How to Research Doctor's Credentials Before Liposuction?

I am looking into Liposuction. How do I "vet" the doctor before hand so that I spend time only speaking with the most professional and well regarded surgeons.

Also, other than the doctors website how do I find photos or reviews of that doctors previous work?

Doctor Answers 5

The right lipo doctor for you is the one ONLY doing liposuction and nothing else

Everyone does liposuction now days but you want someone who specializes in the procedure you want to get the best results because that doc concentrates on only that procedure and most likely keeps up with all the newest techniques in that one procedure. If your doc does lipo under general anesthesia then you know right away he hasn't kept up with liposuction training since that is so "old school" and out of date. We all did it that way 25 yrs ago but no reputable doc does that anymore.

Next, check to see if he uses the microcannulas which are the instruments that give the best results. Look at before and after photos and ask questions. There is nothing we can't answer when it comes to liposuction if that is our specific procedure we concentrate on. The doc should be able to tell you everything about all the new techniques even if he doesn't do them, he should at least know about them.

If you have a good report with the doc and you feel comfortable with him, then that is the best doc for you. Your doc has to be available to hand hold you through the whole process. Don't bargain shop when it comes to lipo since you will get what you pay for. Most lipos run $5-6000 and are so worth it .

Beverly Hills Dermatologic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

Check with your pther

The best way to check the professionalism of the surgeon is to check with your other doctors. Photos are protected for privacy reasons. If the doctor has more photos than what are on the website, of patients who have given permission to display them to prospective patients, you may then be shown these as well, so ask the doctor once you see them in consultation.

Ronald Shelton, MD
Manhattan Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 37 reviews

Liposuction doctor's credentials

Dear Tweety

Vetting cosmetic surgeons is a very tough job because of information asymmetry. It is hard to know what you don't know.

First, recognize that no one specialty is exclusively qualified to practice liposuction. Malpractice data from Florida in fact indicates that you are probably much safer having liposuction with a dermatologist than with a general plastic surgeon! The two largest specialities offering liposuction are dermatologists and general plastic surgeons. There are other cosmetic "surgeons" out there practicing liposuction and doing a great job but it gets harder to generalize what you should look for in these individuals to assess them.

Second, the type of liposuction practiced by dermatologists and general plastic surgeons differs. Most dermatologist are performing liposuction under local anesthesia which turns out to be much safer than having liposuction under general anesthesia. In contrast, general plastic surgeons prefer to do liposuction under general anesthesia. It is a cultural thing. Plastic surgeons like their patients asleep under general anesthesia, and dermatologists are much more comfortable with their patients awake and talking. There are now an ever growing list of laser liposuction machines. These do not appear to offer any advantage over standard micro cannula tumescent liposuction other than marketing allure.

If you are looking at a dermatologist, they should be board certified in dermatology and have completed a dermatologic surgery fellowship. It should be clear from their marketing that liposuction is a big part of their practice. Dermatologists generally do not seek hospital privileges in liposuction and they typically don't need to admit their patients because of the inherent safety of the liposuction they practice. Plastic surgeons should be board certified. For this speciality it would be a red flag if the plastic surgeon did not have hospital privileges in liposuction. Both types of surgeons should have medical malpractice insurance for liposuction.

For all surgeons, check with your state medical board to learn if they surgeon has had disciplinary action taken against them in the past. Any surgeon can be sued for malpractice but numerous judgement are a cause for concern. If available, review the surgeon's curriculum vitae. What you are looking for are obvious gaps that might indicate they did not complete their training in a routine fashion. This might be a sign of behavioral problems that resulted in being fired from a residency program, drug rehab, and in some cases prison time.

Finally, do your home work. Visit with the surgeon for a consultation. Do they make sense, do you like them, does the staff treat you well? This should help you in vetting a liposuction surgeon.

Kenneth D. Steinsapir, MD
Beverly Hills Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Researching your doctor

You should research your potential doctor's credentials before scheduling the consultation. Much of the information can be found on his or her website. Keep in mind, that information from the website is usually reliable, menaing that tey cannot lie. But, be very suspicious of "vague" information. The most common is the statement "board certified". It should say "board certified in plastic surgery." If it only says "board certified doctor" then most likely they are certified in something unrelated like radiology, medicine, etc. Also, keep in mind that "board certified in cosmetic surgery" means simply that they have joined an organization called the American College of Cosmetic Surgery, and not that they are board certified in plastic surgery.

Next, you can look on the your state medical board site to see about past lawsuits, pending litigations, etc. Also, check for a list of board certified plastic surgeons who are members of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons,

Lastly, "google" you doc and you will likely find the good and the bad.

The most important thing to remember is that you should ask the staff and the doc about his or her credentials. If they seem offended, then I am willing to bet that they are hiding something!

Matthew Schulman, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 324 reviews

Credentials of Liposuction doctor

First, make sure your plastic surgeon is Board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. Ask to see pictures of his work. See if you have a rapport with the doctor or he's just trying to sell you surgery. See several plastic surgeons before you make your decision. Ask your friends who they've used including results you don't like!

This should give you a good basis to start.

Steven Schuster, MD, FACS
Boca Raton Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

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.