Undergoing any type of medical procedure is scary at best but one of the best ways to alleviate undue stress is first choosing the right doctor for you. For cosmetic surgery, patients are typically not bound to providers in their health insurance so the choices may be vast and at some times, daunting. Finding the right doctor that listens to your needs can save you money, time and unnecessary hassles later down the line.
Recently seen on The Dr. Oz Show, one of the main concerns voiced by patients regarding doctors is feeling as if they're not being listened to. A good doctor will not only listen to what your concerns are, he or she will recommend several options to address your needs. Dr. W. Jason Martin, a board certified plastic surgeon in Denver, says patients need to choose a physician with multiple devices at their disposal so they can choose the best one for you specifically. For example, Dr. Martin performs a myriad of body contouring procedures and he has several devices at his practice. "The best devices for body contouring right now are SmartLipo and Vaser. The best case scenario is a doctor who uses both of those because the physician can pick and choose a device to treat different areas."
Another important factor to take into consideration when choosing a doctor is research. In this day and age, there is no excuse for not looking up a doctor on the internet to view their website, before and afters, and reviews. However, be wary of negative reviews - one or two may be an anomaly but a physician with several consistent bad reviews should be avoided at all costs. When you come in for a consultation, do not be afraid to ask questions. Inquire about how many procedures the doctor has performed to gauge experience and ask to see before and after results. "A specific certification does not guarantee you that doctor knows anything about a particular procedure," says Newport Beach cosmetic surgeon Dr. Thomas Barnes, "You've got to see proof that these doctors have performed many cases of the procedure you're interested in, ask to see before and after photos, and if possible, ask to speak to existing patients."
Once you're at the office, the physician should be professional, confident and listen to your concerns. If you do not feel like he or she is not listening or is pushing to sell you something that you feel that you don't need, don't be afraid to walk out. According to Dr. Barnes, "You want a confident physician who respects you, who is not in it for the money. They're passionate about what they do and they want the best for each patient and most people are able to intuit that. And it's not all about the physician, the staff should also be gracious and respectful." After all, a consultation is exactly that - an initial meeting; consider it an interview to see if this doctor and his practice is the right one for you. Many physicians offer free consultations so be sure to take advantage of this service.
During the consultation, be candid about your lifestyle and what type of results you're expecting. Be sure to discuss downtime with the physician since there are many surgical and non-surgical options available for several procedures. A knowledgeable physician will be able to suggest the best course of action depending on your specific needs.
Last but not least, the location should play a large part in how you choose your doctor. Are you willing to travel to get the best results possible? Depending on the type of procedure you're interested in, location may play an integral part in choosing the right doctor. Be aware that if you choose a doctor that is not geologically friendly, any post-procedure complications or concerns will be more difficult and expensive to manage. However, if it is within your means, many patients will travel to see a physician that is renowned in their field.
Remember, choosing a cosmetic surgeon is your choice - it is therefore important that you thoroughly research the physician and make it very clear what your concerns are and what type of results you are seeking when you meet with him or her. Aesthetic procedures are completely elective so be sure to make the right decision!