Two Vital Questions to Ask Before Plastic Surgery

Over the past month, there has been a great deal of talk in the media about a Georgia dermatologist who is alleged to have caused injury to multiple patients while performing plastic surgery procedures.  Needless to say, this has caused significant, and entirely justified, concern in people who might have been considering plastic surgery themselves.  They want assurances that they will be safe while they are under sedation, and wonder what they can do to make sure that their own doctor adheres to the highest professional standards.  For fifty years, Atlanta Plastic Surgery, P.C. has been recognized throughout the medical community as the Southeast’s premier cosmetic and reconstructive plastic surgery center, in no small part because of our constant commitment to our patients’ safety, dignity, and privacy.  Finding out as much as you can about your doctor and your procedure is something every patient should do before undergoing surgery, and there are two extremely important questions that should always be at the very top of your list.

Two Vital Questions to Ask Before Plastic Surgery

What Are Your Qualifications?

Plastic surgery is an extremely specialized and technically challenging field, requiring extensive training above and beyond what is standard for every licensed medical doctor.  Unfortunately, anyone with a medical degree, even doctors who are trained in unrelated fields like gynecology, dermatology, or even anesthesiology, can complete a few brief training courses and call themselves a “cosmetic surgeon.”  If you are undergoing a cosmetic plastic surgery procedure, even one that seems relatively straightforward like liposuction or a Brazilian Butt Lift, it is in your best interest to make sure that your surgeon has the comprehensive specialized training to deal with any unexpected difficulties that might arise.  Ideally, you should seek out surgeons who are certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS).  Board certified plastic surgeons are guaranteed to have gone through years of specialized training beyond medical school and residency and have thousands of additional hours of hands-on surgical experience.

Where Will the Procedure Be Performed?

While there are minimally-invasive facial rejuvenation procedures, like cosmetic injectable treatments or laser skin resurfacing, that can be safely performed in an office setting, major surgery should always be done at an accredited, state-licensed, or Medicare-certified surgical facility.  Ready access to emergency medical services and hospital facilities is absolutely essential in the rare event that complications arise, especially if the patient is going to be under general anesthesia.  Moreover, only surgeons with a proven success rate and excellent reputation have privileges at accredited medical facilities.  Hospital privileges and academic titles are great ways to ensure that your surgeon practices at the highest standards.  Our surgeons at APS are credentialed at all of Atlanta’s finest and most prestigious Hospitals, including Northside Hospital, Piedmont Atlanta Hospital, and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta (CHOA).

While these two questions can give you an excellent idea about whether your surgeon has the necessary skill, experience, and support necessary to perform your procedure safely, your investigations definitely should not end there.  We also recommend that you ask to see before and after pictures of previous patients, read reviews of the surgeon on line, and check to see whether your surgeon has had any licensing issues, malpractice judgements, or disciplinary action taken against them.  This information is available, on-line and free of charge, from state medical licensing boards. Ultimately, you also should try to take the time to really get to know your surgeon, as a clear and open channel of communication is vital to achieving the best possible plastic surgery results.  Make sure that they really listen to you and understand your individual aesthetic goals.  At Atlanta Plastic Surgery P.C., all of our plastic surgeons have years of experience working with patients, and each has their own distinctive style and approach.  If you would like to learn more about the options available at Atlanta Plastic Surgery, please contact Atlanta Plastic Surgery, P.C. so that we can schedule an appointment for a plastic surgery consultation.  Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ for the latest plastic surgery news.