Questions to Ask Your Doctor About Plastic Surgery
If you're thinking about getting cosmetic surgery, it's your
job to become an informed consumer. Selecting a qualified
doctor, with a lot of training and experience in the procedure
you'd like to get, is essential.
Ask the right questions to get the best treatment:
- What state is the doctor licensed to practice
- Is the doctor board certified? With which board? The
doctor should be certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery.
- What training did the surgeon have after medical
school? Was it plastic surgery?
- How many surgeries of this type does the doctor
perform each year?
- How many years has the doctor performed this type of
- What hospital can the doctor admit patients or work
in? You'll want to know in case of an emergency. You can also check with the
hospital for the surgeon's credentials.
- If the doctor operates in his or her office or
ambulatory health care facility, is it accredited? Check with the American
Association for Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgery Facilities or
Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care, Inc. to find out. It can
mean a higher standard of care.
- Does the doctor have life-saving equipment and
- Who administers the anesthesia? Ideally, this person
is a board-certified anesthesiologist or certified registered nurse
- What are the risks of the procedure? How often do
they happen? What does the doctor do if they happen?
- What is the expected recovery for the procedure
- Check with the state medical board for complaints or
malpractice suits against the doctor.
Check out your doctor's credentials
If you're thinking about having your surgery in the doctor's
office, there are advantages and disadvantages. The office might
be convenient, private, and have more amenities than a hospital
or ambulatory care center (non-emergency, outpatient facility).
But it may not be safe. Don't assume that the doctor has the
right credentials or the right equipment to keep you safe in the
In many states, a ny doctor with a valid medical license
who's in private practice can legally perform surgery. So some
doctors are doing surgery outside of their specialty, like an
eye doctor performing breast implant surgery. Depending on the
state, doctors in private practice don't need to meet the same
legal requirements as a hospital or accredited ambulatory care
center for surgery or anesthesia services.
It's also important that if you choose to go to an ambulatory
care center, that it's accredited. Contact these organizations
to find out your doctor's education, licensure, and board
certification in addition to the doctor's or ambulatory care
Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health
Care, Inc. (AAHC)
Accredits physician offices with surgical facilities.
American Association for Accreditation of
Ambulatory Surgery Facilities (AAAASF)
Phone : 888-545-5222
Certifies ambulatory surgery facilities and provides
practice guidelines for surgeons working in ambulatory
American Society of Plastic
Surgeons (ASPS)/ The American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS)
All of the surgeons listed through this service are
ASPS members who are board-certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery.
They have graduated from an accredited medical school and completed at least
five years of surgical residency, usually three years of general surgery and two
years of plastic surgery
Phone : 888-4PLASTIC
Federation of State Medical Boards (FCVS)
FCVS verifies medical education, postgraduate
training, licensure examination history, board action
history, and identity.
Phone : 888-ASK-FCVS
Last Editorial Review: 7/12/2005