Choosing a surgeon can be a difficult task. You’d think that with the internet it would be easy, but in fact, the internet gives us so much information on everyone and anyone, it can be overwhelming! Information is the key to success, but patients need to know which bits of information to look for, and what they mean in terms of a great surgeon. Dr. Geoffrey Keyes, a board certified plastic surgeon in Los Angeles, goes over the key information to learn about a surgeon before going forward with a procedure.
Rule #1: Verifying Board Certification
Board certification is the ultimate form of recognition physicians receive to quantify their abilities. All surgeons go to medical school and train in surgery afterward, not all surgeons go on after those steps to attain recognition by their peers. Identifying a surgeon is board certified by the appropriate board is step one. “The first thing to do is get on the internet and look at the website of different surgeon’s. You’ll see pretty pictures, sites that advertise that they’re the greatest surgeon in the world… It’s hard for patients,” says Dr. Keyes. “Really you have to start with understanding credentials. Only two specialties that train doctors to do rhinoplasty are otolaryngology/facial plastic surgery or general plastic surgery. Both require them to go through a rigorous training program, examination and eventually demonstrate their skills so that they’re able to perform these types of procedures.”
Rule #2: The Consultation
Establishing the significant credentials of a surgeon is an easy process that can be done at home. Discovering who that surgeon is and if they will be compatible with you and your goals is only achievable from a face-to-face consultation. “Even though you’ve researched on the web, the most important aspect is the consultation,” says Keyes. “How do you feel with the doctor? Do you sense a level of integrity? Did they show you pre and post operative pictures from multiple views so you can get a flavor of how the patient really came out?”
Rule #3: Connecting with Your Surgeon
The third rule is the second part of consulting with a surgeon. You’ve seen before and afters and they look great! But how are you connecting with the surgeon? Do you feel comfortable in the setting, with both the surgeon and his staff? Do their facilities look good and are they accredited? These are the final questions patients must ask themselves before deciding on a surgeon.
“An understanding of how you feel they connect with you character-wise is the ultimate step,” says Keyes. “When you’ve put those three things together so that you’re comfortable with all of them, then you’ve found your surgeon.”