10 tips to choose a reliable plastic surgeon

In recent years, the number of procedures performed by false doctors and specialists has increased. Suspect phrases like “this surgery gives perfect results and without any risk”.

All procedures in plastic surgery require a recovery time, they have risks and they can have complications.

Each year aesthetic procedures and plastic surgeries increase in number. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgery , ASPS, 15.6 million aesthetic and reconstructive procedures were performed in the United States in 2018 . Unfortunately, parallel to this boom has also increased the number of procedures performed by false specialists and doctors who do not meet the minimum requirements to practice this profession. As a consequence, the complications and unsatisfactory results are a serious problem .

Carrying out an aesthetic treatment should not be a decision lightly. The correct choice of surgeon and clinic is a fundamental point to achieve the best results and reduce the possibility of complications.

If you are going to enter a surgery room for an aesthetic procedure, keep these 10 recommendations in mind:

Talk to people who have gone through this process

The best way to get information about doctors and clinics is by talking with family or friends who have had similar surgery. Knowing the experience of others helps you make a more accurate decision about who the doctor should be. In addition, on the web you can find reviews that also give valuable guidance. Sites like Real Self allow you to see the comments of patients about surgeries, clinics and surgeons. However, when analyzing the experiences of others, do not compare, keep in mind that each person has different results and recovery processes.

Study your doctor

It is essential that the specialist be part of the scientific society that groups them. This guarantees that it complies with the studies and accreditations necessary to work. In the case of the United States, the American Society of Plastic Surgery has a list of its specialists.

If you are thinking of operating in another country, look for the society that groups plastic surgeons and consult their databases. Investigate and ask for lawsuits for malpractice or suspensions of the license to practice the profession. All these elements will help you make the right decision.

Go prepared for the first consultation

To get the best out of your first assessment and get the important information, have a list of questions and doubts that you want to solve.

It is essential to be clear about the risks of complications and unsatisfactory results. Ask about this topic to have more elements to help you make the decision.

It is also vital to know if there are other treatment options for your case, and to leave surgery as the last option. If pain is one of the issues that concerns you the most, ask for complementary options to manage pain after surgery. If you can not clear all your doubts, schedule a second consultation.

Is there the treatment that they propose?

Some professionals offer treatments with attractive names and techniques that do not exist. Investigate about the treatment they are offering, compare if there are other specialists who also perform it. Suspect “unique and novel” treatments that no other surgeon performs. Beware of phrases like “I am the only surgeon who does this procedure” or “nobody else has this equipment”.

Be wary of low prices

The cost of treatment should not be the most important factor in the decision. Very low costs generally sacrifice quality in the service and treatments. Compare rates with several specialists. Do not let yourself be pressured by costs, special offers or discounts and promotions. In health, savings can be paid dearly in the future.


Choosing a surgeon and an institution with all the necessary permits and certifications is the best way to guarantee a high quality service. There are accreditations for clinics, clinics and doctors. These certify that the requirements to offer these services are met. Do not be afraid to ask if the clinic has all the regulatory permits.

For plastic surgeons the American Board of Plastic Surgeons is the entity that lets you know if the specialist meets the necessary studies, updates and accreditations.

A difference to take into account

There are plastic surgeons and cosmetic or aesthetic surgeons. Plastic surgeons are specialists who have studied all their training to perform aesthetic and reconstructive treatments. But also, several specialties in medicine offer aesthetic treatments: some specialists such as ophthalmologists, dermatologists and otolaryngologists are promoted as cosmetic surgeons. Make sure that the specialist is able to perform the treatments offered and has the necessary training to offer these services. Each specialty has a different society and certifications.

Advertising should not be the only criterion

Any doctor can post a notice, design attractive and expensive ads. For this reason, advertising should not be what determines the choice of a surgeon. Not necessarily the doctor with the most visible advertising campaign is the best option. Many surgeons with great experience and quality in their services do not advertise or use social networks to spread their surgeries and treatments.

Keep in mind that many before and after photos have digital retouches and are not as real as they appear. Advertising allows any attractive phrase or promise of good results. Be very careful and do not be impressed by the publicity.

Do not believe in miraculous treatments

There are no miraculous treatments. All procedures in plastic surgery require a recovery time, they have risks and they can have complications. Have real expectations. There are no perfect results. Be wary of phrases like “this surgery gives perfect results and without any risk”.

Some pages to consult

To make the decision to perform an aesthetic treatment, it is important to do the task, research and find information. Some safe sites to be informed are the following: American Society of Plastic Surgeons, ASPS ; American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, ASAPS , Canadian Society of Plastic Surgeons and Real Self.

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