If you are considering plastic surgery, you have some decisions to make. While many people spend a lot of time thinking about the procedure and the potential results, there is something much more important to consider. That is the choice of the right plastic surgeon. Not every physician is qualified or experienced in every procedure and choosing the right plastic surgeon isn’t as simple as getting a referral. Referrals and internet research can give you a place to start but as a potential plastic surgery patient, you have a lot at stake – your safety and your appearance. You need to carefully evaluate the surgeon before you make the choice.
You want the plastic surgeon you choose to be better than “good”, he or she should be “great” – a proven “Expert”. When making this critical choice, you should ask yourself three questions – Does my surgeon have the Expertise required to safely perform the surgical procedure? Does the physician have the Experience with this type of procedure? and have he or she produced Exceptional Results for other patients on a regular basis?
If the surgeon you are evaluating has all three qualities, you may have a winner.
All plastic surgeons should be certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. Plastic surgery is a highly, complex specialty that requires years of education and training. Board certification also allows you to ensure that a physician will meet safety requirements and has the medical skills needed but it is only the beginning. Asking him about his professional involvement in teaching, speaking or writing about the procedure you are considering will tells you that he is up-to-date on new techniques and technology.
In addition to the right training and education, your physician should have experience performing the type of surgery you are considering. Some surgeons specialize in particular procedures, and your procedure type should be in his “top three”. A good rule of thumb is that he should have performed this type of procedure once or more per week for five years or more. Plastic surgery is a complex art and the surgeon needs to stay in practice. Having done a number of procedures over a number of years will help ensure that he has the skills that you need.
When most people think about plastic surgery – they think about the results they hope to get but not every plastic surgery story ends well. If you have ensured that your potential surgeon has the Expertise and Experience, you are on your way to choosing the right doctor but he also needs to produce Exceptional Results. Most plastic surgeons keep a file of “before and after” pictures which you should examine. Make sure these include at least two examples of “after” photos taken a year or more post-surgery.
By considering these “Three E’s”, Expertise, Experience and Excellent Results, you have taken care of the physical part of your plastic surgery but there is more. Your plastic surgeon should be personable as well. The difference between a “good” plastic surgeon and a “great” one can be credited to his interaction with his patients. For that evaluation, we have the “Three C’s” and “Three A’s”.
He should be concerned about your feelings and overall wellness by being:
- Completely Empathetic
He should also project confidence and have good communication skills by being:
The “Three E’s” helped you find a qualified real plastic surgeon who will do a “great ” job but your relationship with the surgeon and how he and his staff interact with you will allow you to have a tremendous positive impact on your experience and the outcome. If you are happy, confident, and feel like you are being “heard”, your experience will be easier and less stressful which can make your recovery period easier and the ultimate outcome, better.
Dr. Rod J. Rohrich is an internationally known and respected plastic and cosmetic surgeon operating in the Dallas, Texas area. He is board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and has led most of the key professional organizations in plastic surgery in the USA . He has received numerous honors and awards in plastic and cosmetic surgery, both nationally and internationally. In addition to his extensive surgical expertise and talent as a gifted surgeon, he is the Founding Chair and Distinguished Teaching Professor of Plastic Surgery at UT Southwestern Medical Center. He has authored hundreds of innovative academic publications in the field as well as serving as the editor of the leading plastic and reconstructive surgery journal — the Journal of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. Dr. Rohrich has also performed philanthropic work as a civic leader of organizations such as the March of Dimes, American Cancer Association and Save the Children and has established the Rod J. Rohrich, M.D. Foundation, which supports medical students in his native North Dakota. He is also a founding member and President of AiRS, the Alliance in Reconstructive Surgery, which serves to support education and treatment for Breast Cancer Survivors, regardless of financial status. Dr. Rohrich has been featured in a number of notable publications such as Texas Monthly and on television shows including Oprah, the View and Good Morning America and is currently working to provide a reliable source of public-centered information in the fields of plastic and cosmetic surgery as well as other areas of medicine.