5 Tips for Choosing a Plastic Surgeon

Choosing the Surgeon That is Right for YOU

Selecting the right plastic surgeon is one of the most important decisions to make when electing to have a cosmetic procedure. It can be hard sometimes to tell the difference between a good PR campaign and a good surgeon. So we’ve compiled a list of the 5 most important questions to ask before choosing your surgeon. Let’s do this!

1. Is the surgeon Board Certified?

When it comes to Board Certification, The American Board of Medical Specialities is the only non-profit, governing agency nationally recognized by the medical profession. The ABMS regulates American medicine by establishing the educational standards for 24 medical specialities and certifications, one of which is plastic surgery. It is the exceptionally high standards of the ABMS that are responsible for the high quality of medical care in America. It takes two years after completing a Plastic Surgery residency for a plastic surgeon to be able to take the test to become Board Certified. During that time, he or she is declared Board Eligible.
Not all doctors offering plastic surgery procedures are ABMS Board Certified or Board Eligible Plastic Surgeons. Cosmetic Surgeons, for example, are not certified by the ABMS. The Cosmetic Surgery Board Inc. is an independent for profit organization that is self governed. Educational standards, training, and the certification process are not as rigorous as the ABMS. A doctor will often proclaim to be double Board Certified and that can be confusing. It is important you ask if one of his or her Board Certifications is in Plastic Surgery.

You can easily check to see if a surgeon is Board Certified by visiting the American Board of Medical Specialities website. You can also check the American Board of Plastic Surgery or the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. ASPS only recognizes Board Certified or Board Eligible plastic surgeons.

 2. Advanced training and experience?

Very often patients will ask if Dr. Anton has a specialty. Dr. Anton did complete two Fellowships before beginning his practice in 1997.

A Fellowship is a period of training that a physician may undertake after completing residency. Fellowships are not mandatory for meeting the requirements of Board Certification. After four years of medical school and five years of residency, not all plastic surgeons opt for additional Fellowship training, but they do offer specialized training and additional experience that can set them apart from their peers. Dr. Anton completed a competitive six month Breast Fellowship with Dr. Carl Hartrampf and associates in Atlanta, GA followed by a 6 month Facial Fellowship with Dr. William Magee and Dr. Jonathon Jacobs in Norfolk, VA and associates.

3. Is the facility accredited?  

Most plastic surgery procedures are done in an outpatient surgical facility. That OR can be onsite in the doctor’s office or offsite at a separate facility. Either way, there are accreditations that insure the standardization and safety of the facility.

 

 

4. Are Before and After Photos doctored? 

In the age of Photoshop, we’ve grown accustomed to perfection. While it might be okay to doctor a selfie now and again, it is not okay to photoshop the surgical results in Before and After photos. These are meant to serve as an accurate depiction of the surgeon’s actual results. You also might want to check to be sure the photos you are viewing are actually ones of the doctor’s work.

 

5. Awards and Recognition?

A doctor’s website is sure to list any special recognition or awards. Castle Connolly Top Doctor is the most coveted awards a doctor can earn. Castle Connolly Top Doctor candidates must be peer nominated and undergo a review process conducted by a special Castle Connolly panel of judges, including patient reviews, disciplinary actions, Board Certification, and overall excellence in standards and practice.