The decision to undergo a plastic surgery procedure requires a lot of contemplation and may lead to stress. Thoughts about the procedure itself, the effects of the surgery and fear of regretting the procedure are often in the forefront of each person’s mind. One way to alleviate some of this stress is to first know what to look for when choosing a plastic surgeon. Once you’ve selected a surgeon, this process should run smoothly. The January issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery highlighted factors that influence a patient’s decision when choosing a plastic surgeon:
- Surgeons with at least ten years’ experience were preferred over less experienced surgeons.
- Method of referral was the next strongest factor, with an importance of 21.5 percent. “The most preferred method of referral is by the general practitioner, followed by referral by a friend or family member,” according to the authors.
- Referrals by TV, radio, magazine and Internet forums had a negative effect. Patients were less likely to select a practice referred in this way.
- Travel time had an importance of 14 percent, with patients preferring travel times of less than one hour.
- The cost of the procedure had an importance of 13 percent. Cost preferences are highly influenced by socioeconomic levels, but patients remain price-sensitive.
Ensuring your plastic surgeon has a good amount of experience is extremely important. When undergoing procedures that require an immense amount of precision, time and caution, experience is everything. I’m not saying that a surgeon with only one year of experience isn’t capable of carrying out a fantastic surgery, because I’m sure they are. I do know, however, that experience and performance go hand in hand. Secondly, referral, which I think is just as important as surgical experience receives second place in this study.
A great referral reflects highly on the surgeon and the practice. Referrals also relieve a little of the angst that sometimes accompanies the decision to undergo plastic or cosmetic surgeries. Wouldn’t you prefer hearing from a friend or family member on who to see when contemplating a surgery?
Lastly, travel and cost are listed as influencers in the study. While having a practice in close proximity is convenient, having a great practice that is a little further shouldn’t deter you. Cost is a factor on everyone’s mind when contemplating surgery, but there are payment plans, specials and varying prices. There is always a way, if you really desire something.