How to choose the Best Plastic Surgeon: A Florida Plastic Surgeons Perspective
Here are 16 questions to consider:
1. Will I See My Plastic Surgeon on the Initial Consultation?
Insist on speaking directly to the plastic surgeon – on your very first visit. Not some specially trained, high pressure salesperson who gets a bonus for signing you up for surgery. In Tampa, FL, most practices will schedule a time for your meeting. It is important you take time to meet and know your surgeon. After all this is your body, not a timeshare.
2. Can My Procedure be performed at a Hospital near in Tampa?
If Not – Why Not? Is your surgeon accredited by the hospital credentials committee to perform your exact procedure? Does your physician even have privileges to perform surgery in a hospital? Hospitals in Brandon, Lakeland and surrounding areas typically perform thorough background checks and verify all physician credentials. A hospital would never give a family physician or a medical internist surgical operating room privileges. Neither should you. A top plastic surgeon, in Tampa, should inform you about his or her facility and where your surgery will take place.
3. Does Your Plastic Surgeon Have Roots?
How long has your plastic surgeon been in this particular practice? Is he or she known in the Lakeland area? It takes years of hard work for a plastic surgeon to establish a word of mouth reputation. To get up and leave this behind usually requires a significant event. While not uncommon for recruited academic surgeons to relocate for career advancement, it is unusual for a successful well established and highly regarded plastic surgeon to pick up and move. If the surgeon comes from out of town or out of state, check out why. What prompted the relocation? Was it a reprimand from the state licensing board or bad publicity from an unfavorable outcome? Longevity counts for the most reliable results- you want a surgeon with years of deep well established roots. Some of the best plastic surgeons in Tampa Bay have remained in the same area for multiple years .
4. Are these my Plastic Surgeon’s Before and After photos?
Beautiful pre and post-operative photos can be highly persuasive – but are they truly the work of your Plastic Surgeon? Or, are they archived clinic photos from prior surgeons in the area, handpicked results supplied by a laser manufacturer, or the most dramatic results from highly compensated “investigators”? In Tampa and Lakeland, some surgeons may keep a gallery of their actual photos online or in practice. When you visit for a consultation, insist on seeing only photographic results of your surgeon’s actual patients. Avoid computer generated simulations. Computers will not perform your surgery.
When looking online or at other materials produced by your surgeon, note the details of the photos. Do they have similar lighting, uniform camera angles, identical backgrounds, and consistent poses? The quality of the photos reflect the quality of your surgeon. Meticulous photography goes hand in hand with meticulous surgery. Be sure to check your surgeon’s authenticity.
5. Is the practice owned by your Plastic Surgeon?
Unless this is a University or Hospital affiliated clinic, your Plastic Surgeon should own the practice. If your surgeon does not own the practice, there are other Top plastic surgeons in the Tampa, Lakeland, and Brandon areas that do. Plastic surgeons should own their practice. Only then can your Plastic Surgeon control the level of service you receive. Vital decisions should not be in the hands of a for profit corporate executive. You are interested in your surgical outcome – not shareholders and monthly quotas
6. Is your Surgeon Board Certified and Re – Certified in Plastic Surgery?
Certification by the American Board of Plastic Surgery requires the most rigorous and comprehensive training and should be your gold standard. To maintain this elite board certification status, the surgeon must undergo surgical case review and written testing every ten years. Re-Certification demonstrates the surgeons desire to maintain competency, a willingness to pursue accredited Continuing Medical Education (CME) requirements and an overall enthusiasm for the specialty. To check on your surgeon’s certifications, a Tampa area library may allow you access to board records. Take the time to check. Be wary of claims of “board certification” in unrelated specialties. The best plastic surgeons in Brandon will be listed on the ABPS online site. All board certifications are not equal. You wouldn’t want a psychiatrist doing your Liposuction.
7. Did you settle for the least expensive Plastic Surgeon in the Lakeland area? But not your number one choice?
Think again. There are no thirty day money back guarantees in Plastic Surgery. Long after the costs are forgotten the results remain. Redo’s and Revisions are expensive. You need to be totally confident in your surgeon’s reputation and expertise. This is not a time for buyer’s remorse.
