How to Choose a Plastic Surgeon: Find the Best for Your Procedure

Key Takeaways

  • Check Board Certification: Ensure your plastic surgeon is board-certified to guarantee they meet professional standards, have the necessary training, and achieve quality outcomes.
  • Experience Matters: Confirm the surgeon has extensive experience with the specific procedure you want, as choosing doctors with this increases the likelihood of quality outcomes and a successful choice.
  • Aesthetic Compatibility: Review before-and-after photos to research if the plastic surgeon’s aesthetic sense aligns with your desired results and provides a clear picture of quality outcomes.
  • Build Rapport: Choose a plastic surgeon you feel comfortable with, who is on the GMC specialty register, communicates clearly, and understands your aesthetic goals, answering all your questions.
  • Facility Standards: Verify that the operating facility is accredited and upholds high safety standards for plastic surgeon candidates to register.
  • Customer Service Quality: Pay attention to the responsiveness and professionalism of the staff, as this reflects the overall care you will receive from plastic surgeon candidates.

Verify Board Certification

Board Certified

Check if the surgeon is board certified. Specifically, look for certification by the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery (ABCS) for a plastic surgeon. This ensures they have met high standards in cosmetic surgery as a plastic surgeon. The ABCS focuses on training and expertise in this plastic field.

Significance of Certification

Board certification is important. It shows the surgeon has undergone rigorous training. They also pass comprehensive exams. These steps ensure they are qualified to perform plastic cosmetic procedures safely and effectively.

Educational Background

Investigate the surgeon’s educational background. Look at their medical school, plastic residency, and any fellowships completed. This provides insight into their formal education and training.

Continuous Learning

Surgeons need to stay updated with advancements. Check if they participate in continuous learning programs or attend workshops and seminars regularly. This shows commitment to staying current with plastic surgery techniques.

Specialty Register

Verify if the plastic surgeon is listed on a specialty register. This can include databases like the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) or other recognized organizations. Being listed here means they adhere to strict guidelines and ethical practices.

Confirm Procedure Experience

Number of Procedures

Ask how many times the surgeon has performed the particular plastic procedure. This gives insight into their experience. A higher number often means more expertise. For instance, if you need a plastic rhinoplasty, ensure they have done it frequently.

Surgeons with more experience are likely to handle complications better. They can also provide realistic expectations. Knowing their history helps build trust.

Success Rates

Discuss the surgeon’s success rates for your specific procedure. Ask about any complications encountered. This information is crucial for making an informed decision.

Success rates vary between surgeons and procedures. Higher success rates indicate proficiency. Complications may still occur, but knowing them prepares you mentally.

Case Studies

Request case studies or examples similar to yours. Seeing past results can be reassuring. Look for before-and-after photos of previous patients.

Case studies help you understand what to expect. They showcase the surgeon’s skills and outcomes. Ensure these cases match your medical history and needs.

Assess Aesthetic Sense

Review Photos

Look at before and after photos of previous patients. Focus on those with similar physical attributes to yours. These photos show the surgeon’s skills and techniques. They help you understand the potential results.

Examine the photos for consistency. Consistent results indicate a high skill level. Diverse results show that the surgeon can handle different cases effectively.

Determine Approach

Decide if the surgeon’s aesthetic approach matches your desired outcome. Each surgeon has a unique style. Some prefer natural looks, while others may favor dramatic changes.

Discuss your aesthetic goals with the surgeon. Ensure they understand what you want. This conversation helps align expectations and outcomes.

Evaluate Portfolio

Consider the diversity and consistency of results in the surgeon’s portfolio. A diverse portfolio shows that the surgeon can adapt to various needs and preferences.

Check for consistent quality across all cases. Consistency indicates mastery of techniques and attention to detail. High-quality outcomes reflect well on the surgeon’s abilities.

Seek Opinions

Talk to former patients about their experiences. Ask if their appearance matched their expectations after surgery.

