Although I am very honest about every single procedure that I have had, you must still do your own homework when choosing a board-certified plastic or cosmetic surgeon. Even with Donna’s picks, know that your result is in no way guaranteed. In other words, just because I had a great result, this site will not serve as your insurance policy. If you use a preliminary search engine provided by plasticsurgery.org, you are still not guaranteed a good result. I hope all of my readers have successful surgeries or treatments. I am not licensed as an MD or DO, and even if I had those initials, this blog does not insure a good result for you. Results may vary. cosmeticsurgergal.com assumes no responsibility for outcomes.
However, there are certain steps for you that I have developed that may help you make your choice. As state previously, I cannot guarantee good results. My role is to furnish information.
- Whether you are using the information on this blog, or, one of the links to board certified plastic surgeons or cosmetic surgeons who have completed a fellowship, I urge you to consult with three physicians before you plunk down serious money. Time is money as we all know, and these initial consults will not be free. I remember paying as much as $175.00 for a consult. Often, but not always, the physician consulted will apply this cost to your final bill. Think about it; you would never buy a house without an inspection, so why plunk down $20–$30 thousand dollars without inspecting the surgeon’s office if you are going for a facelift or at a lesser cost, breast augmentation? Breast Augmentation is the top of the list of procedures currently, and I have in my social sphere, seen breasts that were much too large for the woman’s frame. If I were to get this done, I may choose a female surgeon. Sorry for the lack of political correctness, but I believe that most men follow the bigger is better aesthetic. You need to have your new clothes fit.
- Office staff is key to your choice. How do they greet you? Is the office run in a professional manner? Look around you in the waiting room. Some of the patients are there for post-op appointments. Are you impressed with their outcomes? Underneath a few black and blue patches, you may get a sense of the doctor’s work. I am not known for shyness, so I have even engaged in conversations with the doctor’s patients—a friendly smile on your part is one of your best tools.
- Check out their certifications or lack thereof on a multitude of sites: Dr. Google may steer you to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons; American Academy of Plastic Surgery; Academy of Facial Plastic Surgery; American Board of Cosmetic Surgeons, American Society for Dermatologic Surgery; and last but not least, American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. I once met a plastic surgeon in Philadelphia who was also a cosmetic dentist. The only reason I did not pick him was that his price was beyond my pay grade.
- Often, before I change hair salons, I opt for a manicure at a prospective shop and then I take stock of the stylists working. So, you may want to opt for something minimum, for example, twenty-five units of Botox. Always let the doctor know that you believe Less Is More. If your gut tells you that he or she may be for you, then ask about other options. Medical Science now agrees that your gut is your second brain. Always go with your gut instincts.
- Chat up the receptionist or other ancillary staff. Recently I had the pleasure of getting permanent make-up by Ingrid Lugo at VIP Botox. She told me about her great experience with a breast lift at another doctor’s. Sure enough, I checked him out on the various board sites, and he is the real deal.
- Use your friends and neighbors’ information. Here in Puerto Rico, we have a small island, so we are careful not to step on anyone’s toes. How about your island? When I lived in Pennsylvania, I would often reference what I called The Elkins Park Jewish Connection. I am betting that you too live on an island of sorts, without an ocean in most cases, but you are part of a network.
- While you are in the office, study the before and after photos with the intensity that you used in college for a final exam. (if you flunked out I would suggest bringing your brainy friend.) The faces will be blocked, but the before and after photos should speak volumes.
- If you are considering hiring this professional for a substantial procedure, treat your time together as a job interview. You are the boss, they are your employee. Ask how long they have been in cosmetic or plastic surgery. Very Important: How many Facelifts, Breasts or other procedures have they done? The more the merrier! Thirty-five years in the business is not a guarantee. Although they must keep their accreditation with continuing education, I personally like a more energetic and younger doctor. In my experience, they are more open to new cutting-edge procedures. Disclaimer: This is my taste, you may feel more comfortable with the older gentleman.
- Given a choice, I always go with the doctor who is certified. Internationally speaking, when you check out an accreditation site like find.plasticsurgery.org, other countries have their own requirements. When going overseas to get work done, I would want an insider pick. Last year we spent sixteen days in Colombia, South America. According to my spinal surgeon here in Puerto Rico, the women there start at age fifteen to get implants. Fortunately, I happen to know a number of Colombian Expats, so I have an insider’s viewpoint. My fabulous manicurist, Viviana de Cali, had a great breast augmentation done in Colombia. I also have a source in Thailand, but the high airfare makes this less affordable. Also, there are recent reports of doctors doing as many as ten procedures and then packing the patient on a jet home. That, my friends, is a situation that will result in your worst nightmare becoming reality.
- Do not forget to ask your three candidates about the facility they will be using. Some things may be done in a stand-alone facility, but if you are going for a tummy tuck, and your surgeon wants to do it in his private clinic, run as fast as you can. Major abdominal surgery absolutely must be done in a hospital that meets the Joint Commission on safety standards. I did talk a friend out of going for her tummy tuck in a stand-alone facility. She paid the extra money and had her procedure done in an accredited hospital, so if something bad happened, the surgeon could immediately access the needed personnel, for example, cardiology or respiratory. Trust me—your husband will easily find a second wife, but you may lose your only life.