As the number of people undergoing plastic surgery rises, the number of people who get bad results also increases. Numerous cases of botched plastic surgeries persist to linger the news which continue to put plastic surgery in a bad light. As a doctor specializing in cosmetic and reconstructive surgery myself, I am saddened by the fact that such cases carry on.
With more and more people choosing to undergo plastic surgery, it is a must for people eyeing plastic surgery to know the right questions to ask their surgeons before fully undergoing any procedure. I recommend to would-be patients of plastic surgeons to ask the following essential questions.
1. Are you board certified? One of the most important things you must ask your plastic surgeon is if he or she is board certified. Your surgeon should be board certified by either the American Board of Plastic Surgery or the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. This is a proof that your surgeon has gone through five years of rigorous training and passed multiple examinations. You can go to their website and check if your surgeon is really board certified or not.
2. How many times have you done this procedure? It is important to know how many times your surgeon has done the procedure you prefer before. The ideal number should be a hundred or more per year for many of years. In our clinic, we cater to more than 3 patients per week. Patients should not hesitate to say no to surgeons doing a type of procedure for the first time — or the first ten patients a surgeon uses to master his skills.
3. What are the risks and complications of this procedure? Long before the surgery, you should consult your doctor regarding the risks and complications your procedure poses. Facts about the risks should be established well for you to adjust if something happens. Ask how often such risks occur and how to handle them if they ever come your way. However, no surgery is risk-free.
For plastic surgery, the most common risks are scarring, bleeding, and infection. Your doctor will help you overcome these risks and by following his or her instructions religiously, you may just be able to avoid such complications altogether.
4. Can I see some before and after photos of people you have performed this surgery on? If your surgeon is truly an honest expert, then he has nothing to hide. You should insist on seeing photos not only to prove his quality but also because you might want to check if you like the transformation that happened. You can personally assess if you like the outcomes or not. But, again, this is not a guarantee if the surgeon really did perform the surgeries.
Deciding to undergo plastic surgery is a major decision in life that should be thought through. Asking your doctor the right questions may just help you with that. By making sure that you ask the right questions, not only your surgery will be worry-free but your recovery as well.
Patrick Hsu is a plastic surgeon at Memorial Plastic Surgery, Houston, TX.