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More Important than Picking a Car: How to Choose the Right Plastic Surgeon


When choosing a cosmetic surgeon, experience is more important than bedside manner.

Once a decision has been made to have a cosmetic procedure, it's best to meet with several doctors to find the one who is right for you and your needs. While this is a very personal decision, there are some key factors to consider in order to help ensure your own safety and the quality of your results.

how to pick a breast implant doctor
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"What's most important is experience, experience, experience," says Board Certified Plastic Surgeon Dr. Gregory Buford who specializes in breast implants in Denver. "The bottom line is if a surgeon produces a sub-optimal result, it doesn't matter how nice they were or if they had a great bedside manner. You need to look for someone who not only gets great results but who gets consistent results." Though customer service is a consideration, it falls far behind whether or not a surgeon is qualified and skillful in the procedure you're seeking.

While many new surgeons are good, it's still best to seek one who has many years of experience under their belt. As Dr. Buford describes, "When faced with a difficult case, a physician with experience can look back and say, 'you know what, actually I came across this a year ago and I remember what this is and what I did and it really worked well.' That's the difference between a seasoned surgeon and a novice surgeon and that is what's really important."

Dr. Buford says it's best to find a doctor who specializes in a specific procedure or group of procedures, rather than one who performs many different surgeries. "No one can do everything well," he says. "For example, my partner does a great job with noses, but I don't. I do great breasts and body work and so I stick to that. It's really important to find out in what area your surgeon has expertise."

He points out that physicians rarely see easy, textbook cases. Often there are mitigating factors and it simply requires years of experience to best treat those patients. "It's a matter of getting past all the marketing and really getting down to how many procedures they perform every year," says Dr. Buford.

"For an experienced surgeon, it really comes down to artistry," he explains. "You need to have a surgeon who doesn't just say, 'I'm going to make your breasts bigger.' Rather you need a surgeon who says, 'Let me show you what I'm looking at and let me explain to you the process and how I'm going to address your individual surgical needs.'"

The most important consideration is simply experience, and a physician who specializes in a specific type of procedure is going to have the most experience. "If you have a Ferrari, you don't take your car to some basic shop, you take it to a Ferrari dealership because they handle Ferraris all the time and know what they're doing in even difficult situations. The same is true here. You want someone who is very skilled in that specific area."
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dr. gregory buford
Dr. Gregory Buford is a Board Certified Denver Plastic Surgeon and one of the few Plastic Surgeons in the state of Colorado to have received advanced Fellowship training in Cosmetic Surgery. Dr. Buford specializes in the areas of Breast Enhancement, Body Contouring, and Non-Surgical Facial Rejuvenation. He is a graduate of the aker/Stuzin/Baker Cosmetic Surgery Fellowship in Miami and holds higher degrees from the Georgetown University School of Medicine and the University of California, San Diego. The Consumers' Research Council of America named Dr. Buford one of "America's Top Surgeons" in 2006. He is also the author of Beauty and the Business a guide to running a successful cosmetic surgery practice.