The Top 10 MUST-HAVES When Selecting a PLASTIC SURGEON
Must-have #1 – The right credentials.
Anyone with a doctor’s license can perform surgery in the U.S. with a patient’s consent. Scary, isn’t it?
“Plastic surgery has become the Wild West of medicine, with an increasing number of doctors performing invasive cosmetic procedures without proper training or credentials,” Dr. Anthony Youn, a board-certified plastic surgeon, wrote for CNN.
All surgeries have risks, but when it comes to your surgery, the plastic surgeon you choose really does make a difference. It’s essential for you to have confidence in him — confidence that comes from knowing he has the right education and training. You want a surgeon whose exquisite results are matched only by his concern for your comfort and well-being.
Today there are many physicians and surgeons who are seeking to supplement their income by offering plastic surgery procedures. Perhaps you’ve seen dermatologists, general surgeons, OB/GYNs, dentists and even podiatrists advertising their services in this area — outside of their expertise and training.
“No one is pretending to be a heart surgeon, no one is pretending to be a pediatrician, but everyone’s pretending to be a plastic surgeon,” Randy Miller, a plastic surgeon who heads the Florida Society of Plastic Surgeons, told USA Today.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR
You must be sure your surgeon has the right credentials and experience. Ideal doctors have one or both of the following or are practicing under a doctor who is:
- Board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS) – this is the only plastic surgery board that is recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties.
- Finished a residency training program for two or three years.
These credentials aren’t as imperative if you’re pursuing non-surgical procedures.
Must-have #2 – Hospital privileges.
Your surgeon may perform procedures at an outpatient clinic …
but he or should also have hospital privileges. Ask if your surgeon of choice does. “If they don’t have hospital privileges, that’s a huge red flag,” Dr. Rod Rohrich, past president of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, told CNN.
“No surgeon should perform a cosmetic procedure on you if they don’t have privileges to perform that same procedure at a reputable hospital,” writes Marc Malek, MD of Scottsdale, Arizona for PlasticSurgery.org.
“Some plastic surgeons have their own facilities which are independently certified. The distinction is that they have hospital privileges as well, should the need arise to admit a patient for hospitalization that warrants further care.”
He says most hospitals will only allow plastic surgeons certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery to perform cosmetic procedures at their facilities. “Their credentialing process is very thorough and it typically takes months to complete,” he adds. “A surgeon is granted privileges to perform plastic surgery only after proof of competency, training in an accredited residency and the proper board certification.”
Must-have #3 – Reliable ratings.
It could be a patient who had unrealistic expectations or even a competitor “planting” a false review. If there are multiple negative reviews, there may be a problem.
Overall, a reputable local practice will be in good standing with the community (online reviews included) and have positive word-of-mouth recommendations.
Similarly, whether your doctor has been sued is not a good indication of his or her reliability. “In today’s medical climate, even first-rate surgeons are sometimes sued,” CBS News reports. “Just because a surgeon has faced a malpractice lawsuit doesn’t mean he/she is incompetent.”
The better test of a doctor’s good standing is to check with the state medical board. It’s the first place you should look for information on a doctor and whether he or she has been disciplined or had trouble with licensing.
Must-have #4 – Realistic expectations.
Media inundates us with unrealistic and unnatural images of men and women in the spotlight. Sometimes it can be hard to know what procedures are possible, natural and safe — and what to expect from them.
If you’re considering altering or repairing one or more parts of your body, a reputable plastic surgeon will help you navigate what results you can expect. They will never “upsell” you on multiple procedures to get more of your money.
The time to discuss achievable, natural-looking results is during the consultation with the plastic surgeon – not after the surgery. Unrealistic expectations can lead to disappointment. Don’t let digitally altered images set the bar for the results you’d like to see. Allow your plastic surgeon to help you understand and embrace enhancements plastic surgery can bring.
Dr. Paul W. Papillion of Cool Springs Plastic Surgery, talks about the different nature of plastic surgery – and why it’s an art as well as a science.
