What Do I Look for when Choosing a Doctor Without Many Reviews Available?

I have met with a Dr who I really liked during the consultation and also impressed with his mommy makeover pictures. However I don't know anyone who has used him and I can't find more than 4 narrative reviews online. He is a board certified PS. His office did not have much decor and appeared a little unorganized. Also, when I asked how far out he was booked, he basically said I could get in when I wanted.

Doctor Answers 14

Choosing the right surgeon

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It appears you have done your homework, choosing a surgeon that is right for you depends on many factors, the least of which is his/her choice of art work in his office, or his on line reviews.  More importantly check on these factors:

  • Board certified in Plastic Surgery (not cosmetic surgery)
  • Has privileges to perform the same procedures in a local hospital
  • Has good before and after pictures of patients HE actually operated on
  • You have a good report with him
  • How are complications handled, who is going to pay, is there any type of warranty
  • If performed in an Ambulatory Surgery Center, is the center nationally accredited and state licensed

Omaha Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 83 reviews

I think there should also be a comfort zone in your selection

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If you have made sure that the doctor is a board certified plastic surgeon. That the procedure will be done in a certified facility, that you will have a licensed anesthesiologist or a certified nurse anesthetist. The doctor should be able to show you ample before and after pictures. Make sure the surgeon is on staff at reputable local hospital.  These days you can go on line and check to see if there are any suits or complaints against the doctor. I also feel that a patient should feel comfortable with doctor and his staff because you will develop a relation with them during your recovery. Make sure that you get all of your questions answered. 

William Aiello, MD
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 65 reviews

Finding the Right Plastic surgeon

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It is good that you know your surgeon is Board Certified in Plastic Surgery. I would also check to see where he does his surgeries, is it a private surgery center? If so, you want to make sure it is accredited and has high standards. Ask for a tour and check for cleanliness. You can also check with your state's medical board on line and see if there are any complaints against the doctor. Further ask to speak to 2 or 3 patients that have had the procedure done. And lastly, I would ask how many Mommy Makeovers he generally does in a year.

Miguel Delgado, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 81 reviews

Choosing your doc

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Make sure he/she is Board Certified. Best if he/she is a member of the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. Ask to speak to a couple of his/her patients. Check with the State Board of Quality Assurance to see if there are many law suits.

Choosing a plastic surgeon for your mommy makeover

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You have done your homework and you should be congratulated for that.  It seems that the plastic surgeon that you have found meets all of your criteria except the online reviews.  One way to side step this is to ask to be put into contact with 2-3 of his prior mommy makeover patients.  This will serve as a direct "review" based assessment of your potential plastic surgeon.  You may also encourage your doctor to work on developing his online reviews since this is obviously a part of many patients decision criteria.

All the best,

Dr Repta

Remus Repta, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 173 reviews

Choosing the Right Surgeon

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Online reviews should not make your decision but rather help you ....

During your consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon, ask to see before and after photos of actual patients who have undergone cosmetic surgery. The surgeon may provide you with a list of patients you may speak to as a reference for the doctor. To enhance your education regarding the surgeon, you may be introduced to some post-op patients as well during your visit with the surgeon. Most patients are willing to share their experience regarding their surgeon, the staff, hospital, and recovery.

Professional doctors will ensure realistic expectations and take the time to address your concerns. They will provide you with honest advice and encourage you to do your homework, talk to other patients, and make an informed choice. One of the most important factors in choosing a plastic surgeon is your personal comfort level with the doctor. You should feel comfortable asking questions about your cosmetic surgery procedure so that you can make an educated final decision on whether you would like to proceed with surgery.

There are a number of advantages in choosing a qualified and highly experienced plastic surgeon to perform your cosmetic surgery. If there are any complications during surgery, an experienced plastic surgeon will be more adept at handling the situation. In addition, a plastic surgeon that has performed many cosmetic surgeries will have had more time to perfect his or her technique and results.

Reputable plastic surgeons should have privileges to perform cosmetic surgery procedures in the operating room at an accredited hospital, not just in the surgery center in their office. They work with a highly skilled team including, board certified anesthesiologists, nurses, and technicians to enhance patient comfort and to provide a peace of mind to the patient’s and their families.

I hope this helps.

Choosing a plastic surgeon

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I would recommend choosing a plastic surgeon that is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. Also see if your surgeon is a member in the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) as well as the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS). This will demonstrate high standards of ethics and professionalism. Also ask to see several before and after photos and perhaps ask to speak to a former patient that had the same surgery you are interested in having. I would not place much emphasis on the decor of the office when making your decision. You must feel very comfortable with your plastic surgeon before committing to have surgery-make sure he or she spends time with you during the consultation and that all your questions are answered.

Best wishes,


William Bruno, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 411 reviews

Choosing a doctor.

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Reviews may not be usefule since there are lots of spurious things written by competitors or by a single unhappy patient who recruits friends to slam a doctor for whatever reason.

Here is a simple checklist:

1) Certification by the American Board of Plastic Surgery;

2) You need to be comfortable with the surgeon and should feel fully educated about the procedure so that you can make a wise decision;

3) Make sure your surgeon can show you a lot of pictures of his/her own work: this will give you an idea of how he/she performs and will confirm that he/she has the experience needed to do the job;

4) If you have doubts or misgivings GO SOMEWHERE ELSE FOR ANOTHER OPINION.

The importance of reviews

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I would reccomend you use reviews only to confirm and not replace your feelings about your consultation.  It sounds like you connected with your surgeon and he/she apears trained and qualified.  Since you are unable to find the review that will satisfy you, why don't you ask the surgeon's office to let you speak to a patient that had the procedures you desire.   This may put your fears to rest. Good luck with your surgery.

Tips on choosing a plastic surgeon.

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Tips on picking a Plastic Surgeon
Article by George J. Beraka, MD
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon

1) Is the surgeon a member of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery? Members usually do a lot of cosmetic surgery.

2) Did you sense a commitment to excellence in the office. Did the surgeon spend a lot of time with you? Someone who rushes through the consultation may rush through the surgery.

3) Were you treated as an individual? Did the surgeon present you with a surgical plan tailor made for you?

4) Plastic surgeons have to have a good eye and meticulous technique.  Did the surgeon show you A LOT of before and after pictures, and did you love the results?

5) Talk to other doctors you know. Established plastic surgeons have a reputation in the community, good or bad.

6)  Ask to speak to a patient who has had the procedure you want.  You are looking for a surgeon who does a lot of what you want.   Many  patients are eager to share their experience.  Privacy is preserved by having the patient call you.

7)  If you are having breast augmentation, ask if the surgeon has a large inventory of different size and shape breast implants available in the operating room.  A surgeon who does a lot of breast surgery will have an inventory.  This way, the final implant choice does not have to be made in advance.

8)   With office surgery, make sure the surgical facility is ACCREDITED.   Very important safety assurance.

9)   Make sure the anesthesia is given by a BOARD CERTIFIED ANESTHESIOLOGIST.  Another very important safety factor.

10)  Make sure the office has trained nurses available for hands-on post operative care.  This can really speed recovery.

George J. Beraka, MD (retired)
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.