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    Posted September 3, 2013 by

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    Steps to Finding the Best Plastic Surgeon




    If you are considering cosmetic or plastic surgery, do not overlook the importance of choosing the right physician. Consider these tips when researching your potential plastic surgeon:


    Check Board-Certification


    A doctor's board-certification is the best indicator of his or her training in a particular medical or surgical specialty. Look for certification by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS), the only Board recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) to certify doctors in the specialty of plastic surgery.


    Check ASAPS Membership


    ASAPS membership ensures that a doctor not only is ABPS-certified (or, in Canada, certified in plastic surgery by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.) but also has significant experience in cosmetic surgery. ASAPS membership is by invitation only.


    Check Facility Accreditation


    Cosmetic surgery can safely be performed in a hospital, a surgicenter or an office-based surgical facility: Current published data show that accredited office-based facilities have a safety record comparable to that of hospital ambulatory surgery settings. However, the majority of office-based surgical facilities are not accredited. Another advantage of selecting an ASAPS member is that all ASAPS surgeons operate in accredited, state-licensed or Medicare-certified facilities.


    Check Hospital Privileges


    Before granting operating privileges, hospital review committees evaluate a surgeon's training and competency for specific procedures. Wherever the surgery will be performed, be sure that the surgeon has operating privileges in an accredited hospital for the same procedure being considered.


    Check Thoroughness


    The consultation is an important opportunity for questions to be asked and answered. It should include a candid discussion of risks as well as benefits of the surgery. A thorough consultation also involves a review of medical history including any existing medical conditions. All these factors help the surgeon to custom-tailor the operation to best meet the needs of each patient.


    Check Rapport


    Even the most experienced surgeon is not the "right" surgeon for every patient. Any successful relationship depends on good communication. Patient satisfaction is enhanced when surgeon and patient candidly discuss goals, agree on realistic expectations, and plan the course of the surgical journey together.


    Check Experience


    Experienced aesthetic plastic surgeons generally perform a wide range of cosmetic surgeries on a regular basis. Patients should ask about the surgeon's experience with the particular procedure being considered. If considering a "new" technique or technology, patients should inquire whether results substantiating safety and effectiveness have been published in a peer-reviewed journal.


    Check Follow-up Care


    Good surgical care does not end with the surgery. Patients should inquire about follow-up visits and about the doctor's policies should surgical revisions be necessary.


    Check Cost


    Keep in mind that costs may vary considerably depending on geographic region, surgeon experience and individual patient factors. Not all patients can be treated with the same technique, and the complexity and length of surgery affect cost. Patients should note that cosmetic surgery usually is not covered by insurance.


    Come armed with questions for your doctor.
    Some questions you should ask your plastic surgeon include:


    • How many times has the physician performed the procedure?
    • How long has the physician performed the procedure?
    • What other procedures does he/she perform?
    • Who will assist in the procedure? Their qualifications and training?
    • Are all involved licensed in good standing?
    • What is involved in the procedure? How is it performed?
    • Can I see multiple before and after photos of patients on whom you have performed this procedure?
    • Can you provide me with three to five reference patients on whom you've performed this procedure?
    • What are the exact breakdown of fees for this procedure?
    • Can I get advance copies of all forms I have to complete and sign prior to procedure?
    • Are you insured for malpractice?
    • Will the physician use sedation? If yes, what level of sedation will the physician use?
    • Who will administer and monitor the sedation?
    • How long will the procedure last?
    • How long will the sedation effects last?
    • How long will it take to recover in the facility before discharge?
    • Where will the surgery take place?
    • What are the emergency plans?
    • To which hospital would you be taken?
    • Will post-operative medicine be necessary?
    • Will there be noticeable scarring?
    • What realistic result can I expect?
    • Will the physician perform the procedure from the first cut to the last stitch?
    • What are the risks associated with this procedure?
    • What are the warning signs or concerns to watch for?
    • Do you do revisions and at what cost?


    About Dr. Carlos Spera


    Dr. Carlos Spera was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Following his fathers footsteps, a pioneer in plastic surgery and world renowned, Dr. Spera started his career in this specialty from the young age of 21. He graduated from the University of Buenos Aires in Argentina and after completing his training received a certification from the Argentinian Board in both general and plastic surgery.


    After working in Massachusetts and New York, Dr. Spera opened his South Florida Practice. He is board certified by the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery and has over 30 years of experience in plastic and reconstructive surgery. His scientific work and excellent results transcends frontiers. He receives patients from all different places worldwide, who search for his experience and dedication. Learn more at CarlosSpera.com.

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