When you’re in the process of planning a plastic surgery, you’re faced with many decisions: which procedure will give you the results you want, whether a different variation of that procedure would be best (like the short scar facelift instead of the traditional facelift), when the surgery will fit into your schedule, and more. But perhaps the most important decision is choosing your surgeon. While cosmetic procedures can be performed locally or overseas, and can legally be performed by a number of medical professionals, there are unparalleled advantages to working with a local board-certified plastic surgeon.
As most patients would agree, safety is of the utmost importance in a cosmetic procedure. Fortunately, the United States has a number of precautions in place. In order for a doctor to be board-certified in plastic surgery, he or she must uphold high standards of education, as well as experience and knowledge, so as a patient, you can be confident in your surgeon’s qualifications. Another added safety aspect of choosing a nearby plastic surgeon is the ability to avoid traveling. Long trips can increase the risk of blood clots and can keep you from getting the right balance of rest and activity during your recovery, so if your cosmetic procedure is performed in or around the city you live in, you can let your body heal without the stress of traveling.
Your plastic surgeon should be more than just the person in the operating room; he or she should be the first resource you turn to with any questions or concerns. I always encourage patients to have a good understanding of their procedure and recovery before their surgery, but there’s a high likelihood that you’ll still have questions during the healing process about what is or is not normal. If your surgeon is nearby and you’ve developed a trusting relationship, it’s easier to call the office with your questions and to come in for last-minute follow-up if needed.
Would you ask your plumber to cut your hair? Or pay an engineer to analyze your blood samples? Legally, many medical professionals can perform cosmetic procedures. However, in order to become a board-certified plastic surgeon, one must be specialized and hold rigorous training in the field of plastic surgery. Any aesthetic procedure (from facial filler injections to liposuction) can have serious complications if they’re administered incorrectly, so choosing a board-certified plastic surgeon with extensive experience in your chosen procedure can give you the best possible safety and results.
Ultimately, selecting a plastic surgeon should involve careful thought and adequate information—it shouldn’t be a decision that is made quickly or that is based on a single factor. Consulting with multiple surgeons and reviewing their results can help you to get a better idea of each doctor’s experience and personality. To start discussing how I can help you achieve the appearance you’re looking for, schedule a consultation with me, Dr. Franklyn Elliott. Or, to stay up-to-date on the latest news in plastic surgery, follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.