How to Choose a Plastic Surgeon?

Choosing a plastic surgeon can be a task for a prospective patient. How does one truly go about making that kind of “life altering” decision? A decade or so ago, it was statement enough to confirm a surgeon was officially “board-certified”.  Much has changed since then, and there are too many improperly trained physicians masquerading as plastic surgeons… thus, that this is no longer sufficient proof.

What exactly should a prospective patient look for in a plastic surgeon?

Perhaps one of the most important things is to make sure the plastic surgeon is certified. You can easily go to www.plasticsurgery.org to check.  Surgeons certified must undergo a minimum of 3 years general surgery training, 2 years plastic surgery training, pass a comprehensive written and oral examination, and adhere to a strict code of medical ethics. There is not another certifying board that requires their surgeons to meet such strict educational standards. However, this also stresses why it is important that someone considering cosmetic surgery, choose a “board-certified plastic surgeon.”

A cosmetic surgeon and a plastic surgeon have similar skills, yet they are different. Certified cosmetic surgeons can be a dermatologist, OBGYN or an ENT.  You wouldn’t need a plastic surgeon to remove your tonsils, so why consider letting an ENT perform a breast augmentation?

Unfortunately, any physician can call themselves a plastic surgeon, even claiming “board-certified”. The question should always be certified by who? Be wary of those who are certified by meaningless boards when considering plastic surgery. This is to important a decision to take any type of chance on dealing with a faux surgeon.

Take time to sit and chat with the potential plastic surgeon, allowing them time to explain the surgery to you.  The amount of time your surgeon spends with you before surgery could be indicative of the time spent performing the surgery, and providing aftercare..

It is equally important to avoid bargain-basement cosmetic surgery centers. Often times, these are run by shady people, who know nothing about plastic surgery or medicine in general. They operate by hiring surgeons who are often retired or poorly trained, paying them by the hour to operate on gullible people.  Sometimes these surgeons can even be in “training” to become true cosmetic surgeons, and their patients are simply guinea pigs. Picture stepping into a cosmetology school and expecting a five star haircut, but… the results won’t simply grow back in a few weeks. The old expression, “you get what ou pay for”, applies 100% in plastic surgery.

Often times a skilled plastic surgeon in Toronto will have a portfolio, filled with dated before and after pictures. It is an excellent idea to sit and take the time to go through these work references to see the skills of the surgeons on staff. This can give us a great idea of the quality of services available.

The most important thing we need to do when considering a plastic surgeon, is make sure we actually feel good about the choice we make. There has to be a level of comfort in order to relax and endure surgery. If the comfort level lacks, move on to another surgeon and continue that process until the one that puts you at ease is found.

Remember, plastic surgery is a big deal, and it is important we take our time in determining which plastic surgeon meets our individual needs.