It has been said that a good plastic surgeon is part doctor and part artist since they have the ability to make sometimes amazing improvements in appearance through the smallest alterations in the patients features. Through doing many surgeries, the skilled plastic surgeon also develops the ability to make changes that look natural.
Sadly, today many surgeons have very little or no experience at all in plastic surgery, but they are still advertising themselves as plastic surgeons. If you are not aware of this, you could end up selecting a surgeon that has performed your procedure only a few times, or never done it at all!
Now you may think this could never happen, but here is the reason that it can and does happen to people who are not careful in selecting their surgeon. The startling fact is that, in many states, a surgeon does not even have to have ANY specialized training in plastic surgery to do the procedures! That means that, really, anyone who has a medical degree can legally advertise themselves as a plastic surgeon!
But why would any self respecting doctor do this? To figure out why you need to look at the situation from the doctors viewpoint. Almost all the procedures a surgeon does are paid for by HMO’s and insurance companies who set the price that the surgeon can charge for the procedures. Plastic surgery is different, since it is optional, and the insurance companies will not usually pay for these types of procedures. This means that the doctor is free to charge whatever they want for these procedures.
Because of this, many surgeons look at plastic surgery as just about the only area left where they can receive full pay for their services. Because of this situation, there is a very strong economic incentive for the surgeon to begin offering plastic surgery procedures, whether they are qualified or not.
So it is vitally important that, when you are considering a surgeon, you make absolutely sure that they have certification from recognized boards like the American Board of Plastic Surgery or the American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. You should also be aware that there are certifications out there from unrecognized or self-designated official sounding boards that really mean nothing. My research turned up several plastic surgery clinics with surgeons with the proper certifications that were qualified to do my procedure. Some of the surgeons I found turned out to be liposuction specialists, so you should make sure that you check for specialists in your area.