Read reviews online from multiple sources. Look for patterns in feedback about aesthetic satisfaction.

Evaluate Surgeon Rapport

Initial Consultations

Gauge your comfort level during initial consultations. Notice how the potential surgeon and their team interact with you. Do they make you feel at ease? This is important because you need to trust them with your body and life.

Observe if they respect your time. Are they punctual? Do they give you enough time to discuss your concerns? A good plastic surgeon values your time and ensures a thorough consultation.

Answering Questions

Assess the surgeon’s willingness to answer questions. Ask about their experience in medical specialties related to your procedure. They should provide detailed answers.

A competent surgeon explains the process clearly. They break down each step so you understand what to expect. This transparency builds trust and helps you make an informed decision.

Understanding Goals

Observe if the surgeon listens to and understands your goals. They should ask about your desired outcomes and any concerns you have.

An attentive doctor will tailor their approach based on your needs. They won’t rush through the consultation but will take time to ensure they’re aligned with your expectations.

Team Interaction

Evaluate how the surgeon’s team interacts with you. The staff should be friendly and professional. Their behavior reflects the overall environment of the clinic.

Friendly staff can help ease anxiety during the process. Professionalism indicates a well-run practice, which is crucial for successful outcomes.

Investigate Operating Facility


Check if the operating facility is accredited. Accreditation ensures safety standards are met. Look for certifications from reputable organizations. The American Association for Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgery Facilities (AAAASF) is one example. Accredited facilities follow strict guidelines to ensure patient safety.

Anesthetic Team

Ask about the qualifications of the anesthetic team. An experienced team can handle complications better. Verify their certifications and training. They should have credentials from recognized bodies like the American Board of Anesthesiology (ABA). This ensures they are well-trained.

Emergency Protocols

Verify the facility’s emergency protocols. Ask how they handle unforeseen complications. Well-prepared clinics have clear plans for emergencies. They should have necessary equipment and trained staff on hand. This can make a big difference in critical situations.

Research Reviews

Research reviews about the clinic and facility. Look at patient testimonials and ratings online. Check platforms like Healthgrades or RealSelf for feedback. Positive reviews often indicate good experiences with the facilities.

Facility Tour

Request a tour of the operating facility if possible. Seeing it firsthand gives you an idea of cleanliness and organization. A well-maintained clinic shows a commitment to hygiene and patient care.

Assess Customer Service


Observe how quickly the office staff responds to inquiries. Prompt replies indicate a well-organized practice. During interactions, notice if they address your questions thoroughly. Professionalism in communication is crucial. Polite and respectful staff create a positive environment.


Evaluate the professionalism of the staff during your visits. They should be courteous and helpful at all times. It’s important that they provide clear information without rushing you. This shows they value your time and concerns.

Fee Transparency

Check if the provider explains all fees clearly. You should know about any potential additional costs upfront. Transparent pricing helps in avoiding unexpected expenses later on.

Educational Materials

Ensure the office provides educational materials for surgery preparation and recovery. These resources are essential for understanding what to expect before, during, and after surgery.

Follow-up Care

Assess the support provided for follow-up care after surgery. A good practice will have a structured plan for post-operative visits and care instructions. This includes checking on your recovery progress regularly.

Safety and Standards Adherence

Quality Outcomes

Ensure the surgeon has a track record of quality outcomes. Check before-and-after photos of previous patients. This will give you an idea of their skill level.

Look for reviews from past patients. Positive feedback often indicates successful results.

Minimum Criteria

Verify that the surgeon meets minimum criteria for safety standards. They should be board-certified by recognized institutions like the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS).

Check if they have hospital privileges to perform surgeries. Hospitals have strict requirements, so this is a good indicator of competence.


Discuss potential risks with your surgeon. Understand what could go wrong during or after surgery.

Ask about anesthesia safety protocols. Ensure a certified anesthesiologist will administer it.

Realistic Expectations

Have a conversation about realistic expectations. A good surgeon will explain what can and cannot be achieved.

