When it comes to cosmetic surgery, the key to its success is not just in the surgeon’s hands, but in his brain. Excellent results are derived from a plastic surgeon who consistently refreshes his skills and uses his knowledge and experience to guide his hands.
We sat down with board-certified plastic surgeons Hillard Warm, MD, FACS and Robert Jacobs, MD, FACS to learn how to find the right plastic surgeon.
Unfortunately, many patients shop for a plastic surgeon the same way they shop for shoes. Many look for the lowest price first, with quality coming in second. Consider this: “Good plastic surgery is never cheap, and cheap plastic surgery is never good.”
When discussing the price of a procedure at a consultation, in addition to the surgeon’s fee, be sure to ask about any additional charges such as for use of the surgical facility and anesthesia. Also ask about any fees for breast implants, medication and private home care, if needed.
Be aware that the low price you were quoted initially could be much higher with extras that were not included in the basic price, or if you require more surgery. Keep in mind that if your surgical results are less than what you expected, the few dollars you may have saved will be gone quickly.
Before you make a commitment, ask the surgeon if there is a revision fee for a touch-up, and an additional charge for use of the facility and anesthesia during the touch-up if you are unhappy with your initial results.
It’s easy to research pricing, as the American Society of Plastic Surgeons has a list of procedures and their average cost on PlasticSurgery.org.
We can’t stress enough that anyone with a valid medical license can call themselves a cosmetic surgeon. It is up to you to investigate their credentials. At the top of the list are Board Certified Plastic Surgeons, who have between six and nine years of training before they can be certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS). Even if a doctor is certified by the ABPS, it doesn’t mean he’s the right surgeon for your procedure.
For example, a board-certified plastic surgeon who specializes in hand reconstruction is probably not the best choice to perform a facelift.
Some surgical centers are owned and operated by non-physicians, who hire independent plastic surgeons that need extra work. At some centers, the surgeon has little or no control over his schedule or how the surgical facility is maintained and operated.
If you are considering having your procedure at a high-volume surgical center, there are some important questions to ask:
• Will you be treated by the same surgeon you had the consultation with?
• Is your surgeon the most qualified for your procedure, or is your consultation and surgery based on what doctor is available at the time of your scheduled surgery?
• How many surgeries does the doctor have scheduled on the same day as yours?
• Will your plastic surgeon perform the entire procedure? Some high-volume surgical centers use surgical assistants to help during the procedure. If assistants are used, be sure to inquire if they are licensed physicians.
Does your plastic surgeon have a stellar reputation? Find out by doing some online investigating to learn if there are any pending malpractice lawsuits or judgments against the doctor or practice.
No one has figured out how to stop the clock on aging, so keep in mind that even after a facelift you will continue to age and eventually wrinkles will reappear. How to maintain your new look should be discussed at your consultation.
Every successful procedure should begin with a meaningful one-on-one conversation with a board-certified plastic surgeon.
At Cosmetic Surgery of NY, we welcome your questions and hope you will schedule a complimentary consultation with us before making such an important decision. To schedule your complimentary consultation, please call us at 631-473-7070.