One of the most challenging aspects of the plastic surgery experience is selecting a surgeon. If you don’t know the qualities to look for, it can be extremely difficult to differentiate between an average surgeon and a great one.
According to Dr. Donald Hause, a Sacramento plastic surgeon, it is helpful to know what you don’t want in a surgeon. Below, Dr. Hause reveals some signs it’s time to walk away from a surgeon.
- Not Certified by the ABPS
One of the biggest red flags to watch out for is a doctor that calls him- or herself a plastic surgeon but is not certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS), the only board recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) for plastic surgery specialists. Certification from the ABPS is the ultimate accreditation for a plastic surgeon. It indicates the surgeon has completed all necessary training and possesses the knowledge and skills required to perform complex plastic surgery procedures. It is perfectly acceptable to inquire as to whether a surgeon is board certified by the ABPS and double-check their certification on the ABPS website.
Also tread carefully with someone that calls him- or herself a “cosmetic surgeon” or offers “cosmetic surgery” but is not certified by the ABPS. The terms “cosmetic” and “plastic” are similar, but they are not the same.
- Does Not Operate in an Accredited Facility
Where your surgery is performed is nearly as important as who performs it. Most qualified surgeons have hospital privileges or operate in an accredited surgical facility. If your surgeon evades your questions about the facilities, or admits they do not have hospital privileges or practice in accredited facility, it’s time to walk away.
- Promises Perfection with No Risks
There is simply no guarantee in surgery, and anyone that promises perfection free of risks is not to be trusted. If things sound too good to be true, it’s a red flag. Experienced, reputable surgeons are candid about the potential risks of surgery and how they handle complications. It’s simply disingenuous to pretend there are no risks in plastic surgery.
- Pushes or Pressures You into Surgery
Trustworthy plastic surgeons know that having plastic surgery is a major decision. Beware of anyone that pressures you into surgery or pushes you to make a decision before you have thought through your options. There is no rush!
- Your Gut Tells You Something Is Off
You might meet with a surgeon that has excellent credentials yet something feels off. You may not even be able to explain it. The important thing is that you trust your gut. There are plenty of qualified surgeons with whom you will feel comfortable. It’s worth it to take your time finding the right one.