How to Confidently Choose a Plastic Surgeon

5 Tips for picking a Plastic Surgeon

Remember the days of flipping through the phone book to look for a professional service? Those days are gone. Today word-of-mouth referrals and social media play a huge part in finding a new hair salon, pest control service, and dentist. So how do you find a Plastic Surgeon if you've been contemplating cosmetic surgery? 

It can be a big decision to have plastic surgery. If you are like most people, you have been contemplating this for quite some time. Once you have gotten to the point of moving forward with surgery, how do you find the right Plastic Surgeon? Here are 5 tips to consider:

1. Make sure the surgeon is board-certified. For any plastic surgery procedure, you want a doctor who is certified by The American Board of Plastic Surgery. Why is this important? Legally any doctor is permitted to do any cosmetic procedure. A psychiatrist could do a breast augmentation (legally, but not necessarily with skill and technique). If you use a board-certified Plastic Surgeon you know that he or she has completed the necessary surgical training, plus they have to take written and oral tests, do continuing medical education and re-certify every 10 years. It is no longer enough to just ask, "Are you board certified" because most doctors are board-certified in some medical specialty. The specific certification to be looking for is done only through The American Board of Plastic Surgery (ASPS). To find out if your potential Plastic Surgeon is board-certified visit

2. Ask if the surgeon has hospital privileges. Even if you are having a plastic surgery procedure at an outpatient clinic or surgical center, it is worth asking the doctor where they have hospital privileges for this procedure. Hospitals do extensive background checks, thus hospital privileges from a reputable hospital are a good indication that the surgeon is qualified and in good standing. You can also check the surgeon's record. Many state licensing boards list malpractice judgments, plus any disciplinary actions by the board.

3. Ask detailed questions. Some questions may include: How many times have you performed this specific procedure? What specific techniques will be used? Are you insured for malpractice? What contingency plans are in place in the event of an emergency? Realistically, what results can I expect? How many years of experience do you have?

4. Beware of bargain prices. We all like a good deal. If pricing seems too good to be true, chances are it probably is. A cheaper price may become very expensive if revisions are necessary or complications arise. Another reason advertised low prices could be concerning is sometimes the quoted price could exclude other fees or after procedure costs, the facility where the procedure will be performed may be outdated and non-compliant, the surgeon may be using outdated tools, and the surgeon may be in desperate need of new patients.

5. Ask your friends and talk with previous patients. A great way to gain insight on a surgeon is to ask around. Ask friends or family for referrals. Personal recommendations are important. Get opinions from your family doctor and other medical professionals. Surgical technicians and operating room nurses are an excellent source for information about a surgeon's skill in the operating room.