-inclusive?
- Do I receive a prompt reply when I contact the office?
Good surgical care does not end with the surgery. For most surgeries, cosmetic surgeons want to see the results and monitor your progress.
You should inquire about follow-up visits and about the doctor’s policies should surgical revisions be necessary.
About Rodeo Surgical Art and Dr. David Mashhadian
Dr. Mashhadian graduated top of his class from New York University and went on to graduate from Mount Sinai School of Medicine where he completed his General Surgery as well as his Maxillo-Facial Surgery training. He went on to receive numerous awards in both the academic and clinical arenas.
Following his dreams of becoming a cosmetic surgeon he then completed an intensive postgraduate clinical fellowship training in General Body and Facial Cosmetic Surgery. He is a Diplomate of American Board of Cosmetic Surgery and was recently given the honor of being appointed a Board Examiner for the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery.