Cosmetic Surgery; The naked truth about choosing your plastic surgeon: 5 critical questions


Plastic surgery  procedures, both surgical and non-surgical, will make you feel and look younger. These treatments can improve your self esteem and outlook on life ….but,   its critical to carefully choose your doctor and the facility that you go to for treatment.

I am a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon and have practiced in Los Angeles and Orange County since 1985.  It is very difficult for the average person to wade through all of the information in magazines, on T.V., the Internet and now various social media venues. Whether you choose our office or another physicians’ it is critical to do your research.  I have included five essential questions that I or my family members would ask any doctor before undergoing treatment or surgery. I hope these recommendations are useful to you.                                                                                                        

1-    First, make sure that your doctor is board certified.  There are many so proclaimed or “unauthorized” boards and societies.  In the United States, The American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) decides which boards are approved and legitimate.  My board certification required 8 years of training after medical school in general and plastic surgery. You must always ask the doctor if they are Board Certified and by who.  The “cosmetic “ doctor you are consulting with may be a Board Certified Gynecologist or Dermatologist, not a Plastic Surgeon.   Boards such as the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery are not ABMS approved. Do your research.

2-     What is your doctors’ experience?  Any Board Certified Plastic Surgeon likely has enough training to be safe and perform an adequate operation.  Cosmetic Surgery, however, can take years to perfect, if perfection is ever possible. Facial and nasal surgery requires even more time to gain enough experience to be efficient, safe and artistic. Ask your surgeon, how often and how many of these procedures he, or she has performed in their career.

3-    Evidence of excellence as demonstrated by years in practice, membership in local and national societies, university affiliation, honors and reviews, publications, and dedication to teaching and training other surgeons.

4-    Hospital privileges to perform this surgery, and appropriate accreditation at the center where you will be having your surgery.  Major hospital in your geographic location will not allow a doctor to perform an operation if they are not credentialed to do so. As an example: a hospital is unlikely to let a dermatologist perform liposuction or a facelift, yet many will do these in their offices.  Likewise, an outpatient surgicenter should be certified by the State, Medicare, JCAHO, or AAAASF.

5-    Connect with your Doctor and their staff.  Bedside manner counts.  Your treatment requires someone who will listen to your needs and concerns. They should make you feel comfortable and confident.  The office and staff members should also inspire confidence and trust, after-all, this is an important decision for you and you will be placing your faith in the doctor and his staff to take care of you before, during and after your treatments so that you can have the best possible experience and outcome.


·      Societies

o   Orange County Plastic Surgery

o   California Society of Plastic Surgeons  (CSPS)

o   American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS)

o   American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery  (ASAPS)

o   American Board of Medical Specialties

o   American College of Surgeons (FACS)

Article by
Orange County Plastic Surgeon