Please detail how to interpret stats to determine if a surgeon has the right talent and experience for a Breast Reduction.

I'm interviewing board certified surgeons operating for 10+ yrs to do my breast reduction. I see advice like "make sure s/he does the procedure often". How often is Often? If s/he also does lots of other types: TTs, Lipo, cranial recon., does that signal that they will do a good job with breast reduction, or are these procedures too different to compare? Also, I read a suggestion to ask success rate. What would you say is an acceptable # & answer over a 20 yr career?

Doctor Answers 4

Finding Dr Right

Great question!  One of the reasons creative individuals become plastic surgeons is because it brings daily challenges into the operating room.  Talented plastic surgeons, many of whom participate in this forum are probably quite good at a number of different procedures.  Very few plastic surgeons would be satisfied doing just one operation day in and day out. Look at her/his photographs critically, be quite certain what you are seeking and communicate this clearly. All board certified plastic surgeons will have been trained in breast reduction.  It is also helpful to read carefully the surgeon's biography (where trained, fellowships) and even bibliography (written anything on breast reduction? lectured?) Look for the most dedicated surgeon, not the one with the flashiest website or ads.

San Jose Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Right talent and experience for a Breast Reduction

I would suggest finding a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon who has been in Private Practice at least 5 years and has performed at least 20 breast reductions since training.  He or she should perform at least 5-10 reductions per year.  They should show you before and after pictures of reduction procedures that they have performed.

Fred Suess, MD (retired)
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

How to determine if a surgeon has the right talent and experience?

I think you are asking all the right questions. Board certification, years of experience, numbers of procedures done per year, examine before and after photos, discuss expectations, success rate, etc. I don't think there is an exact number that you should be looking for, some would say anything over 30 is reasonable.More importantly is what kind of relationship do you have with your surgeon. Did they make your feel at ease, answer all of your question, is the office staff cordial, do you have a good sense/feel about them?

Kenneth Bermudez, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

How many procedures is good enough

to be considered good at that procedure?  Most surgeons are good at what they do after just a handful of procedures but wisdom comes from experience and experience comes from prior poor decisions so aged surgeons do have an advantage over newly minted surgeons.  BUT just because a surgeon does hundreds of that procedure, if that surgeon isn't using the best techniques, then that surgeon isn't really good as there are many surgeons that do reductions without strategies to help with projection and upper pole fullness.  So look at their results and seeing long term results (>1yr) is even better and that would be more important that the number procedures done.

Curtis Wong, MD
Redding Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

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