Choosing the right cosmetic plastic surgeon can be a difficult process. When choosing a surgeon, patients need to make sure that the surgeon is in tune with their wishes concerning appearance. They need to ensure that their surgeon has the ability to treat them compassionately and that their surgeon is an expert in the field. Most importantly, the majority of that plastic surgeon’s practice should be cosmetic in nature (90%) and they need to have been doing solely cosmetic plastic surgery for at least 20 years.  Dr. Mark Zukowski offers his tips to help patients choose a cosmetic plastic surgeon they trust. 

  1. Look into Board Certification

Make sure your prospective surgeon has all of the proper board certifications. Board certification is a rigorous vetting process that shows that a doctor is capable of performing a wide variety of cosmetic and reconstructive procedures. Dr. Mark Zukowski says the board certification to look for is The American Board of Plastic Surgery founded in 1937. This professional organization is trusted widely in the medical field as the premier certification board for plastic surgeons. Also, if a plastic surgeon is not a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) they are notcertified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. 

  • Look at Examples of Their Work

It is important to take a look at the surgeon’s work in procedures similar to the one you would like to have performed. You will be able to get a good idea of the surgeon’s aesthetic principles and you will be able to see how closely the surgeon came to the patient’s wishes. Every patient, however, has a different idea of what looks good on them. Beware of the doctor who has been doing feminization or masculinization procedure less than 15 yearsor has less than 50% of their practicegender related.

  • Check Medical Licensing 

This is a step that some patients neglect when choosing a doctor. It is always wise to check the doctor’s licensing status with the state and to find out whether the doctor has any medical malpractice claims against them. While most cosmetic plastic surgeons are up-to-date on their certifications, it is important to check. If a surgeon has many problems in their record, it is best to look elsewhere. 

  • Talk to Current Patients

Often a cosmetic plastic surgeon will provide references to patients whom they have already treated. These testimonials can be a vital part of choosing the right cosmetic surgeon. When a patient understands how the surgeon works based on others’ experience, they can confer a certain amount of trust on the surgeon. However, beware of the paid blogger assassin. These people have an axe to grind or are paid to spread misinformation. This is a very common tactic that many doctors or groups use. 

  • Check Online Reviews 

Online reviews are another way to check on a doctor’s reputation. Patients should keep in mind, however, that online reviews are most often biased and that they often twist the truth. Reading a broad set of reviews is a good way to find out how the surgeon actually works without disruption from patients who may have an axe to grind. Often, doctors will have on the payroll a person who deliberately distorts the truth to generate more business for a doctor or group. This is especially true with overseas surgeons or groups. They will try to “sucker you in” with paid for hire advocates. Going overseas for cosmetic surgery is a big ‘no, no’. There is no quality control, uniformity in credentials or training, and no legal recourse if something goes bad. Remember the adage, “Pay once to do it right, or double to get it fixed.” 

  • Meet with the Surgeon for a Consultation

Most cosmetic plastic surgeons will offer a consultation before the desired procedure either in person in their office, or by phone, if you are from out of town. It should be free,especially if you are paying out of pocket for your procedure. If the surgeon does not offer this service, they are probably not trustworthy. There needs to be an open line of communication between the doctor and the patient. The surgeon should be able to explain the procedure to you in great detail, answering any of your questions about the surgery and about the recovery process. 

Dr. Mark Zukowski notes that he gives out a private cell phone and e-mail to contact him after hours postoperatively. It is also a good idea to meet with the surgeon’s office staff. Office staff can make or break a plastic surgeon. You need to find an office with competent, caring professionals on staff. If you are poorly treated by the office staff (so long as you are treating them nicely), this is another red flag that you may not be able to trust the cosmetic plastic surgeon. 

Choosing the Right Cosmetic Plastic Surgeon

When you follow these tips from Dr. Mark Zukowski, you will find it easier to vet a cosmetic plastic surgeon and find the right one to help you to achieve the appearance of your dreams. Cosmetic plastic surgeons are dedicated to helping people overcome their dissatisfaction with their appearance. Finding a caring, compassionate cosmetic plastic surgeon with excellent technical abilities will help you feel better about yourself and live a fuller, happier life. All excellent cosmetic plastic surgeons have a solid foundation in training and early practice with reconstructive surgery. This reconstructive background is imperative as a general rule of thumb. If they don’t spend a lot of the time with you in person, or at regular intervals before surgery, then they will not talk to you afterward if you have questions or problems.

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