Who is an Expert in Plastic Surgery? How to choose a Cosmetic Plastic Surgeon
With the publics burgeoning desire for aesthetic and anti-aging treatments, comes an equal number of providers wanting to fill those needs. In days gone by, patients choose their cosmetic doctors primarily by word-of-mouth. Doctor reputations were earned by results and longevity in practice. While this still has significant importance today, the use of paper and visual media and in particular the internet, has enabled a doctor to shape his credibility and reputation way ahead of what years of experience could similarly do. Such digital and electronic exposure can be extremely helpful or could also be potentially deceiving to prospective patients.
Beyond the glitzy advertisements, well-crafted websites, and free seminars with wine and food, what are some helpful criteria that can guide patients on whom to trust to undergo the cosmetic knife, needle, or laser? Many of the most basic criteria are well known and have been published many times elsewhere. Evaluating training, education, and board-certification are absolute basics and are relatively easy to determine. Of this group, the most important question is. . . are you board-certified. . . and in what specialty? Once past these basics, however, the next confidence level can only be gained in an actual consultation. Someone's website can get you to the consultation chair, but what you learn there can be more informative than any brochure if you know what to look and listen for. I would focus on these issues:
1) Did the consultation feel like an educational experience or a sales presentation?
2) Where treatment options presented and reviewed. . . or was only one treatment approach
3) Was time given to answer all your questions. . . and a way to answer questions that may
4) Were actual before and after procedure photos done by the doctor you are seeing shown or a method to view them provided?
5) Was talking to actual patients whom have had the procedures offered as an option? Were
these patients whom have had surgery had it in the past three months so that their memories are fresh?
6) Finally, once home, did the doctor and his office feel right? Did the consultation make you
feel more comfortable and secure in your decision?
In the end, an emotional connection and a sense of security is the final layer in the selection process that is built on a foundation of the doctor's education, training and certifications.
Dr Barry Eppley is a board-certified plastic surgeon in private practice in Indianapolis, Indiana at Clarian Health Systems. (http://www.eppleyplasticsurgery.com ) He writes a daily blog on plastic surgery, spa therapies, and medical skin care at http://www.exploreplasticsurgery.com