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Finding a good plastic surgeon is as important as finding a good brain
surgeon or family doctor for that matter. Since there is no central database
containing all the names of all the plastic surgeons in the country, finding
the surgeon in a specific area that is the best suited to your needs may
require some thorough detective work. Also, one must be prepared for the
possibility that finding an acceptable plastic surgeon may require some
traveling, especially those living in rural areas.
When you find a plastic surgeon it is very important to find out what
specific area of interest, if any, he or specializes in. Obviously you
would not want your plumbing fixed by an individual who specializes in
electronics, so by the same token you wouldn’t want to be getting
implants from a doctor who specializes in face lifts or liposuction. Most
legitimate plastic surgeons are trained in all or most areas of plastic
surgery, but it is best to find a surgeon who has a specific interest
in the type of surgery you are seeking. A reputable plastic surgeon will
provide potential clients with brochures that contain specific details
about the desired procedure and how much it will cost. If finding out
the cost seems too much like a mystery or you are unable to get straight
answers regarding the details that are important to you, then move on
to the next prospective surgeon.
A plastic surgeon’s training and qualifications are also something
that should be taken into consideration. Normally this kind of thing is
decorating the walls of the doctor’s office or waiting room in the
form of diplomas and/or certifications. A lack of diplomas should be considered
very suspicious. You would not want to end up with a high school graduate
who took a few courses on the side after graduation or a medical school
reject. Most reputable plastic surgeons will be more than happy to show
you their credentials and even provide you with names and phone numbers
of former patients so you can obtain references.
Friends should not be considered a reliable source of information about
plastic surgeons. Unless you can see the results of the surgery, it is
extremely unwise to rely entirely upon word of mouth. Also remember that
just because a certain surgeon is the most well advertised that does not
make him or her the best. In fact, the best plastic surgeons usually do
not need to advertise because they already have long waiting lists and
more work than they can handle.
There are many organizations worldwide that publish lists of plastic
surgeons. However, one should be wary of these lists because some of these
memberships are the paid kind. The most reliable sources of information
about plastic surgeons are usually those through government organizations
or consumer groups.
In the United States, probably the best place to start looking for a
board certified plastic surgeon is The American Society of Plastic Surgeons.
Just type the society’s name into any popular search engine and
you should not have any trouble finding a website that will lead you to
a reputable plastic surgeon in your area. Membership in this society does
not always guarantee superiority, but you will be able to see at a glance
all of a specific surgeon’s qualifications and be able to access
even more information by using the society’s toll free number.
Another good source of information can be your family doctor, specialist,
or dentist. These individuals often need to refer patients to plastic
surgeons because of various accidents and are likely to know which surgeons
in your area are reputable.