No matter what medical procedure you are considering, it’s important to know that you have a plastic surgeon you can trust and who meets your particular needs. At the Plastic and Cosmetic Center of South Texas, we understand that, and we are here to help. Our office is proud to offer the best in cosmetic procedures, performed by the top professionals.
Here is some information on how to make the most informed decision when it comes to choosing the right plastic surgeon for your needs.
Board certification is vital. Any surgeon you consider should be board-certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS). Board certification means that your doctor meets a high level of expertise. All board-certified plastic surgeons meet the following criteria:
- Have completed three to five years of training in general surgery along with two to three years of a plastic surgery residency
- Will have been in professional practice for at least two to three years
- Will have taken and passed both written and oral tests to receive certification (only 70% of surgeons pass those tests)
- Will continue educating themselves and pass additional testing every 10 years
It’s not just about past experience. Because board-certified plastic surgeons are required to continue their education, you can be confident that these doctors are working with the most up-to-date information and training about the procedure(s) you are considering.
The ABPS is the only board that is recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) to certify plastic surgeons. Making sure your potential surgeon is board certified is simple — just use the “Is your surgeon certified?” link on the ABPS website and put in the requested information. You will receive an answer immediately.
It is also a good idea to research the professional history of any potential medical professional you are considering using. You can contact your state medical board, and ask them how to see the records of any surgeon. By reading those records, you will see if the surgeon or practice has ever received any disciplinary actions or was involved in any legal settlements, including ones for malpractice. You can also confirm that the surgeon is licensed to practice medicine in your state.
Make sure the surgeon has hospital privileges. While many plastic and cosmetic procedures are safely performed in the surgeon’s own office facility, sometimes a hospital visit or stay is necessary. Because hospitals always do background checks, your surgeon having privileges with area hospitals means that he or she passed the vigorous check, meaning you can trust their expertise even more. If your potential surgeon doesn’t have hospital privileges, consider that a red flag.
Accreditation means that the facility where procedures are to be performed meets the high standards for patient care and patient safety, as set by an accreditation organization such as The Joint Commission (an independent, not-for-profit organization that accredits and certifies 20,500+ U.S. health care organizations and programs). The Joint Commission makes it easy to confirm accreditation; simply use the Quality Check search available on their website.
This research will be helpful when considering which surgeon you want to trust with your procedure. There is also the importance of personal rapport. Before making your final decision, make appointments with any surgeons you are considering. Meet them in person and ask questions. Ask a lot of questions – don’t be afraid! This is your body and your health, after all. If you have trouble coming up with questions on your own, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons has a list that can get you started. And, of course, make sure you ask any additional questions that are specific to your needs and concerns.
The Plastic and Cosmetic Center of South Texas meets all the criteria that we have explained here, and we are ready to answer any questions you may have about procedures, our office, or our professional surgeons. Call today to make an appointment. We look forward to meeting you and helping you make the best decision for you.