Once you’ve decided on plastic surgery, you’ll face the task of choosing from among the many plastic surgeons in Birmingham to find the best one for you—but where to start? The Internet is a great resource, and many surgeons have their own websites. When looking at a surgeon or practice website, be sure to sort the facts from the marketing. Here are a few tips on how to explore a surgeon’s site, as well as red flags to watch out for.
- Credentials: Board certification is a must for cosmetic surgeons. Any physician can perform surgery—but you wouldn’t want a urologist giving you a rhinoplasty. Board certification is a process that involves cosmetic surgery-specific training, plus written and oral tests in addition to a traditional medical education. A good surgeon will provide a complete professional background, including professional memberships and awards, on his or her site. Besides board certification, it can’t hurt to check the doctor’s records. Many states list malpractice suits and disciplinary actions on their medical board’s website.
- Before and after photos: Most surgeons should have before and after photos of their patients easily accessible on their websites. Review photos of the procedure you want in order to determine whether or not the surgeon is a good match. If no photos are available online, ask to see some at your initial consultation. It’s a major red flag if the surgeon cannot produce any or refuses to share them.
- Procedure descriptions: Thorough descriptions of the surgeon’s procedures should be available in plain language. Though you’ve probably already exhaustively researched your chosen surgery, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the surgeon’s own approach. He or she may prefer techniques or devices that are new to you. A good procedure-specific FAQ section will cover common concerns like candidacy, recovery time, possible complications, and pain levels. A surgeon that shies away from these topics might not be a great choice.
As with all major decisions, common sense and your gut instinct can go a long way. A good doctor will never guarantee results, dismiss your questions, or offer gimmicky deals or bargains. Don’t gamble on your looks and health—if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.