Men and women. Young adults and older adults. Teenagers. All of these groups of people are going under the knife at a higher rate than ever before, as cosmetic surgery has transformed into something cool and hip. Obviously, that is great news for any cosmetic surgeon. Not only does it mean more business for us, but it also means there is greater interest being placed on our industry. However, as with anything else, with more popularity comes greater scrutiny as well. Some might see that as a bad thing, but we are not one of them. Instead, we think it is a great thing. We want our patients to ask questions, do their research, and make an educated decision before agreeing to have a procedure done with us. If it was our body, we would do the same thing, so why should we expect anything less from a patient?
That said, one downside of the newfound popularity of cosmetic surgery is people are starting to believe they can get it from anyone, and get great results in the process. That is just not the case. Just this year, there have been multiple national and world stories of patients getting injured or even dying after botched cosmetic surgery procedures. Therefore, it is important that you know what to look for in a quality surgeon. First, you need to ask the surgeon for proof that they are licensed with national and state medical boards. If they can not provide this information, end the conversation right there, and walk out of the consultation. They are not the surgeon for you.
Next, ask them how many surgeries they have performed, and if they have pictures from past clients that underwent the procedure you are considering. Any reputable cosmetic surgeon will easily be able to tell you how many procedures they have performed, and will be amenable to showing you pictures of past procedures. If they try to dodge this question, or can not produce visual proof of their craftsmanship, again end the conversation, and leave the consultation.
After that, if the surgeon successfully answers those questions, it is time to ask him or her more in depth questions about the procedure in general. For example, if you are considering having breast augmentation surgery, you will want to know where the surgeon plans to make the incision for your implants, the recovery time needed following the surgery, as well as the risks and complications associated with the procedure. You also would need to know products to use and steps to take when recovering from your surgery. In general, similar questions will work for any other cosmetic surgery procedure as well. If the surgeon attempts to tell you there are no risks associated with your procedure, they are not to be trusted. The same is true if they can not describe in detail where and how they plan to make your incision. These are things any cosmetic surgeon should be able to describe in their sleep. We undergo years of training that exceptionally prepare us to answer these types of questions.
Besides not being able to satisfactorily answer those questions, there are other warning signs to look for when conducting research on a cosmetic surgeon. One such red flag is if their prices stand out as being much cheaper than any other surgeon after visiting a multitude of websites. Generally speaking, prices on procedures in our industry are fairly uniform across the board, though it is true that some surgeons may run specials every now and then. That said, if a surgeon is hundreds to thousands of dollars cheaper than similar surgeons in your city, something is not right.
In fact, that brings us to our final red flag: Do they always run specials and deals? Cosmetic surgery is not like shopping at Target, Walmart, or your favorite grocery store. There is no weekly circular advertising low prices on certain surgical procedures. Usually, if a surgeon is running specials all the time, it means they are struggling to consistently get patients to walk in the door. Think about it, if you were a well-respected, reputable surgeon, would you feel the need to undercut competitors by offering lower prices? No, you would not. You would stand behind your existing prices and the quality of your work.