Educating Yourself About Your Procedure is Important, but Educating Yourself About Your Doctor is Paramount.
Cosmetic surgery is increasingly becoming a part of mainstream American society. We live in a competitive society where looking our best has a direct effect on our personal and business relationships. Just as we head to the gym and plan our diets to feel good, more and more of us are considering cosmetic surgery to improve our looks as well as our self esteem. In fact, a recent survey conducted by the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (AAFPRS) found that 85% of adult Americans would undergo a plastic surgery procedure if given the chance.
If cosmetic surgery is an option you are considering, there are a number of things you should know. With the vast numbers of surgeons in practice today, it is more important than ever for you to make informed decisions when considering an elective procedure such as cosmetic surgery. One of the most confusing issues today for individuals seeking a cosmetic surgeon is that of board certification. In today’s highly competitive medical environment, the term “board certified” can be found in almost any surgeon’s advertising. It is important for you to recognize and seek out a surgeon who is “board certified” not “board eligible”, in the correct area of expertise. A board eligible doctor might have had training, but has not passed the board exams. If you are considering a cosmetic procedure of the face, head or neck, the correct area of expertise is facial plastic surgery. If you are interested in anything involving the body, the area of expertise is plastic surgery.
There are a number of “boards” that certify surgeons performing facial plastic and plastic surgery , which are either member boards of the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) or have been deemed equivalent to the boards of the ABMS. These boards include the American Board of Otolaryngology , the American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery , and the American Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons (ASPS), for example. What you should know is that most of these board-certified plastic surgeons are members of the world’s largest associations of plastic and reconstructive surgeons, the AAFPRS and the ASPS.
When considering procedures for the face, neck, nose, or ears it is most important to require the surgeon to be double board certified by the American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and by the American Board of Otolaryngology .
There is some important information you should be aware of when seeking and selecting a surgeon for cosmetic surgical procedures of the face, head, neck or body. The following are tips to assist you in making informed decisions when choosing the best surgeon for your specific needs:
When seeking a surgeon, word of mouth referrals are a good place to begin your search. Consult with friends or relatives who have undergone a procedure, ask a trusted physician or inquire with your hairdresser or esthetician at your local salon as to which doctors in the area have good reputations for performing facial and body cosmetic procedures.
Do your homework
Be sure to find out how many years the doctor has been practicing facial plastic or plastic surgery and how much experience he/she has in the particular procedures that you’re interested in. A doctor may have formal training and board certification, but nothing compares to experience. Ask to see before and after pictures of the procedures the doctor has performed, particularly the ones you are interested in and if he has patients willing to talk with you about there experience. You should also check to make sure the doctor is in good standing with your local medical society and the hospitals where he/she has privileges. Check to make sure that the surgeon’s area of expertise and corresponding board certification is in facial plastic surgery for facial procedures or plastic surgery for body procedures.
The AAFPRS and the ASPS each offers a toll-free physician referral hotline which can be utilized to confirm a plastic surgeon’s board certification. The AAFPRS hotline is 1-800-332-3223 and the ASPS hotline is 1-888-475-2784.
The AAFPRS’ and the ASPS’ hotlines can also be utilized to obtain complimentary background material on specific procedures. Studying this material will give you a good base knowledge on your areas of interest so you can determine what questions to ask and what answers to expect in return.
Assure your safety
Make sure your surgery will be performed in a State Accredited surgical facility. These facilities must pass all the same rules, regulations, and guidelines as a hospital and be fully equipped just like a hospital. This will give you the comfort of knowing that although you will not be paying the high cost of surgery in a hospital, you will still be receiving high quality personalized care, and the facility is equipped to handle any emergency that might arise. Also, make sure that a board certified M.D. anesthesiologist administers your anesthesia, not a nurse. A board certified anesthesiologist is a physician who administers anesthesia.
Here at Premier Image Cosmetic and Laser Surgery, we are proud to meet all of these guidelines and recommendations and want to remind you that cosmetic surgery is an elective procedure that should not be entered into lightly, but with much research and consideration.