Know your surgeon, do your research

Know your surgeon, do your research

I came across this article a few days ago and it really upset me: Bronx woman died seeking cheap tummy tuck surgery in Dominican Republic

I can totally understand wanting to put my body back the way it was before having kids, but it is so not worth risking your life. Of course every surgery has risks, but this article proves how crucial it is to do your research and select a surgeon with the proper credentials.

How to choose a surgeon
Cost isn’t the only factor to consider when researching a surgeon for a cosmetic procedure. In fact, it’s not even at the top of the list.

Always interview several surgeons. You wouldn’t hire a contractor to work on your house without comparing quotes and checking references, so don’t hire a doctor who is going to perform surgery on your body without the same depth of research.

Make sure to choose a surgeon who is board-certified (if in the US) by the American Board of Plastic surgery, or even better yet, a member of an organization like the American Society For Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, which checks credentials, cases and facilities of each surgeon. They even have international surgeons!

Ask friends for references. Word of mouth is one of the best referrals. If you know someone who had plastic surgery and was satisfied with the process and the results, that’s a big mark in that surgeon’s favor.

Check the surgeon’s record and make sure there are no outstanding malpractice lawsuits or other red flags. Links to the websites of every state's medical board can be found here.

Make sure the surgeon has hospital privileges. All members of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery do. In fact, the planning toolkit on the Smart Beauty Guide website is a great place to start when you’re considering an aesthetic plastic surgical procedure.

Medical tourism
There’s nothing wrong with using a surgeon that is not in the United States; just be sure to find one that meets all the necessary criteria. Make your decisions based on fact, not feeling. If you don’t trust your instincts, bring along a friend or family member who can offer perspective and wisdom.

Use this handy Select A Surgeon tool on the Smart Beauty Guide website to find a qualified plastic surgeon in your area.

About the Author