WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN A PLASTIC SURGEON
First and foremost, your plastic surgeon should be board certified in plastic surgery. The American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) is considered to be the gold standard by those in the medical community for establishing board certifications. You can check a doctor’s board certification on their website, found at www.abms.org. Additionally, you can view the website of the American Board of Plastic Surgery at this address: www.abplsurg.org.
Selecting a plastic surgeon that is board certified or board eligible by the American Board of Plastic Surgery should be a minimum requirement when choosing your cosmetic surgeon. Another level of inquiry is to see if they are a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS). Membership in this organization ensures that the physician meets the following criteria, as detailed on the ASPS website, found at www.plasticsurgery.org.
- Has at least 6 years of training and experience in surgery, with 3 years specifically in plastic surgery
- Is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery
- Operates only in accredited medical facilities
- Adheres to a strict code of ethics
- Fulfills continuing education requirements, including patient safety techniques
- Will be your partner, working to achieve your goals
Another highly respected organization is the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS). Similar to the ASPS, they have requirements that their members must meet as detailed below. This information can also be found on their website, located at www.surgery.org.
- Be certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery
- Be in at least the third year of active practice following board certification
- Participate in accredited Continuing Medical Education (CME) to stay current with developments in the field of cosmetic plastic surgery and patient safety
- Document the performance of a significant number and variety of cosmetic surgical cases to demonstrate wide experience
- Be sponsored by two ASAPS-member plastic surgeons to help ensure that the applicant’s professional reputation meets the high standards required by ASAPS
- Adhere to current ethical standards for professional conduct as outlined in the Code of Ethics observed by all ASAPS-member surgeons
- Operate in accredited surgical facilities
- Be elected by at least 80% of the Active Membership
The next important step is to make sure that you can effectively communicate with your doctor. Effective communication simply means that you are able to express your goals and concerns to your plastic surgeon and he acknowledges you with compassion and understanding.
In addition, it is also important that you like their work. Look at before and after pictures of work they have done. Looking at plastic surgeons’ pictures can speak volumes about their approach and general philosophy.
As with many other major decisions, many people come to select a professional based on referrals from friends or family. This is usually an excellent way to choose a doctor provided you feel he meets your criteria as well. Dr. Hobar is blessed to have a practice that is rich with referred patients. It is truly a wonderful compliment to receive a referral from a current or former patient.
Choosing your plastic surgeon is an important decision. While it is not necessary, it can be helpful to meet with more than one doctor before making your selection. You are entrusting your safety and the success of your surgical outcome to them. Your plastic surgeon should be a well-qualified, board certified plastic surgeon. You need to be able to effectively communicate with him. You should like his work product. You should determine that you like his surgical results by reviewing before and after photos as well as through referrals when possible.