How to Avoid Botched Plastic Surgery
No one wants to be featured on the next episode of Botched, the television show that highlights plastic surgery disasters, but how does the average person with no medical background know they are making the right decisions to ensure that their plastic surgery experience is a good one?
In Episode 1 of Nip Talk, plastic surgeon Dr. Bruce Hermann gives no-nonsense advice on how to make sure your plastic surgery experience is a masterpiece instead of a disaster-piece.
AVOID MEDICAL TOURISM
Traveling to a foreign country can be enticing when the idea of cheap surgery and a vacation are combined, but your life and well-being are worth more than any savings or vacation time you might gain. For the most part, plastic surgery in the United States and other developed nations is fairly well regulated, meaning you won't receive surgery from a surgeon or in a location that is deemed unsafe. In foreign countries, the safety of plastic surgery is much less regulated or even unregulated. Not to mention that most complications occur after you would have left the home country of your surgeon. Medical tourism for plastic surgery is considered quite dangerous.
AVOID FAKE PLASTIC SURGEONS
Even in the United States the regulation of plastic surgery is not perfect. There is nothing stopping non-plastic surgeons from doing cosmetic surgeries in their offices. With posh websites and certificates from fake boards, the average person can find it difficult to distinguish a legitimate plastic surgeon from a fake one. Thankfully, it can be easily determined by proper board certification. Only the American Board of Plastic Surgery is recognized as a legitimate board by the prestigious American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS). If your surgeon is not certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, they are performing surgeries outside the scope of their training.
ASK YOUR POTENTIAL PLASTIC SURGEON THE HARD QUESTIONS
What is the surgeon's expected outcome? Does that match your expected outcome? Where is the surgery being performed? Is the facility accredited? How many of this particular surgery has the surgeon performed? What is their complication rate for this particular surgery? Will anyone outside of the surgeon be performing any part of the surgery? Is there anything about my surgery that makes it more difficult or less likely to have a great outcome? If I need to go back to surgery for any reason, will I be charged?
ASK FOR BEFORE AND AFTER PICTURES
A good plastic surgeon should have done enough surgeries to have a before/after photo that looks like your starting point and has an outcome that is close to your desired outcome. Make sure you are happy with examples of your surgeon's work.
CHECK THE SURGEON'S REVIEWS
In this day and age, leaving a review is quite common. See what other patients are saying about your potential surgeon. Google reviews tend to be the most accurate.
DON'T DO TOO MANY PROCEDURES AT ONCE
Stacking too many procedures at once causes an increase in the complication rate. Your surgeon should limit the amount of procedures they will do to maximize your safety, and if they don't, they may have their pocketbook in their best interest as opposed to your safety.
DON'T BE AFRAID TO GET MORE THAN ONE CONSULT
You should feel very comfortable with your surgeon. As a patient, you have many options for who can do your surgery. Don't hesitate to get more than one opinion on what is best to accomplish your surgery goals.