Whether you are considering a large or small procedure, it is important to find the right surgeon and to understand your options. There’s lots of research to do and several questions to ask. Here are just a few topics to get you started.
Plastic vs. Cosmetic
Did you know that a cosmetic surgeon and a plastic surgeon are different? Why they are often used interchangeably, they are not the same profession. Plastic surgeons focus on reconstruction or repairing defects. They receive training on a variety of procedures such as trauma surgery and hand surgery (in addition to cosmetic surgery). Cosmetic surgeons, however, receive training exclusively in cosmetic procedures. This includes breast surgery, face surgery, and liposuction among others. Cosmetic surgeons also have to complete a post-residency fellowship after they get their degree. If you’re interested in learning more about the differences, The American Board of Cosmetic Surgery has a great article.
Essentially, what it comes down to, is if you are interested in a specific cosmetic procedure, seek out a cosmetic surgeon. Remember you can always ask if you are not sure, as often these terms are meant to confuse you.
What’s your experience?
It is important to find a licensed and certified surgeon who specializes in cosmetic surgeries. But certification is not the only thing you should look for. Experience matters much more. You want to find out how many procedures they’ve done and how long they’ve been doing them. For instance, Dr. Kaplan has performed over 8,500 surgeries and has been practicing since 1991. Once you decide on what procedure you would like, it is important to find a cosmetic surgeon with expertise in that specific area. For instance, if you are looking for an arm tuck or eyelid surgery, don’t just go to someone who has only done breast augmentations.
Next, it’s important to ask for the portfolio of their work. Since cosmetic surgery tells a lot in pictures, it’s important for a surgeon to have a wide variety of before and after pictures to show you. When you look through the portfolio, try to find people who have similar features to you to get an idea of how the procedure worked for them.
In the next portion, we will look at more questions to ask and what to expect from a consultation.