How to Find the Right Surgeon for Plastic Surgery in New York City

POSTED ON TUESDAY, AUGUST 10, 2010 AT 2:19 PM  by Dr. Darrick Antell

When considering any medical procedure, one of the most important decisions is the selection of the physician.  Many people do not know where to look, or what they should be looking for.  In the case of plastic surgery, you want an experienced surgeon who has trained specifically in cosmetic and reconstructive plastic surgery.  This means that your doctor will use aesthetic principles to improve normal structures’ appearance and surgical outcome.  To help ensure that you have the best doctor there are several questions you can ask.  Is my doctor board certified in plastic surgery? Where did my doctor complete his plastic surgery training?  How long has my doctor been practicing plastic surgery?

Many of my patients are shocked to discover that a doctor does not even legally have to complete surgical training in order to practice plastic surgery.  The best way to evaluate your doctor’s training is consult the American Board of Medical Specialties website at www.abms.org.  Click on the “Is your doctor certified?” tab.  You will have to sign up for a username, but it is a free service. After you search your doctor’s name click on the result to see what their board certification is in.

The ABMS is the institution that grants board certifications to surgeons and non-surgeons.  If your doctor’s certification is listed as plastic surgery, then they have completed a five to seven year training program post medical school focusing on surgical procedures common to the field such as breast augmentation, liposuction, rhinoplasty and blepharoplasty.

Similarly, plastic surgeons are also the best equipped to perform non-invasive proceduresInjectables such as Botox® and Juvederm® have to be delivered to the site of musculature, which requires an intimate knowledge of the anatomy that plastic surgeons specialize in.  They are also uniquely qualified to treat any complications in the highly unlikely event that any occur.

For more information you can watch an interview I did with Matt Lauer on NBC’s Today Show.

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