Patient Safety: How to Choose a Plastic Surgeon

Patient Safety: How to Choose a Plastic Surgeon

You’ve decided on a plastic surgery procedure. You’ve talked to your close friends and family about it. Now, all you have to do is find a doctor. Sounds simple, but once you go online and search – you get confused. How do you find a qualified plastic surgeon and what are the right questions to ask during the consultation?

First, find out if they’re board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, which is recognized as the “gold standard” in physician certification.

Once you’ve done this, look at the doctor’s state medical records for any disciplinary action resulting from lawsuits. Go to the Federation of State Medical Board website, to find your doctor’s profile.

If that checks out, then you want to make sure that the facility where you’re having the surgery is accredited from one of the following:

  • American Association for Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgery Facilities (AAAASF)
  • Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC)
  • Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO)

Also, make sure the doctor has hospital privileges even if your procedure isn’t going to take place in one. In the event of a complication, the surgeon can treat you in a hospital with round the clock care. In addition, hospitals screen doctors very closely, so it’s another layer of protection for you.

You can do all this research online before or after your consultation, but don’t be afraid to ask your doctor in person as well. How they respond to your questions is almost as important as their answer. Other important questions are: how many times have they performed your particular surgery, who will actually be performing the surgery and do they have any patient testimonials. If the price of the surgery is much lower than other quotes you’ve received, ask why and be wary of where the savings are coming from.

Find an ASAPS board-certified plastic surgeon in your area