Summary: The year of 2015 has been good for cosmetic and plastic surgeons. By all accounts, things seem to be heading in a generally positive direction this year too, and surgeons can look forward to lots of growth. However, that can make it difficult for patients to find a good surgeon.
The Trick to Finding a Good Surgeon in 2016
Plastic surgery has never been more popular. Every month, we hear reports about how Botox use far surpassed the previous year or how breast augmentation is more popular than it used to be. In fact, we’ve written about it, too. This surge in plastic surgery (okay, it’s not really a surge—more like an incredibly steady increase) is, in most cases, a good thing. The only downside is that it looks rather lucrative—there are a lot of people making money in the plastic and cosmetic surgery fields these days. That can provide an incentive for people who are looking, well, to make a quick buck but who maybe don’t have the necessary training and experience.
The problem is that it can be somewhat difficult for patients to discern who is highly qualified and who is not. After all, even surgeons who are not the most highly qualified might have flashy websites and a pristine lobby. When it comes right down to it, discerning a highly qualified surgeon and a surgeon who needs a little more practice usually comes down to one thing: the results. If the results are excellent (consistently), then it’s likely you’re dealing with a high quality surgeon. The trick can be finding out before hand. So we’ve got some tips for finding a good surgeon in 2016.
Tip Number 1: Look for a Before/After Gallery
One of the staples of modern plastic surgery websites is a before and after gallery that showcases the surgeon’s best work. In most cases, this gallery will be easy to find (as most potential candidates will spend a great deal of time looking at these images). Now, of course, the lack of a photo gallery does not always mean that the surgeons will be subpar. For example, there is a group of highly qualified and well-respected breast surgeons in northern NJ that do not have a photo gallery. But you can certainly judge a surgeon based on the photos they have in their galleries; that’s what the images are there for.
Tip Number 2: Look for Credentials
There are some big names in the plastic and cosmetic surgery credentialing business. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons, for example, or the American Society of Facial Plastic Surgery to name another. Any procedure you can think of likely has an accrediting board of agency. In the case of surgeons, you usually want to look for board-certified plastic surgeons. Board certification is one of the standards that high quality plastic surgeons are required to meet—and it says something about their overall skill and experience.
Tip Number 3: Meet With Your Potential Surgeon
The consultation with your surgeon is designed not only for your surgeon’s benefit. Yes, this is where a surgeon can size up a patient and see how serious he or she is about a plastic surgery procedure. But it’s also a place for a patient to size up the plastic surgeon. It’s important to ask questions and pay attention to your surgeon’s answers. No surgeon should have trouble answering questions in detail—and in detail that you can understand. The consultation is the best place to get the answers you want, how you want them.
Tip Number 4: Find Reviews
There are some people who won’t go to a restaurant or a movie without looking at the reviews first. That’s an approach you should adopt when looking at a plastic surgeon, too. Just by searching for a surgeon’s name, you can usually find all kinds of reviews for that surgeon. But there are ways you can dig deeper into those reviews:
- Many review sites let you contact the reviewer—this is a great idea, because it lets you get more information about the surgeon in question
- Look at the good reviews and the bad reviews
- Try to find reviews on many websites (Yelp, RealSelf, Vitals.com, etc)
Be Sure to Get What You Bargained For
By and large, most cosmetic surgeons are going to try to do everything they can to make you happy. This means that in most cases, you’re going to get great care and great results. But still, when you’re finding a good surgeon in 2016, it never hurts to take a little extra time and get a little extra information. At the end of the day, it’s important to trust your gut. If you feel good about a surgeon, then there’s probably a reason—likewise if the reverse is true. The more information you have, the better equipped you’ll be to make a good decision.