When a person first entertains the idea of plastic surgery, it is common practice to begin the search based on the recommendation of friends, personal doctors, advertisements and information found on the Internet. It can be an overwhelming process when faced with the endless claims by most doctors of the unparalleled qualifications and skills of the surgeon featured. Most advertisments and websites suggest that each provider of cosmetic services is “world famous”…“the best.” Yet a seemingly simple and good rule of thumb anyone contemplating surgery should keep in mind is actually pretty simple: The more a provider finds a need to advertise, the less the doctor advertising is busy as a result of past work.
The first step in achieving a satisfactory outcome in any elected plastic surgery is choosing the right surgeon. A successful surgery depends on numerous factors including a patient who has a reasonable request and expectations for any surgical procedure. The surgeon must be honest in their assessment in achieving the patient’s desired expectations. Each surgeon has a specific skill set and the results are directly related to that set of skills.
As such, the selection process begins with basic qualifications determination including the following:
Ensure the surgeon is board certified.
All plastic surgeons are not alike. Plastic surgeons that are certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS) are uniquely qualified and specially trained. They have been proven to provide the best patient care and have the lowest rates of complications. Do not assume that all doctors who claim to be “board certified” have the same training. Be sure that the ABPS has certified your selected doctor.
Check the surgeon’s record.
It may seem basic, but make sure your surgeon is licensed to practice medicine within the state where your plastic surgery will take place. Contact the state’s medical board for a one-stop investigation into a surgeon’s record from these organizations, which record any disciplinary actions possibly placed against the surgeon. Request a copy of the report and pay close attention to any settlements or records of disciplinary action.
Ask if the surgeon has hospital privileges.
This is important because hospitals do exhaustive background checks. If a surgeon does not have hospital privileges, consider it an immediate “red flag.” The hospital has checks and balances on a practice. Hospital privileges are critically important for many reasons including, in the event any surgical complicaitons arise, the surgeon has a place readily available to take the patient.
Have these questions for your doctor.
Preparation for any medical needs always favors the educated. Take the time to vett your selected surgeon via the following list of questions. The more apt and comfortable a surgeon is in providing answers, the better.
- How many times has the surgeon performed the elected procedure?
- How long has the surgeon performed the elected procedure?
- What other procedures does the surgeon perform?
- Who will assist in the procedure and what are their qualifications and training?
- Are all involved licensed and in good standing?
- What is involved in the procedure? How is it performed?
- Can I see multiple before and after photos of patients on whom you have performed this procedure?
- Can you provide me with three to five reference patients on whom you’ve performed this procedure?
- What is the exact breakdown of fees for this plastic surgery procedure?
- Can I get advance copies of all forms I have to complete and sign prior to procedure?
- Are you insured for malpractice?
- Will the surgeon use sedation? If yes, what level of seditation will the surgeon use?
- Who will administer and monitor the sedation?
- How long will the procedure(s) last?
- How long will the sedation effects last?
- How long will it take to recover in the facility before discharge?
- Where will the surgery take place?
- Should they be needed, what are the emergency plans?
- Should one be needed, to which hospital would I be taken?
- Will post-operative medicine be necessary?
- Will there be noticeable scarring?
- What realistic result(s) can I expect?
- Will the surgeon perform the procedure from the first cut to the last stitch?
- What are the risks associated with this procedure?
- What are any potential warning signs or concerns to watch for?
- Do you perform surgicial revisions, and if so, at what cost?
Explore our website for more information on Dr. O’Daniel and the fantastic results he has achieved.