Regardless of the procedure or results you seek, undergoing plastic surgery is a very personal experience. There’s a certain comfort level required. You should receive treatment from a surgeon who thoroughly understands your personal goals and desires, someone who makes you feel at ease, both during the exam and on your surgery day.
Beyond that, you also want someone who’s eminently qualified to give you the results you deserve. Whether you’re choosing from the plastic surgeons here in Houston or around the country, here are a few considerations to help you get started:
1. Board Certification
This is a non-negotiable requirement when choosing a plastic surgeon. In fact, in order to call yourself a “plastic surgeon,” you must be certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS). Even before you read reviews, look through a surgeon’s patient photo gallery, or meet them for a consultation, be sure that surgeon is board-certified.
There are a few ways to look for this. First, check the bio or “About” page for mention of board certification, and make sure it’s from the ABPS. I’ve shared more on this certification here. Memberships to societies like the American Society of Plastic Surgeons is an added bonus, because it signals a commitment to continued learning and innovation.
You can also look for the seal from these certifying boards and societies on the footer or other pages of the doctor’s website.
It’s important to select a surgeon who specializes in the treatments and procedures you seek. While all board-certified plastic surgeons have been trained in both facial and body procedures, many develop a particular expertise in one type of procedures. You can often tell this by reading a surgeon’s bio, clicking through their photo gallery and noting which sections have more results posted, or simply asking the surgeon about their specialty.
This is true of me, too: I specialize in mommy makeover procedures. While I perform facial treatments often and have a skilled injectable staff, most of my patients come to me seeking breast augmentation, tummy tuck, and similar restorative treatments to reverse the effects of pregnancy and breastfeeding.
3. Photo Gallery Results
The before-and-after photos and patient stories available in a surgeon’s gallery go hand-in-hand with specialization. You’ll note that a photo gallery may have many more breast augmentation photos than facelift or blepharoplasty, or vice versa. You should carefully examine all of the transformations available in their gallery, specifically under the treatment you seek.
Also look for patients with similar body types to yours – do you like their results? Are there any patients with results like the ones you want to see? Do the results look natural and subtle, or dramatic and overdone? Consider each patient carefully to help guide your decision.
4. Options Offered
When patients come to a surgeon seeking a treatment, they often don’t realize that the procedure they seek may be further enhanced by combining other treatments. Results of a mommy makeover, which typically includes a tummy tuck, and breast augmentation, can often be even better if liposuction is performed to the hips and sides. Adding liposuction creates smoother contours and enhances the breasts even more.
Similarly, many surgeons offer a range of complementary treatments in the spirit of giving you the best results possible. When you’re meeting with surgeons, consider asking them how their approaches might include complementary procedures.
5. Bedside Manner & Rapport
One of the best pieces of advice I can offer here is to simply go with your gut. Meet with surgeons for at least 1, 2, or even 3 consultations. Ask them as many questions about your procedure and their experience as you can think of, and seek to understand their perspective on surgery. Do everything you can to make sure you’re completely comfortable with both the surgeon and the procedure they offer.
Remember that you’re trying to get to a place where you can trust in both their skill and their ability to communicate with you and put you at ease. When recovery from surgery becomes exhausting, or if something unexpected happens, you’ll want a surgeon who you’re perfectly comfortable calling anytime for help.
As you move forward in selecting a surgeon for your plastic surgery procedure, don’t be intimidated! While there are many surgeons here in Houston, I hope this guide helps you narrow down and determine the best surgeon for your unique goals, desires, and needs.