More than ever, people are looking to facial plastic surgery as a viable option to treat a condition or problem area they’ve long wanted to change in some way. Meanwhile, as more people are getting plastic surgery, there is an increasing amount of information out there about plastic surgery. That means there is an even greater potential for misinformation.
Today, it’s more important than ever to do your homework before deciding on a facial plastic surgeon to perform a surgery that will be life-changing.
To help you out, we’ve compiled the top six tips for choosing a facial plastic surgeon you can trust:
Talk to friends and family who’ve had similar work done
One of the first places to start when looking for a facial plastic surgeon that will provide you with the results you’re after is to talk with friends, family, coworkers who have had a similar procedure done. Someone you trust can give you an honest opinion and explain the whole process. They’ll be able to go over everything from the consultation to the procedure to recovery. You can also ask other doctors or medical professionals for referrals. These people typically know which are the best surgeons in the area and are open to making recommendations.
Read reviews about surgeons in your area
Knowledge is power! Do your homework and read up on facial plastic surgeons in your area. Checking out reviews is a great way to get some insight into how various surgeons handle everything from the surgery itself to customer complaints. You can even look at social media for previous patient insight. Some types of surgeries like breast augmentation have their pages dedicated to that specific surgery. These pages are another place to look when you want an outside opinion.
Play the devil’s advocate
However, you’ll want to read reviews and look at before and after photos with a healthy amount of skepticism. Be sure to take everything you read with a grain of salt. Play the devil’s advocate on both sides. Don’t assume that all good reviews are genuine or that a few bad reviews mean that the surgeon was in the wrong. While reviews on Yelp and RealSelf can be a wealth of good information, they’re not always real or accurate.
Sometimes, anonymous reviews are left by patients seeking revenge or to promote their agenda. Other times, a surgeon’s work can be painted in a falsely positive light. For example, before and after photos may be altered to look like there was a more dramatic change when in reality, it could be that the “after” photos were manipulated. Take a meticulous look at before and after pictures to make sure the lighting, shadows, and makeup are the same in both images.
Check the qualifications of each candidate
How qualified is your plastic surgeon to perform plastic surgery on your face? Just as you wouldn’t choose just any doctor for brain surgery, you shouldn’t select any medical professional to operate on your face. Make sure that the surgeons you’re considering are not only board-certified, but board certified by the specific group known as the American Board of Plastic Surgery. This board requires at least six years of experience after medical school and a minimum of three years of plastic surgery residency training. Renewal is required to remain board-certified under this specific group every ten years.
In addition to board certification, make sure the surgeons you are considering have been well trained in your area of concern. If your surgery is a niche procedure, consider a surgeon who was involved in inventing or developing the procedure.
Schedule consultations with your prospective surgeons
WebMD recommends interviewing two to three surgeons who specialize in the type of work you’re looking to have done. Come to each consultation prepared with a list of questions just like you would for a job interview. Take it as seriously as you would if you were seeking treatment for a serious medical issue. According to Dr. Anthony Bared, one of the leading facial plastic surgeons of Miami, the plastic surgeon you choose should be able to listen to your concerns and answer your questions thoroughly and thoughtfully. How your prospective surgeon acts during the consultation is likely how they will be during the procedure and in the postoperative recovery period. At the end of the consultation, make sure that you and the surgeon are on the same page about what your goals are and what they can achieve. They should be honest and transparent about results they can deliver; if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
The consultation is also a good time to discuss costs. Surgeries include a surgeon’s fee, anesthesiologist fee, and facility fee. All costs should be discussed ahead of time to make sure you know what to expect and there are no surprises. Always keep in mind that plastic surgery is not cheap. Pricing should be fair, but not cheap. If you go for a very inexpensive option, you may have to undergo revision surgery later on, which can make it more expensive in the long run.
Go with your gut
At the end of the day, the best way to find a plastic surgeon you can trust is to listen to your gut instincts. If something feels uncomfortable, don’t go with that surgeon. The relationship you and your plastic surgeon have is very personal and requires a great deal of trust. Choosing the right surgeon is almost as much about connection and blend of personalities as much as it is about skill and credentials.