If you are considering cosmetic surgery, you have several key decisions to make. You need to decide what procedure you wish to have, when you would like to have your surgery, and where you would like to have your procedure performed. However, the single biggest decision you need to make is who will perform your surgery. Selecting an accomplished plastic surgeon is the single best way to ensure that you are satisfied with the results of your surgery. Below is a look at seven factors to consider as you evaluate plastic surgeons and how to finalize your decision.
Factors to Consider When Choosing a Plastic Surgeon
Choosing the plastic surgeon just down the street or the surgeon who advertises the most on television is often not the best course of action. Selecting the best plastic surgeon for your specific requires careful evaluation and comparison of the cosmetic surgeons who specialize in the procedure that you are seeking. Below are seven factors to consider as you compare plastic surgeons:
1) Specialized Education and Training
Plastic surgery requires specialized training and precision that is best acquired through rigorous education and training. As you compare surgeons, be sure to check their educational background and credentials, which should be available for viewing on the surgeon’s website and onsite at their surgery center. Ideally, the plastic surgeon you choose should possess the following:
- A doctorate in medicine (M.D.)
- Completion of residencies in general surgery and plastic surgery
- A fellowship in cosmetic or plastic surgery
- Ongoing training provided through professional societies
2) A Good Bedside Manner
“…Characteristics mentioned in positive (plastic surgeon) reviews included good bedside manner, friendly/helpful office staff, surgeon expertise, and listening to the patient…Contributors to negative reviews included not listening to the patient, lack of surgeon competence, and not acknowledging or taking responsibility for poor results.”
– Wolters Kluwer Health
As you meet with prospective surgeons and their staff, be sure to consider the surgeon’s bedside manner, active listening skills, and sensitivity to your needs and concerns. ASPS Member John Y.S. Kim, MD, notes that the “patient’s interactions with the surgeon and staff provide the impetus for positive or negative reviews” of a surgeon.
3) Professional Memberships in Medical Societies
Membership in professional societies such the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) and the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) illustrates a surgeon’s commitment to delivering the highest quality of care to patients. Surgeons are typically invited to join these organizations, which provide members with access to a host of resources, including the following:
- Annual membership meetings that feature educational seminars, networking opportunities, and exposure to the latest surgical techniques
- Quality resources, such as clinical guidelines, performance measures, and access to current research
- Educational publications that highlight the latest news and current trends in the plastic surgery arena
4) Before and After Photos
Accomplished plastic surgeons showcase their work with confidence. The surgeon’s website should contain plenty of before and after photos of the procedure you are seeking, along with comments from current and past patients. A growing number of surgeons are posting video clips on their sites to illustrate how a procedure can transform your appearance. If the surgeon’s website only contains one or two photos, be sure to ask to see additional photos during your consultation.
5) Industry Leadership
The nation’s top plastic surgeons are outstanding leaders within the plastic surgery industry. They serve on panels at conferences, speak at universities, and are selected to review textbooks and journal articles. They often hold an office within their local professional societies and present clinical research material at annual ASPS and ASAPS meetings. Leading plastic surgeons are also frequently invited to author material in books.
6) Application of the Latest Surgical Techniques
A hallmark of a superb plastic surgeon is a desire to continually improve their surgical techniques. They achieve this goal by always staying abreast of the latest advances in the field of plastic surgery. They invest in the latest cutting-edge surgical equipment and participate in continuing education seminars to keep their skills sharp. In short, they are dedicated to enhancing the patient experience from the moment you enter their surgery center to the last day of the recovery process.
Finalizing Your Decision
Finding a plastic surgeon who offers all of the qualities outlined above may seem like an overwhelming task. Fortunately, Dr. Mark Markarian is a model of excellence for each of these key factors. As a specialist in facelifts, rhinoplasty, breast augmentation, body contouring, and other procedures, Dr. Markarian uses the latest cutting-edge techniques to ensure that patients are satisfied with the results of their surgeries. As a a board-certified aesthetic plastic surgeon and a member of the ASPS, Dr. Markarian holds himself to the most rigorous set of standards when operating his plastic surgery practice.