iStock_000005965602SmallIf you are considering having a facelift, tummy tuck or any other plastic surgery procedure, it can be a daunting task to take the next step: finding a plastic surgeon. Some people go with a recommendation from a friend or relative, while others may choose the surgeon based on their reputation in the community. Whatever your way of going about it, it is wise to consider these points before making your final decision.

Look for a Plastic Surgeon Over a Cosmetic Surgeon

First things first: be sure that you are distinguishing between a plastic surgeon and a cosmetic surgeon when you are researching doctors. A plastic surgeon is board-certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and has completed residencies in both surgery and then plastic surgery, a process that typically takes between six to eight years. On the other hand, a cosmetic surgeon is a medical doctor who is not board-certified in plastic surgery, but who has completed supplemental cosmetic surgery training. Years of education and focused training make a plastic surgeon the better choice when deciding who to entrust with permanent changes to your body.

Ensure That They Meet High Ethical Standards

Only board-certified plastic surgeons that meet the highest ethical standards of the profession are invited to be members of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) and the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS). These membership reflect the surgeon’s adherence to safe surgical practices and his or her knowledge of the latest advancements in plastic surgery. A plastic surgeon who is a member of the ASAPS and the ASPS has also proven that they have performed a significant number, and wide range, of plastic surgery procedures.

View Their Portfolio

It is only logical to want a plastic surgeon who has a lot of experience, especially with the procedure you are interested in. What better way to verify this experience than to see a portfolio of their work? These days, most plastic surgeons have before and after photos of their patients on their website so that you can see get a clearer idea of their work.

Make Sure They Answer Your Questions

A conscientious plastic surgeon will want to have a thorough consultation with each patient so that they can determine if the patient is a good candidate for the surgery, educate the patient on each step of the procedure and recovery and answer any questions the patient may have. A good pick in a plastic surgeon is one who takes the time to answer each and every question you have and explain the answers in simple, yet adequate detail. If a surgeon acts impatient with this process or dodges your questions, be aware that this is a red flag and that you should find a different doctor.

As a board-certified plastic surgeon, I am also a proud member of both the ASAPS and the ASPS. I invite you to schedule a consultation with me by contacting my practice, Michaels Aesthetic & Reconstructive Plastic Surgery, and I’ll be happy to discuss your surgery options with you. Please call (301) 468-5991 or (703) 957-8610 today.

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