Selecting an Aesthetic Plastic Surgeon
Once a patient has made the decision to proceed with aesthetic (also known as “cosmetic’) plastic surgery, the next step is choosing the aesthetic plastic surgeon who is right for you.
Regulations, training, and certification policies for aesthetic plastic surgeons vary throughout the world. Membership in the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ISAPS) means that a surgeon has been certified in their own country, recommended for membership in writing by two ISAPS members, and has been in active practice for at least three years. A surgeon’s application must be signed by the National Secretary from the applicant’s country, and all members of ISAPS review candidates for membership before they are admitted.
No other international organization screens its members as thoroughly and extensively as ISAPS does. The Society, now in it 37th year has as its mission, the highest standards for membership, providing for the continuing education of its members, and ensuring the protection of and service to the public.
Before selecting a plastic surgeon, consider the specific kind of surgery required: for example facial, breast, or body.
- Start by determining if the prospective surgeon is trained and experienced in the procedure(s) in which you have an interest.
- Also, inquire if the surgeon has hospital privileges to perform the procedure(s). Hospital committees routinely examine the training of surgeons and thereby determine whether to allow the surgeon to perform the procedure(s) at that institution.
- Working in an accredited outpatient surgery center is another indication that the surgeon’s training has been evaluated and determined to be acceptable. Validation of the training of a surgeon is a prerequisite to obtaining a certificate from many accreditation organizations.
The surgeon you select should have experience in performing a wide range of aesthetic plastic surgery procedures.
It is appropriate to ask a prospective plastic surgeon to allow you to see before and after photos that display his or her typical results for the procedure(s) you would like.
Don’t be shy about asking to speak with a patient who has undergone similar procedures.
If a procedure is to be performed in a doctor’s office or clinic, ask what facilities are available if something goes wrong.
Aesthetic plastic surgery is after all a surgical procedure with risks and potential side affects. Ask the surgeon to explain all of the risks and possible side affects. Communicate your concerns and your specific goals and ask the doctor to address how realistic your goals are.
Finally, a patient must be comfortable with their doctor – both with his or her manner and with their training and past experience. A patient’s comfort level with their doctor keeps communications open and prepares the patient for this surgical procedure in the most positive and beneficial way possible.Once a patient has made the decision to proceed with aesthetic (also known as “cosmetic’) plastic surgery, the next step is choosing the aesthetic plastic surgeon who is right for you.