So you’re thinking about plastic surgery and excited about the possible results, but choosing the right doctor seems intimidating and confusing. How exactly can you tell who will be the best choice, the best personality fit, and the best qualified in your area? Finding the right doctor involves some careful research, honest questions, and some face-to-face communication.
It’s important to find a doctor who specializes in the procedure you want. A good resource to start with is the doctors, clinics, and hospitals that you’re already familiar with. Ask your general physician if he or she has any recommendations in your area; also check your preferred hospital to see if they have any doctors that have hospital privileges there. When you meet whichever doctors you learn about, ask them a few questions like, “How often do you perform this procedure?” and “What is your success rate on this procedure?” This can help you gauge the potential doctor’s confidence and familiarity with the procedure you’re interested in.
Another important qualification is their board certification. For plastic surgery, there are several boards that offer certificates for doctors who wish to voluntarily take a test and meet qualifications. However, the oldest and probably most respected is the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS). ABPS certification assures patients that their doctor has graduated from an accredited medical school and has complete at least five years of additional training in an accredited residency program which includes at least two years devoted entirely to plastic surgery. Additionally, ABPS certification means that doctors have continued their education since medical school and have hospital privileges.
The doctor-patient relationship is a relationship of trust that goes beyond paying for services rendered. Open communication and understanding are essential, so definitely visit your doctor for a consultation once you’ve found a few solid contenders. Prepare questions before you go and be persistent asking until you feel like you understand every aspect of surgery, recovery, risks, and realistic expectations of your plastic surgery.
Dr. Petersen has all the qualifications required by the ABPS certification. He is also happy to work with you to find the plastic surgeon that best meets your needs. Schedule an appointment with Dr. Petersen and bring your questions to find out exactly what plastic surgery can do for you and if Dr. Petersen is the right surgeon for your needs.