“My favorite thing about plastic surgery is the artistic nature and challenge of the field. In other fields of surgery you fix problems. If you break your arm…they fix your bone. If your gallbladder needs to come out…they take it out. Plastic surgery also addresses functional problems…but the aesthetic side allows you to make aesthetic judgments about what is needed and how can you best achieve a beautiful outcome. The challenge of taking something that already looks good and making it look better is a challenge like no other.”
Dr. Paul W. Papillion
of Cool Springs Plastic Surgery
Must-have #5 – Actual before & after photos.
The first place many patients visit on a plastic surgeon’s website is the before and after photos. That’s understandable! A good patient is curious about what results to expect. During your consultation with your surgeon, ask to see a before and after album with photographs of the procedure(s) you’re interested in. Viewing these with your doctor will help you understand and assess the quality of work your surgeon brings to those specific procedures.
Here are a few tips on getting most insight out of viewing a before and after gallery:
- Ask if your doctor performed these surgeries and if they’re of the procedures you’re discussing.
- Look for bodies that look similar to yours. Before photos featuring bone structure, skin tone, age and features that are a lot like yours will give you a better idea of what results to expect.
- Check for symmetry and scarring. While you should beware of results that look too perfect (as they might be digitally altered), noting how much scarring or how symmetrical the results are in the after photos will give you an idea
Must-have #6 – An independent clinic.
A reputable plastic surgeon …
has built a strong longstanding local practice and focuses on the quality of care of his or her patients. After all, their reputation in the community depends on it. Avoid clinics that are part of a chain, who advertise heavily on TV or radio or who constantly offer Groupons or other discounted services. By nature, the business model of a network or chain of stores depends on the quantity of patients they can service, not the quality of care they provide.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR
Look for a surgeon with an all-inclusive practice. These are practices that offer surgical and non- surgical options. A good plastic surgeon may feel that you are not quite ready for a surgical procedure. At an all-inclusive practice, the surgeon has the ability to offer non-surgical options. Conversely, if you are seeking a non-surgical procedure, and it’s obvious that you will not get you the results that you desire, a surgeon at an all-inclusive practice has the ability to offer a surgical option.
Some practices only have one option to offer regardless of what you may truly need.
Must-have #7 – A local clinic.
The CDC estimates approximately 750,000 U.S. residents travel abroad for care each year – a trend referred to as “medical tourism.” Patients Beyond Borders estimated a higher number – 900,000 in 2013 alone. Many do so because treatment is cheaper in other countries. Some of the popular procedures include cosmetic surgery, dentistry and even heart surgery.
But as the CDC warns, risks abound when traveling abroad to gain surgery at a lower cost.
While some results may be just fine, there have been many cases where the surgery has been care- less due to language barriers, limited support, shorter or no consultations and uncertified surgeons. Medication may be counterfeit or poor quality. Blood supply in some countries may not be screened and antibiotic resistance may be more common in countries outside the U.S. Flying after surgery also increases the risk for blood clots.
A local U.S. practice with a properly credentialed plastic surgeon who has history in the community decreases the risks associated with medical tourism.
Must-have #8 – A budget that supports quality work.
Never choose a plastic surgeon based on price alone. Plastic surgeons price their services based on their skills, knowledge and expertise. When you see a surgeon advertising heavily and offering deep discounts, deals and coupons, ask why they might be doing that.
Your plastic surgeon may recommend that their practice contact your insurance company before surgery to determine if your procedure is eligible for coverage. Some reconstructive surgery may be covered, but most cosmetic procedures are considered elective and aren’t covered.
Many factors determine the cost of surgery in addition to the experience of the surgeon, including the extensiveness of the procedure(s) performed, the materials used and the aftercare needed. Deeply discounted services signals one or more of these areas may be compromised.
Plastic surgeons price their services based on their skills, knowledge and expertise
Must-have #9 – The right set of questions.
The right Plastic Surgeon will be willing to satisfy any answers you have regarding your desired procedure.
Here are several questions you may consider asking:
- How many times has the physician performed the procedure?
- Who will assist in the procedure? Their qualifications and training?