8. Do you like your Plastic Surgeon?
How did the doctor make you feel? Was the consultation enjoyable or was it aloof and condescending? Did you feel understood, part of the conversation and that the decision was indeed a mutual effort? Were you listened to and not interrupted or rushed? Was the surgeon engage, able to establish a rapport, and genuinely concerned about you? The best plastic surgeons in Tampa should make you feel welcome and warm.
Was the office staff respectful, sympathetic to your concerns, and willing to explain the smallest detail?
You need to you feel totally comfortable with your choice, if not, keep looking. You never want to second guess your decision. There are many doctors in the Tampa area you can visit before settling on a decision. Confidence in your surgeon is an essential element of any successful Plastic Surgery procedure.
9. Did you check the Surgeons professional record?
The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation and the Florida Department of Health keep online records of a physician’s licensure and professional profile. If your surgeon is licensed in multiple states, take the time to view that states medical board website for additional information. Read your surgeons CV (curriculum vitae) carefully. The more you know about your plastic surgeon, the better. Some of the best plastic surgeons in Lakeland Fl can provide this information for you during a consultation.
10. Does your plastic surgeon carry professional liability insurance?
The state of Florida allows physicians to practice medicine without any liability insurance as long as they post a notice advising patients of that fact. While there are many reasons for not carrying insurance, make certain that a history of prior claims has not made insurance companies unwilling to insure your plastic surgeon.
11. Did you make appointments with several surgeons?
At the very least, see two or more plastic surgeons. Plastic surgery is more an art than a science and you will hear different opinions from very qualified individuals. One treatment recommendation may stand out as the most simple and straightforward. There are always multiple options; take your time. Remember, Tampa, Brandon, and Lakeland are homes to a variety of practices, and possibly that one surgeon that is perfect for you.
12. Did you bring someone with you to your consultation?
Have a friend, spouse or a significant other accompany you to your consultation. If you ask, most practices in the Tampa area will allow you to bring in a second voice. They may pose additional questions or offer a different perspective on your surgeon. Having someone with you whose opinion you trust is invaluable.
13. Does your Plastic surgeon regularly testify for plaintiff’s attorneys?
Unless your surgeon sits on some professional organizations ethics board or governing agency, litigation should not be your surgeon’s primary occupation. Most reputable plastic surgeons are passionate about their work and their patients. They have spent years perfecting their skills and expertise. A busy Plastic surgeon with an established reputation seldom need the additional income stream from repeated court room appearances. The Best Tampa Plastic Surgeons will have honed their practices without the need for additional income.
14. Is the office staff friendly and accommodating?
The medical staff is a direct reflection of your plastic surgeon. Are they warm and caring, professional and supportive of your needs and concerns? A conscientious and attentive staff is seldom an accident. It takes time and continued effort and attention on the part of your surgeon. It is an important indication of the time and consideration you will ultimately receive. When you are looking around the Tampa area, be sure to note your surgeon’s hires.
15. Is your Plastic Surgeon involved?
Is your surgeon involved in the community, civic organizations or the local chamber of commerce? There are many associations in the Tampa area that allow surgeons to learn from fellow associates. Their participation in an association could denote their abilities and skills as a surgeon.
Is time donated for charitable causes, service on hospital committees, or activities in professional societies?
Having a sense of community and a passion for outside interests reflects a well-rounded physician with the ability to engage and contribute to society. Look for and appreciate these qualities in your choice of surgeon.
16. Are you completely comfortable with your decision to have Plastic Surgery?
Make certain you are having plastic surgery for you and not because of someone else. Be realistic about your expectations and understand that surgery may improve your appearance, but not necessarily your life. You feel good about your physical and mental health going into surgery and have accepted the potential risks of surgery. You understand that there are no guaranteed results. And equally important, you can afford the procedure and the time off for recovery. A good plastic surgeon should have you well prepared both mentally and physically for your forthcoming procedure. There should be no lingering questions left unanswered.
Dr. Marvin Shienbaum
Brandon Plastic Surgery