How to Choose a Plastic Surgeon

Christie Auyeung Plastic Surgery Leave a Comment

Today’s plastic surgery marketplace is highly commercialized, with many doctors (and sometimes even non-doctors) claiming specialization certification. Anyone with a medical license can legally perform almost any procedure in their office, and additional specialized training is voluntary. Choosing your plastic surgeon might be one of the most important decisions you make, but finding the right one can be extremely difficult and confusing.

So, how do you choose the right plastic surgeon for you?

Accreditation and training

Before you choose a surgeon, you’ll want to make sure that he or she has been properly certified and works at an accredited hospital. The Joint Commission International (JCI) is a global organization that provides accreditation to hospitals that meet a high standard of patient safety and health care. If your surgeon works at a JCI-accredited facility or at a level one hospital, that means that they are accredited to provide you with high quality care. When looking for a plastic surgeon abroad, it’s also a good idea to find surgeons who have done some or all of their training in the US, Europe or Canada.

At MedRepublic, we hold our surgeons to a high standard. Our MedRepublic medical advisory board, comprised of US-trained doctors, screens and interviews all providers appearing on the platform. Additionally, the advisory board verifies each provider’s education experience and credentials, including board certification and licensing. Our physicians are in good standing with the medical community and are world-class candidates to provide top-notch care.

Experience in your desired procedure

Each area of plastic surgery is different, so you need to make sure that your surgeon has a lot of experience in the specific procedure you desire. You can ask the following questions to gauge their experience:

  • How did you train in this procedure?
  • How long have you been performing this procedure?
  • How many times have you done this procedure?

All of MedRepublic’s surgeons have at least 3 years of experience in their given field, including having performed each offered procedure successfully at least 50 times.

Check the surgeon’s record

You can ask your surgeon to see before and after photos of his/her previous patients, and even to speak with patients before you. It’s also a good idea to do some research online about whether they have any malpractice suits against them.  At MedRepublic, only surgeons who have no history of current or repeated legal malpractice appear on the platform.

Know the surgeon’s aesthetic taste

In addition to technical skills, plastic surgery entails having an eye for aesthetics. Surgeons may differ in what they think is “beautiful,” and their vision might differ from yours. Even if a friend recommends a particular surgeon, their aesthetics may not be the same as yours. Look closely at results of your surgeon’s past procedures. Do they appeal to you personally? Look especially for patients that have similar characteristics as you – do their results look like the results you desire?

Do you like your surgeon?

It seems like a simple question, and it is. You’re going to be spending a lot of time with your plastic surgeon before and after surgery. Do you feel comfortable with your surgeon? Do you like spending time with him or her? Do you trust him or her? If your answer is “no” to any of the above, it’s not a good fit.

Pay attention to the facility and whether the surgeon has hospital privileges

Like the surgeon, the facility needs to be accredited, as does the anesthesiologist. The anesthesiologist should either be a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist or a Board Certified Anesthesiologist. It’s always worth asking where the surgeon has hospital privileges, even if you’re having plastic surgery at an outpatient clinic. Hospitals do background checks, so if the surgeon doesn’t have hospital privileges, that’s a red flag.

Be cautious about multiple procedures at the same time

When you have multiple procedures at the same time, that increases your risk of complications. Unfortunately, since surgeons make more money the more procedures you have, financial motivation may make a surgeon make unethical choices. If your surgeon is pushing for you to have multiple procedures at once, that’s also a red flag. This is not to say that multiple procedures are not an option that can be pursued safely, but to be wary if your surgeon is the one pushing for it, not you.

Doing your due diligence before choosing your surgeon can save you from major issues down the line after surgery. Asking the right questions and doing research takes more energy and time now, but will pay off immensely in the long run.

If you are looking for a plastic surgeon, you can learn about our world-class surgeons and the procedures they offer. Contact one of them today!

Christie is a UChicago grad currently living in the San Francisco Bay Area. In her free time, she enjoys tap dancing, learning to windsurf, and trying new foods.