7 Tips for Finding the Right Cosmetic Surgeon


If you’re like most of us, there’s something about your face or body that bothers you and you’d like to tweak or improve it. It could be as simple as getting rid of acne scarring or bringing your skin back to life. It could be something more complex like a post-baby belly that seems to have taken up permanent residence, or jowls that make you feel like your face is falling. 

Figuring out what to do about it? That’s the hard part.

There’s a lot of noise out there when it comes to if, how, why, and when to “fix” or improve the things that bother you. Drugstore brands try to convince you that all you need is a $14.99 cream. High-tech device companies want you to spend a zillion dollars on what they promise is the next innovation in body sculpting or face lifting. Doctors in different specialties — from plastic surgeons and cosmetic surgeons (yes, there’s a difference!) to dermatologists and ophthlalmologists — argue that “I’M the most qualified to perform your procedure.

If you’re lucky, you know someone who's had the same complaints, found a qualified doctor, got great results, and is happy to talk about their experience and make a recommendation. But chances are, that's not the case. So what do you do?

Do Nothing
If you’re overwhelmed and really have no direction, you may choose to do nothing — except learn how to live with it. Hey, this has been a perfectly acceptable option since the beginning of time. The difference between then and now? Then there were no options; now you don’t have to live with whatever drives you crazy about the way you look.

Make Haste!
You’re not getting any younger, so you decide to make a dash to the nearest doctor’s office that promises to make your anti-aging dreams come true. Truth be told, you could luck out and end up with a highly qualified doctor who is spot-on with his or her evaluation, and doesn’t just meet but EXCEEDS your expectations. It could happen. Unfortunately, it really would come down to luck. Trust me. Convenience, discounts, whatever compels you to rush in, this is your face and body we’re talking about. And you know how the old saying goes, "Fools rush in..."

Do Your Homework
You know this is the right answer, even if you’re rolling your eyes because it’s easier said than done. That’s exactly why many people will naturally fall into one of the above-listed categories, and it’s exactly why I’m writing this blog. It’s not as hard as you think. And I’m going to break it down very simply for you:

  • Make a list of doctors who perform cosmetic treatments in your area. 
  • Get a snapshot of who they are. Review their social media presence. Read their blogs. 
  • Read patient reviews. Check these out on Facebook and RealSelf (but note that these are sometimes skewed unfairly by a disgruntled patient).
  • Make an appointment. Is the staff professional and courteous? Is the office clean and organized? Do you feel comfortable?
  • Ask the doctor questions. How many times have you performed this procedure/treatment? Can I see before and after pictures of your work? What are the risks? Are there alternative treatments?
  • Trust your gut. Not scientific, but it’s always a good indicator.
  • Still not sure? See a second doctor for another opinion.
Article by
Shrewsbury Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeon