After years of dreaming and setting money aside, you’ve decided to take the next step and get cosmetic surgery. But doing the necessary legwork to find the best plastic surgeon for you can feel daunting, especially if you don’t have a clear idea of where to begin.
The first thing to keep in mind is that cosmetic surgery is a highly competitive field. As you look at listings and websites for various plastic surgery providers, don’t allow yourself to get taken in by marketing claims that a certain provider is “exclusive” in your community, because that might cause you to overlook a surgeon who is actually a better fit to address your goals and concerns.
If you commit to surgery without talking to the doctor, only to find the surgeon’s personality doesn’t mesh well with yours, your level of anxiety and discomfort about the procedure may increase. When you are considering cosmetic surgery, it’s essential not only to do your research online, but also to interview potential doctors to get a sense of their demeanor and experience.
Factors to Research When Choosing a Plastic Surgeon
As you do your homework to find the best cosmetic surgeon for you, you should exclude any surgeon who:
- Does not routinely perform the procedure you are considering: A surgeon who has limited experience in the procedure you desire probably will not be able to give you the outcomes you’re hoping for. There are many specialties and sub-specialties within the field of cosmetic surgery, and some doctors choose to narrow their focus to just a few areas. As you are interviewing potential surgeons, ask about how many years they have been performing your desired procedure.
- Promises you there will be no risks of surgery: Though a qualified surgeon will take every effort to minimize complications during and after surgery, trustworthy physicians always keep in mind that risks are possible, and will be open to discussing your concerns and providing you with detailed instructions to follow to make sure you have the safest possible surgery and recovery.
- Guarantees specific results: Remember, even the world’s most talented cosmetic surgeon cannot make you look like a different person. A skilled and honest surgeon will be up-front with you about what is possible with your cosmetic surgery, based on factors such as your age, genetics, bone structure, skin elasticity and overall health.
- Refuses to provide before-and-after photos of previous patients: A doctor who is confident in the work they have done with other patients should be more than willing to show you before-and-after pictures to demonstrate their skill level. Be wary of any doctor who does not readily provide you with a photo gallery of their results.
- Does not allow an open dialogue where you can freely ask any questions: There’s no such thing as a bad question, especially when it comes to altering your appearance. Pay attention to how potential surgeons respond to you, and how they make you feel. If you are uncomfortable talking openly with someone, or if that person is rushing or pushing you into making a decision, that is usually a sign it’s time to look elsewhere.
- Is not friendly and respectful: Choosing to undergo cosmetic surgery is a big decision. Any surgeon you consider should respect that decision and be willing to work with you to achieve your goals. Your doctor’s attitude can go a long way toward influencing the way you feel about getting surgery, and can be a difference-maker when it comes to establishing a strong doctor-patient relationship.
- Offers discounts or gimmicks that seem too good to be true: Be wary of any clinic or doctor who makes high-flying statements that sound unrealistic. While everyone likes to feel as if they’re getting the best deal available, “bargain pricing” in cosmetic surgery is usually something to avoid. It may signify the surgeon is willing to cut corners in some way that would put you at greater risk for complications or result in a less-than-desirable outcome.
- Is not habitually involved in postoperative care: A doctor should be concerned about the entire surgical process from a holistic standpoint, and that includes what happens in the days and weeks following the surgery. It’s not a good sign if a doctor cannot provide you with specific postoperative instructions or a care sheet to help you ensure proper healing and recovery, or if you feel like you cannot call your surgeon about questions and concerns as you recuperate.
- Does not take both your physical and mental health into consideration: Even though cosmetic surgery is an elective decision, the outcomes are much more than just skin-deep. Having plastic surgery can affect your physical health – especially if you have certain risk factors or medical conditions – but it can also be a significant mental adjustment in terms of your self-esteem. A reputable doctor will always evaluate your total health to make sure you are a good candidate for a full and safe recovery from whatever procedure you are considering.
- Has not achieved specific medical qualifications: Board certification is a hallmark of a surgeon’s commitment to excellence in their field, and cosmetic surgery is no different. Achieving board certification is highly demanding and requires completion of a challenging series of written and oral exams, as well as ongoing educational courses. Additionally, ask if your surgeon maintains memberships in any professional associations, or has published papers or delivered lectures about areas of their expertise. Awards and accolades from local or national organizations or publications are also worth looking into. And it’s always a good idea to check whether any form of disciplinary action has been taken against the surgeon.
Louisville Plastic Surgery – Providing Excellent Results for Our Patients for 30 Years
Leading Louisville cosmetic surgeon Dr. Gerald O’Daniel has completed dual board certifications in facial plastic surgery and plastic surgery, in addition to fellowship training in facial nerve surgery, craniofacial surgery and pediatric plastic surgery. His lifelong hobbies of sculpture, painting and drawing have given him a unique aesthetic approach and attention to detail. He has been named the top plastic surgeon in Louisville for the past 17 years in a row, and has been invited to speak about surgical techniques to colleagues around the world. Call our office at 502-584-1109 to schedule an appointment.