Plastic surgery is more popular than it’s ever been, with 17.5 million procedures done in 2017 in the U.S. alone. With a decreasing stigma around cosmetic procedures and an increasing focus on aesthetics, it’s so common for people—young, old, male, female, and everyone in between—to willingly go under the knife.
With rising demand, of course, comes an ever-growing number of people offering their plastic surgery services. So how do you choose the right surgeon? It can feel like an overwhelming process (and a long one, if you’re excitedly anticipating results). But it’s a very important one, and it’s in your best interest to be thorough. We’ve already gone in-depth about plastic surgery credentials and how to make sure your surgeon has the necessary education, certifications, training, and experience. Plus, we choose the providers in our directory by strictly adhering to the highest standards for credentials (take a look at our Charlotte’s Book code). But beyond that, what other steps can you take to find the best plastic surgeon for you?
Take advantage of your network of friends, acquaintances, neighbors, etc.
Just like you ask around for hair and nail salon recommendations, you should reach out to others for their own experiences with cosmetic procedures. (That’s what we often do before allowing experts into our directory. We talk to patients, find out who did their procedures, what their experience was like, if they’re happy with the results, and whether they’d recommend their surgeon.)
If you don’t know someone with a plastic surgeon (or don’t feel comfortable asking), take a look at our community reviews. Whether it’s Dr. Sophie Bartsich, Dr. Olivia Hutchinson, Dr. Tracy Pfeifer, or any of our other expert plastic surgeons, you can find patient reviews and read expert posts.
Read online reviews, visit forums, and do your research.
The internet is your friend (to an extent!). Doing your research is the most important part of finding the right plastic surgeon, and the internet is one of the most useful resources for that research. Read reviews for doctors, their practices, their bedside manner—anything you can find. There are also lots of helpful forums out there with information from former patients and healthcare professionals. They’re a great way to learn more about procedures and specific surgeons.
Of course, it’s important to remember to take everything on the internet with a grain of salt. While it’s an invaluable resource, it also has its share of inaccurate information and misleading content. Reviews and forums should definitely be a step toward finding the right doctor, but it shouldn’t be the only step.
Check those credentials!
We’ve gone into detail about checking a plastic surgeon’s credentials, so we won’t repeat ourselves. It’s up to you to make sure that your doctor has the proper credentials, training, and experience. It’s very common for physicians or other medical professionals to appear to have plastic surgery credentials. But that’s often not the case. Do your homework! Also, take a look at the code and credentials we abide by at Charlotte’s Book. Each expert in our directory is vetted by us to ensure they meet the highest standards.
Make sure your surgeon specializes in the right procedures.
It’s not enough to just make sure a doctor has plastic surgery training and credentials. It’s vital to check that he or she specializes in the procedure you want. This is especially relevant if the procedure you want is more uncommon or niche. A plastic surgeon might have decades of experience and training, but never have done the specific procedure you’re looking for. We always note our Charlotte’s Book experts’ areas of expertise on their profiles.
Something else to consider: if your procedure of choice is especially niche, it might be a good idea to have it done by one of the developers of the procedure.
Be 101% comfortable with the doc you choose.
Credentials, education, and training are mostly objective. A surgeon either has them or not. The more difficult part of the equation might be actually finding someone you feel fully comfortable with. A surgeon could have all the relevant qualifications in the world, but if you don’t feel comfortable around them, it’s a no-go.
Ask lots of questions and get a feel for the surgeon. Is he or she open and honest about the procedure, potential risks, and realistic results? Are they committed to getting you the best result possible, or do they just want to sell you procedures?
Sometimes it comes down to a feeling of comfort (or discomfort) that you can’t quite explain. But it’s there. Listen to that instinct, and don’t settle until you find a surgeon who’s on the same page as you. Plastic surgery is such a personal choice. It’s important to find a doctor whose viewpoints align with your own.
Sure, you might want to get your procedure done ASAP. But think about your options realistically. Would you rather take your time to be thorough and find the right expert for you, or make a rushed decision and potentially end up with complications or a botched procedure?
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