5 Things You Must Know About Your Plastic SurgeonPlastic surgery continues to gain popularity throughout America. Thanks in part to new technology and new products, the number of cosmetic surgery procedures rose three percent during 2013, according to the most recent report by The American Society of Plastic Surgeons.
More procedures inherently means more risk, however, so patients must be careful when choosing a physician.
Although most cosmetic surgeries are not emergency operations, there is still some un-certainty involved in any surgical procedure. Choosing a qualified, board certified plastic surgeon who you feel comfortable with is therefore extremely important, says Dr. Rupesh Jain, co-physician at the Institute of Plastic Surgery.
Among the qualities to look for in a plastic surgeon:
1. Board certification. When choosing a physician, be sure he or she is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. This is extremely important because the American Board of Plastic Surgery is the only true plastic surgery board, says Dr. Jain. Other phy-sicians may be certified in another specialty, such as OB-GYN, but they will not be fully trained to assess patients and conduct cosmetic procedures.
2. Mutual respect. "You want to feel like you can sit down and be honest with your phy-sician if you are concerned about something or if you are having issues," Dr. Jain says. "This way you feel like there is a direct connection with that physician and they're not just an expert at doing surgery. They're also a human being." Follow your gut feeling on this. If you sense that something is not right about your physician, you don't want to ig-nore that intuition, Dr. Jain says.
3. Hospital privileges. Look for a plastic surgeon who has active, full privileges at a hos-pital. Some physicians may work out of their own facility rather than out of a surgery center. Hospital privileges are especially important in this case because if there are problems after the procedure, your physician will then have the ability to admit you to a hospital. Check with your state's medical board to see if any disciplinary action has been taken against a physician. Some state medical examiners make these reports available online.
4. Accreditation. There are three major surgical accreditation companies: American As-sociation for Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgery Facilities (AAAASF); Accreditation As-sociation of Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC); and The Joint Commission on Accredita-tion of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO). Make sure that the surgery center you go to is fully certified by one of these top agencies.
5. Knowledgeable. Don't go into the first consultation with your physician blindly. Rather, prepare a list of questions so you feel confident that he or she is knowledgeable about all aspects of the procedure.
"Even if all the information is not 100 percent correct, it's best to do your research be-forehand so you have some understanding of the procedure," Dr. Jain says. "When you have a consultation with a physician, you're able to then formulate better questions. If there's something that doesn't make sense you already have some knowledge to help you understand the procedure that you're interested in more thoroughly."