Choosing a Plastic Surgeon
If you’re like most people, you’re looking for ways to look and feel youthful and vibrant. To accomplish this, you’ve probably explored a variety of tools from nutrition and exercise to face creams. But when those vitamins and crunches just aren’t doing the trick, many people turn to a plastic surgeon. In Walnut Creek and Danville, CA and throughout the East Bay, selecting a plastic surgeon can be difficult with all of the choices. However, this is arguably the single most important factor in the success of your procedure.
Your plastic surgeon should:
- Be certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. ABPS certification means that this surgeon has completed training to be a plastic and reconstructive surgeon and that he or she has passed the examinations given by American Board of Plastic Surgery. These days more and more physicians who specialize in dermatology, ear nose and throat, ophthalmology and obstetrics or gynecology are listing themselves as cosmetic surgeons. They simply do not have the same depth of training as ABPS-certified plastic surgeons, who complete a minimum of 5 years of surgical training following medical school, including an accredited plastic surgery residency program.
- Be a member of ASAPS and ASPS. These acronyms stand for, respectively, the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons and the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. Both societies are only open to board-certified plastic surgeons and hold their members to a stringent code of ethics.
- Be affiliated with a hospital. Although many plastic surgery procedures are performed in an office, always check with your surgeon about his or her hospital affiliation. You’ll want to make sure that they have hospital access privileges for the procedure you’re interested in. This tells you that other physicians have reviewed that doctor’s surgery training and credentials and ensures not only the physician’s ability to perform any given procedure, but your safety as well. Dr. Mariotti is affiliated with John Muir Medical Center in Concord and Walnut Creek, among other reputable facilities.
- Offer an initial consultation. Make an appointment for an initial consultation with the surgeon you are interested in. During this meeting, you will be able to get the answers to any questions you might have and get a complete explanation of the procedure(s). Be sure to discuss your expectations with him/her and disclose any relevant details which may affect your recovery such as smoking or drinking habits, medical history, or medications you are using. This consultation will tell you a lot about how the surgeon interacts with his patients and listens to their needs before, during and after surgery.
- Have good references. Although it is not always possible to speak with other patients due to the private nature of many plastic surgeries, the best reference is a former patient or friend who has had a procedure performed by that plastic surgeon.
- Have your well-being at heart. Remember that plastic surgery is geared towards restoring more than good health. Plastic surgeons should be acutely aware that there is a psychological element in what we do. Our results ultimately promote happiness and a sense of well-being. You should be happy with the doctor, the procedure, the timing, the anticipated recovery time, the cost and the result. Your plastic surgeon should set realistic expectation.
Taking the time to be an informed consumer is the important first step in a successful plastic surgery process.
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