They should provide clear information on recovery times and possible complications.


Check if your procedure is covered by insurance. Some reconstructive surgeries may be partially covered.

Understand the financial aspects before committing to surgery.

Handling Complications

Inquire about policies for handling complications or unsatisfactory outcomes. Know what steps they take if things don’t go as planned.

e surgeons offer revision surgeries at reduced costs or even free in certain cases.

Continuous Education

Assess the surgeon’s commitment to continuous education. They should regularly attend workshops and conferences to stay updated on the latest techniques.

Certification renewals are also crucial. These ensure they meet current medical standards and practices.

Make Your Decision

Reflect on Consultations

Reflect on the information gathered from consultations. Think about the questions you asked and the answers given. Consider how you felt during each meeting. Did the doctor make you feel comfortable? Trust is crucial in this journey.

Balance Cost and Experience

Consider the balance between cost and experience. A surgeon’s skill often correlates with their fees. However, higher cost doesn’t always mean better outcomes. Weigh your budget against the surgeon’s track record and expertise.

Comfort Level

Your comfort level with the surgeon is vital. You need to trust them fully. If there are any doubts or discomforts, it may affect your decision. Feeling at ease ensures a smoother process and confidence in your choice.

Pros and Cons List

Prepare a list of pros and cons for each surgeon you’re considering:

  • Experience: Years in practice, specialties.
  • Results: Before-and-after photos, patient testimonials.
  • Credentials: Board certifications, memberships in professional organizations.
  • Cost: Fees, payment plans.
  • Comfort: Personal rapport, communication style.

This list will help you see a clear picture of each option.

Verify Credentials

Verify that all potential surgeons are certified by reputable boards like the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS). Check if they are members of recognized associations such as the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS). These credentials ensure they meet high standards.

Review Testimonials

Review patient testimonials and case studies. Look for consistent positive feedback about results and care quality. Real-life experiences can provide insight into what to expect.

Inspect Before-and-After Photos

Inspect before-and-after photos closely. These images show the surgeon’s work quality. Focus on cases similar to yours to gauge potential outcomes.

Ask Final Questions

Ask any final questions you might have before making a decision:

  • What is their complication rate?
  • How do they handle revisions if needed?
  • Can they provide more references?

These questions help clarify any remaining doubts.


Choosing the right plastic surgeon is crucial for your safety and satisfaction. You need to verify board certification, confirm procedure experience, and assess aesthetic sense. Evaluating the surgeon’s rapport and investigating the operating facility are also vital steps. Don’t forget to assess customer service and ensure adherence to safety standards.

Make an informed decision by following these guidelines. Your health and appearance are too important to leave to chance. Trust in your research and instincts. Ready to take the next step? Schedule consultations with top-rated surgeons today and secure the best care for your needs.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I verify a plastic surgeon’s board certification?

Check the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS) website. Ensure the surgeon is certified. This confirms they meet high standards in training and expertise.

Why is procedure experience important when choosing a plastic surgeon?

Experience ensures proficiency. Surgeons with extensive procedure-specific experience deliver better results and handle complications effectively.

How do I assess a plastic surgeon’s aesthetic sense?

Review before-and-after photos on their website. Look for consistency and results that match your desired outcome.

What should I consider when evaluating a surgeon’s rapport?

Ensure you feel comfortable discussing concerns. A good rapport builds trust and ensures clear communication throughout the process.

Why is investigating the operating facility crucial?

Accredited facilities adhere to strict safety standards. Verify accreditation by organizations like AAAASF or JCAHO for peace of mind.

How does customer service impact my choice of a plastic surgeon?

Responsive, helpful staff enhance your overall experience. Good customer service indicates the practice values patient satisfaction.

What are key elements of safety and standards adherence in plastic surgery?

Look for adherence to sterilization protocols, use of FDA-approved materials, and compliance with medical regulations to ensure your safety during procedures.