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How to Find a Plastic Surgeon

Having plastic surgery involves making numerous choices; however, the most important of these is deciding on a surgeon. It is for this reason a person must take his or her time in order to ensure the best choice is made. Making such a decision in a hurried manner is never a good idea. It is far more important to choose wisely than it is to choose quickly. It is essential to interview a minimum of two surgeons, and examine some examples of their results with other clients. Viewing before and after pictures is the best way to evaluate the surgeon's skill.

It is also important for a person to feel comfortable with the doctor he or she chooses. Selecting a plastic surgeon with whom one does not have a good rapport is a mistake, as this will make the patient less likely to ask questions and demand references, two things that are vital to a successful cosmetic surgery outcome.

The Initial Consultation

It is unwise for a person to attend an initial consultation with his or her mind made up ahead of time concerning the desired procedure. The field of cosmetic surgery is similar to the fashion industry with regard to trends. The popularity of a certain procedure will rise simply because a celebrity or other famous person has participated in that type of surgery. However, this does not necessarily mean that the procedure is right for everyone. Most experts agree that it is more advisable for a person to simply tell the surgeon about what he or she is dissatisfied with and ask the surgeon's opinion about the best procedure for that specific problem.

If the surgeon is not willing to provide a thorough answer to the client's questions without becoming impatient, it is time to move on to another consultation. Plastic surgeons should not behave as if potential clients are there for the surgeon's convenience. If a person leaves the consultation feeling worried or uncomfortable, that surgeon should be crossed off his or her list. Similarly, if the client has left the consultation with questions that he or she did not feel comfortable asking, that surgeon is probably not a wise choice. Any surgeon who refuses to provide references from happy clients should no longer be considered by the prospective patient.

The Importance of Viewing Before and After Pictures

Just as is true with all professions, some surgeons are extremely adept at what they do, while others are not. Viewing before and after pictures is the best way to determine into which of these categories a surgeon falls. Those searching for a cosmetic surgeon owe it to themselves to see proof that the surgeon can provide the desired results.

Before and after photos are a standard request in the field of cosmetic surgery and any prospective patient should be very wary of a doctor who cannot provide such examples. In addition, if one views before and after pictures and he or she is not impressed, this is not a good sign. A surgeon will obviously show potential clients only the pictures that he or she feels are the best, and if these are not impressive it is a sign that the surgeon's work may be mediocre at best.

However, it is important to understand that individual results will vary, as each person's body is unique. The results of a tummy tuck or breast augmentation for a patient who is 29 years of age will probably not be the same as the results experienced by a person who is 45, even if the same surgeon is used. For this reason it is unwise to choose a doctor based solely on another person's results. It is also sometimes necessary to travel to find plastic surgeon with whom one feels comfortable. This may add a bit to the initial expense; however, it is a small price to pay for satisfactory results.

A Word About Board Certification

While the aforementioned steps are the most important regarding the selection process, many individuals also feel that board certification is a major consideration. In reality, this type of certification is not, in and of itself, a reason to choose one surgeon over another. To become board certified, a surgeon must pass a written test, and while this can be taken as proof of his or her comprehension of the subject of cosmetic surgery, it does not prove that he or she can provide excellent results. In addition, it certainly says nothing about the surgeon's bedside manner and his or her overall attitude toward clients.


As previously mentioned, those who need to find plastic surgeon should not base their decision solely on another person's results. However, if a person knows someone who is happy with the outcome of a procedure, it is wise for him or her to at least consider that plastic surgeon and schedule a consultation. A person's family doctor may at first seem like an ideal person from whom to acquire the name of a cosmetic surgeon; however, general practitioners rarely have time to thoroughly research another doctor's background. He or she will most likely refer the patient to a colleague, who may or may not be the best cosmetic surgeon in the area. For this reason it is much wiser for a potential client to conduct his or her own research.

Cost considerations

It is also important for one to carefully consider the cost when planning to have plastic surgery performed. Depending on the procedure in which one is interested, he or she may spend anywhere from several thousand to tens of thousands of dollars for the surgery. It is not wise to choose a surgeon based only on price. The surgeon offering the lowest price may be doing so because mediocre results are all he or she can offer. Additionally, it can be a very costly venture to have bad surgery results corrected. It is much wiser to spend a bit more money initially, in order to secure the services of a highly qualified plastic surgeon.