- What is involved in the procedure? How is it performed?
- What are the exact breakdown of fees for this procedure?
- Will the physician use sedation? If yes, what level of sedation will the physician use?
- Who will administer and monitor the sedation?
- How long will the procedure and recovery last?
- Will the physician perform the procedure from the first cut to the last stitch?
- What are the risks associated with this procedure?
- What are the warning signs or concerns to watch for?
For decades, evidence has shown that mortality is lower, and outcomes are better, when you seek certain procedures from physicians and hospital teams with more practice doing them.
–US News & World Report
Must-have #10 – A good consultation.
Don’t move forward with any surgical plans until you feel you and your doctor are on the same page. “The surgeon should be the one to decide whether you are a good candidate for surgery,” CBS News reports. “And he/ she should take time to answer all your questions without rushing you out the door.”
A good consultation will leave you feeling confident about a course of action. You’ll feel comfortable with the practice, the personnel and treatment plan.
If you’re not at ease — maybe the surgeon didn’t meet with you directly and you saw an assistant, or the office was dirty or you didn’t get satisfactory answers to your questions about pricing or the procedure — consider looking for other options.
There are many doctors who have made their life’s work building a reputable practice. They stay up-to-date with licenses, credentials and experience. These are the ones who find great joy and satisfaction in helping people look and feel their best.
10 Reasons Cool Springs Plastic Surgery Is Right for You
“We take our patients’ health and needs very seriously, and we believe that our education and surgical training support that commitment. Achieving certification by the American Board of Plastic Surgery built a strong foundation, and our patients can be confident that they’re receiving the best possible care.”
–Dr. Moore and Dr. Papillion
Dr. Moore, Dr. Papillion and their staff at Cool Springs Plastic Surgery provide the ultimate combination of sincere compassion and surgical excellence, because they truly care about your needs and expectations. Here’s why you can trust they’re the right choice for you:
- Experienced founder. Dr. John R. Moore has been a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon for nearly 20 years. He is known as a creative and experienced surgeon who is as concerned about your comfort, well-being, and peace of mind as he is with achieving excellent results. Dr. Moore is a long-standing member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons and the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery.
- Cutting-edge knowledge. Dr. Paul Warner Papillion is a board-certified Plastic Surgeon who dedicates his practice to cosmetic and aesthetic surgery to provide the latest techniques in both surgical and non-surgical procedures. Dr. Papillion has worked with numerous internationally recognized plastic surgeons gaining knowledge from the masters themselves.
- Hospital privileges. Both Dr. Moore and Dr. Papillion hold hospital privileges for the procedures they perform, ensuring the utmost safety for their patients.
- Personalized consultation. Cool Springs Plastic Surgery provides a detailed consultation to best address your desires and concerns. Based on your needs, they offer a range of surgical and non-surgical options.
- All-inclusive. If you are not quite ready for a surgical procedure, being an all-inclusive practice means non-surgical options are available. With the opening of its new Skin Care Center, Cool Springs Plastic Surgery, which is a Black Diamond partner of Allergan, has a wide range of services available for anyone wanting to look and feel their best.
- A good value. While Cool Springs Plastic Surgery offers special savings to its loyal patients, you won’t find them steeply discounting services or cutting costs to bring in new clientele.
- Reputation. “Exceptional care,” “easier than I had expected,” “highly recommended,” “comfortable,” “I love the results!” These are just a few of the familiar phrases the staff at Cool Springs Plastic Surgery hears from loyal patients on a regular basis. Their reputation in the community is unmatched.
- A local, independent and established community practice. Cool Springs Plastic Surgery was the first full-time board certified plastic surgery practice in Williamson County when it opened in 1994.
- Experience. Cool Springs Plastic Surgery has served well over 10,000 patients and performed nearly as many of surgeries.
- Convenience. Cool Springs Plastic Surgery now has three locations to serve patients throughout Middle Tennessee: Franklin, Nashville and Mount Juliet.
Call Cool Springs Plastic Surgery today to book a consultation: (615) 771-7718.