How to choose your Plastic Surgeon?
Choosing your Plastic Surgeon used to be a difficult prospect in the pre-internet/social media days. You had to ‘know’ someone who ‘knew’ someone, and based on that recommendation, a consultation and then surgery. Or maybe you saw an ad, and based on that, a call was made. It was not easy to obtain independent information concerning the surgeons’ training and expertise or independent references. Detailed information on options for rejuvenation was difficult to come by and even when recommendations were made during a consultation, it was difficult for the patient to understand and research independently. Patients were afraid to ask detailed questions and physicians were not expected to answer much.
Things are very different now, there is a plethora of information online about cosmetic procedures, explaining in detail the pros and cons. Surgeons can be searched for by specialty, subspecialty and by geography. There are thousands of reviews online, there are dedicated cosmetic surgery websites where information can be obtained about procedures, pictures viewed and even questions asked and answered. If a friend or colleague recommends a surgeon, the surgeons website can be reviewed and his/her training can be researched, pictures can be viewed and references can be read. These are all wonderful resources to utilize during the initial search phase.
Ensure your physician is certified to do what you are looking for. As a Facial Plastic Surgeon, I will not be performing breast augmentations or tummy tucks. In the same line, I will not be treating anyone for hypertension as I am not an Internist or Cardiologist. You should review your surgeon’s education, training, certification and hospital privileges. Before and after pictures are important to look at to make sure they perform your requested procedure and you like the results seen. Review your surgeons testimonials, the ones on his/her website are a good start and there are plenty of other independent websites that can be reviewed for testimonials.
The next step should be meeting your surgeon and interacting with his/her staff. Some physicians give talks on what they do – I give a monthly seminar on ‘Current Techniques in Facial Rejuvenation’ where I discuss the ageing process and options for treatment. There is a question and answer session and we offer complimentary consultations at the event. I find these events to be a great way to educate my patients and allows prospective patients to get to know me and understand my philosophy. Patients feel empowered to ask questions they may not normally ask and they get to listen to questions they may not have thought to ask in a relaxing environment.
Scheduling a consultation with your surgeon is imperative as it allows you to discuss your specific areas of concern and allows your surgeon to examine your specific facial features and review your medical history. Your surgeon should suggest various treatments as well as discuss the pros and cons of the options.
Ask the surgeon for pictures, especially of what you are looking to have done and ask for patients of similar features (skin type/ shape/concerns). If you have already read up on certain procedures, feel free to ask any detailed questions. Try to write them down ahead of time so you don’t forget to ask them.
What are some of the questions I am regularly asked?
How often do I do the procedure (once a month or more often ? – obviously the more often a procedure is done, the better the surgeon is at it). Ask about the type of anesthesia and how it will be performed (local vs general anesthesia, some patients get severe nausea after general anesthesia) I perform ALL my procedures without general anesthesia. As if you can speak to past patients or see recent post op patients or recent post op pictures. Ask your doctor how you will be able to get a hold of them after the procedure. You should also be prepared to discuss your medical history, medications and inform your surgeon of any history of allergies to medications. Visit my website to see a list of commonly asked questions at www.drmadnani.com.
Once you are completely satisfied, you are on your way, the decision is yours as to when to proceed. Cosmetic surgery is partly a medical process and mostly a personal journey. Whatever our reasons for improving our appearance, it should be a stress free and enjoyable process. I hope this helps make the journey a little smoother.
Dr. Dilip Madnani is a dual board certified plastic surgeon working in New York City and Long Island. He is also co-founder of a line of post treatment skin care products www.purehealplus.com. www.drmadnani.com +1 212 203 8591