How To Choose a Plastic Surgeon


The popularity of plastic surgery is soaring— and more and more doctors are trying to meet the demand for this specialty that has become an integral part of mainstream medicine. A Guide to Choosing the Right Surgeon for You

Any licensed physician can call himself or herself a cosmetic surgeon, so the importance of finding a properly trained and certified provider is paramount. Choosing a doctor who’s a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons® (ASPS) is the first step in ensuring quality care and outcomes. If you are considering plastic surgery, there is no substitute for an ASPS Member Surgeon.

Why is an ASPS Member Surgeon the Best Choice for me?

Each ASPS Member Surgeon:

  • Has at least six years of surgical training and experience, with a minimum of three years of plastic surgery.
  • Is board-certified by The American Board of Plastic Surgery or The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.
  • Is trained and experienced in all plastic surgery procedures, including breast, body, face and reconstruction.
  • Is peer-reviewed for safety and ethical standards prior to attaining the honor of active membership.
  • Only operates in accredited facilities.
  • Adheres to a strict code of ethics.
  • Fulfills continuing medical education requirements, including standards and innovations in patient safety.

Did You Know?

Plastic surgery can also slow the aging process and improve the visible signs of aging.

Cosmetic procedures such as breast augmentation, body contouring, liposuction, facial contouring and nose surgery are among the most popular procedures performed by ASPS Member Surgeons, but they are trained in cosmetic procedures of the face and all areas of the body to help you look naturally younger.

Among the procedures used to turn back the effects of time are:

  • Surgical rejuvenation of the aging face
  • Injectable therapies
  • Laser and light-based rejuvenation
  • Breast lifts and bodylifts

In reconstructive cases, ASPS Member Surgeons help people get their lives back and feel more comfortable with themselves. Reconstructive procedures include: burn, wound and trauma repair; tumor removal and cancer reconstruction; correction of birth defects and acquired deformities; hand surgery; maxillofacial and craniofacial surgery; microsurgical reconstruction.

ASPS Member Surgeons also use reconstructive procedures to restore a more natural look and function in cases where the patient has been compromised by disease, accident or disfigurement. Regardless of the reason or motivation for undergoing plastic surgery, ASPS Member Surgeons are your partners in looking and feeling better.

As a prospective plastic surgery patient, educating yourself is one of the most important things you can do. To help prepare you, we offer you the following guide:

STEP 1: Questions to Ask When Choosing a Plastic Surgeon

  • Is the plastic surgeon an ASPS Member Surgeon? (If he or she answers “yes,” you can rest assured that your surgeon is board-certified in plastic surgery, has hospital privileges and only performs surgery in accredited facilities.)
  • Is the plastic surgeon board-certified by The American Board of Plastic Surgery or The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada?
  • Does the plastic surgeon have hospital privileges to perform this procedure? If so, at which hospitals?
  • Is the surgical facility accredited?
  • How many procedures of this type has the plastic surgeon performed?

STEP 2: Questions to Ask Your ASPS Member Surgeon During Your Consultation
It’s important to talk to your ASPS Member Surgeon about your goals and your treatment. Feel confident asking about your doctor’s credentials, experience, outcomes or safety record. It is your body, your safety and your life.

  • Am I a good candidate for this procedure?
  • What will be expected of me to get optimal results?
  • What are the risks involved with my procedure?
  • How long of a recovery period can I expect, and what kind of help will I need during my recovery?
  • Will I need to take time off work? If so, how long?

During the consultation, your plastic surgeon should:

  • Answer all of your questions thoroughly and clearly.
  • Ask about your thoughts to recommended treatment.
  • Offer alternatives, where appropriate, without pressuring you to consider unneeded or additional procedures.
  • Welcome questions about your procedure and his or her professional qualifications, experience, costs and payment policies.
  • Make clear the risks of surgery and possible outcomes.
  • Give you information about the procedure you want.
  • Leave the final decision to you.

If you would like to learn more about plastic surgery, www.plasticsurgery.org is a great resource for information of all types.

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