Like any other surgery, cosmetic surgery has risks but if you choose the right surgeon, these risks can be effectively lowered. This decision can make all the difference between a surgery that enhances your confidence and one that brings complications and heartache. Your 'gut feeling' is not good enough to pick out a cosmetic surgeon. Being certified by the medical board is an absolute must.
Let's look at a few other things to keep in mind:
What is the doctor's specialty?
Plastic surgery is a vast field. While some surgeons specialize in facial reconstruction, others specialize in breast implants. When picking a surgeon, it is important that they have enough expertise in the procedure you want. Have a candid conversation with the doctor about the risks and benefits of the procedure you are about to undergo. No surgery is without risks and do not believe any doctor who tells you so. Avoid undergoing multiple procedures at once, and trying to find one doctor who can do it all.
What are the operating facilities like?
While some surgeries are performed in the doctor's office, others need a surgical facility. The success of your procedure depends not only on the surgeon but also on his staff and the operating facilities. Do not be afraid to ask about the anesthetist's qualifications and the certification of the operating facility. Ensure that they have key life support equipment on hand just in case.
Does the doctor's aesthetic sense match yours?
Plastic surgery is largely a matter of aesthetics. What one person considers pretty may not be quite that attractive to the other person. Thus it is essential for you and your plastic surgeon to share a common sense of aesthetics. Ask to see pictures of the results of surgeries similar to what you want performed by the doctor. Depending on the procedure you want and the body part affected, look for patients with similar concerns and facial structure or body shape etc. These photographs should give you an idea of how the surgeon will tailor the procedure to address your concern.
Do you feel an emotional connect with the doctor?
'Gut feeling' cannot be completely ignored when it comes to choosing a plastic surgeon. You are putting the way you look in this doctor's hands, and hence it is important for you to feel secure in his care and to trust him. Your doctor should encourage you to ask questions and you should feel comfortable talking about your complete medical history with him or her. Also consider the staff and how you feel about them.
This decision is not one that can be made hastily, so take your time and make sure that you are going for the best doctor before going under the knife.