Select a surgeon - tips

Training

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Select a surgeon who has completed at least five to six years of formal training in plastic and reconstructive surgery in accredited training hospitals. This includes three to five years of general surgery residency and two to three years of plastic surgery residency. In the Philippines, these doctors are either board-eligible or board-certified by the Philippine Board of Plastic Surgery. Doctors who have completed residency training in plastic and reconstructive surgery are the only doctors who can rightfully claim to be plastic surgeons. Many doctors who perform cosmetic surgery procedures are board-certified in specialties other than plastic surgery or may even lack such credentials.
 
Experience
 
Good credentials provide a reasonable indication of a doctors qualification to perform cosmetic surgery, and should serve as the basic starting point. Patients should then ask the surgeon about his experience. How long has he been in practice and how many times has he done the procedure you are considering The broader your surgeon`s experience, the greater your chances for a successful surgery.
 
Hospital Privileges
 
Another factor to consider is whether the surgeon has hospital privileges. Before a hospital grants privileges to physicians, they usually require certain standards of training and competence to be met. Although many cosmetic surgery procedures may be safely done in outpatient clinics, others should only be done in a hospital setting. It is best to choose a surgeon who has hospital privileges.
 
Consultation
 
Find a plastic surgeon whom you feel comfortable with. You should be able to communicate easily with him, ask him all your questions and discuss your needs and expectations. Make sure you have all the facts you need in order to make an informed judgement.
 
A good plastic surgeon should be able to evaluate whether you are a good candidate for the surgery you are considering. He should be able to educate you about your options and give you advice about the best technique for your needs. If there are less invasive or non-surgical procedures that could fulfill your needs, the surgeon should be able to tell you about them.
 
Realize that pre- and post-operative photos of the surgeon`s patients can be useful in helping you understand the surgery but are no guarantee that your results will be similar. Every individual is different.
 
Beware of any doctor who tells you there are no possible risks involved in surgery. There are always risks, and these should be discussed frankly.
 
Never allow a doctor to talk you into any procedure you don`t want. A reputable plastic surgeon will let the patient suggest what he or she wants done and then advise them on what is or is not possible.
 
Be skeptical of any doctor who seems to avoid talking about his or her training and professional qualifications.