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HOW TO CHOOSE A QUALIFIED PLASTIC SURGEON
The first and most important decision you will ever make is to carefully evaluate and choose an excellent, well-qualified plastic surgeon. Remember, your goal is to focus on maximizing surgical results while minimizing risks. While this may sound overly simple, many overlook common sense. Thankfully, with the enormous amount of knowledge generated by medical research in the last 50 years, medicine is now highly specialized. It is this specialization that dictates; physicians should not be venturing outside their areas of specialty. Unfortunately, due to managed care constraints; many doctors are "dabbling" in plastic surgery without extensive training that a certified plastic fellowship offers. While no one can "guarantee" perfect results without risks, you can greatly maximize your chances of a good outcome by educating yourself and following these guidelines.
While many surgeons claim to be "board certified" be aware that these boards are not affiliated with the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. The one and only board for plastic surgery is the American Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, ASPRS. Certification by the ASPRS requires:
- Physician's completion to 2-3 years of specialized training in an approved plastic surgery program.
- Passing of a written and oral exam given by the ASPRS.
Ask friends, family, and other medical personnel for referrals. Again be aware that other physicians outside of plastics are trying to perform plastic surgery often with minimal and substandard results.
TIPS FOR CONSIDERATION WHEN CHOOSING A PLASTIC SURGEON
- Is there good Doctor/Patient relationship and rapport?
- Look for a physician with excellent credentials -- ask about number of procedures performed*
- Get second opinions.
*Only allow a physician fully trained in plastic surgery to treat you- always ask where and if training was completed.
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