Thursday, July 25, 2013

How to choose a Plastic Surgeon

How to Choose a Plastic Surgeon.
The recent media coverage of an unfortunate man who had his nose amputated after cosmetic nose surgery brings to light the need for patients to understand the credentials of their cosmetic physician.  I recently saw a patient in consultation for a rhinoplasty (nose job). They asked some very good questions concerning the risks and potential complications of surgery and after answering all their questions we spoke about the man who lost his nose to the complications of nose surgery. 

My patient was not aware that in Florida any medical doctor can offer cosmetic surgery procedures.  The patient should be aware that all procedures have risk and potential complications.  The proper training and experience of the physician performing these procedures will limit potential adverse outcomes. 

Further, cosmetic surgery patients should understand the educational back ground and experience of the physician that is treating them. Can you doctor correct potential complications if they occur? Does your surgeon have hospital privileges to perform your surgery and will they take care of you if your require hospitalization. Hospital credentialing committees research and verify the credentials of their staff and grant privileges based upon proper training and experience.  Surgery offered only in the office may not have this independent review.

Having your surgery done by a properly credentialed surgeon will not avoid all risks, but if trouble occurs proper intervention and application of corrective measures may diminish long term problems. In the case of the man who lost his nose multiple operations were done without giving his nose time to heal leading to infection and the loss of the nose.

The American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS) is one of 24 medical specialty boards that make up the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS). Through ABMS, the boards work together to establish common standards for physicians to achieve and maintain board certification. The boards were founded by their respective specialties to protect the public by assessing and certifying doctors who meet specific educational, training and professional requirements.

You can check our surgeon’s board status by going to the ABMS web site.

You can check to see if your surgeon is on staff at your local hospital.  Ask your family doctor for their recommendation.  Compare a few of these recommended surgeons to find the one that you are comfortable with performing your surgery.  Visit the American Society of Plastic Surgeons web site to find a list of questions to ask about your procedure.