What Do You Need to Look for in a Plastic Surgeon?
If you’re going to have a breast augmentation, you’re going to need a plastic surgeon. But not just any plastic surgeon will do. You need to find someone with the right training and experience. And don’t forget about the patient care staff. Your nurses, patient coordinators, and anesthesiologist are important members of your plastic surgery team. A friendly, professional staff is key to a superb experience.
What to consider
Dr. Michael Cohen discusses important questions to consider when selecting a plastic surgeon:
The quick way to narrow down your search
Unfortunately, any licensed doctor can legally practice breast augmentation, even if he’s not had any specialized training. Yeah, that’s pretty lousy, but it’s good for you to know this so you can identify plastic surgeons with the right qualifications.
So how do you identify the right credentials? Make sure the surgeon you choose can claim ALL of the following (and get ready for the flood of acronyms):
- Certification by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS)
- A member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS)
- A member of the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS)
- He is a true board certified plastic surgeon. In Maryland, a doctor must state his or her area of board certification to call themselves “board certified” physicians. Only those certified by an American Board of Medical Specialties member board (like the ABPS) may advertise that they are board certified if they practice in the state.
- He’s got the training. A plastic surgeon with this triad of credentials has at least 6 years of surgical training & experience, with at least 3 of those specifically in plastic surgery.
- He’s a cosmetic surgery specialist. To be a member of ASAPS, a surgeon must be board certified and demonstrate significant experience in cosmetic procedures.
- He only operates in accredited facilities. It’s a requirement of the ASPS for member surgeons to maintain accreditation for their surgical suites.
Other important qualifications to check
For your breast augmentation, you’ll require general anesthesia. This is often the aspect of plastic surgery that scares patients the most. However, the risk of serious complications from anesthesia is remarkably low when administered by an experienced, board certified MD anesthesiologist. Always ask your surgeon who will perform your anesthesia.
Making your consultation work for you
If this is your first time meeting with a plastic surgeon for your breast augmentation, get ready to ask a lot of questions, meet some caring, professional staff, and even have some fun trying on breast implants. You’re probably feeling a combo of excitement, curiosity, and nerves. But relax, it’s not like going to a regular doctor.
For one thing, you’re in charge. Your consultation is as much a chance for you to interview a surgeon as it is an appointment to learn about surgery. You should feel comfortable sharing your feelings, concerns and questions. You should NOT feel pressured to schedule any procedure or feel like you’re receiving a sales pitch. Trust your gut.
Look at lots of before & afters
While plastic surgeons showcase their results on their web sites, most have additional patient photos in their office. Ask to see these, and while you’re looking, ask questions about what you see. Point out the photos that closely match how you want to look, but also point out those that you think are too big, too small, to “too” anything else in the afters.
Before & Afters can give you a sense of a surgeon’s aesthetic style.
Looking for a plastic surgeon in Baltimore? Give us a call.
At Belcara Health, consultations are always free, and include a personal implant sizing session, where you can feel the difference between implants and try on your new look to find your perfect match. Board certified plastic surgeon Dr. Michael Cohen is a breast surgery specialist and internationally recognized for his contribution to breast implant research & development. Call 410.296.0414 for your appointment today!