- Anyone deciding to get plastic surgery wants a surgeon whose primary goal is to protect their patient during and after the procedure
- It is in your best interest to ask upfront about the kind of follow-up care that is offered at your surgeon’s facility
- There is “no foolproof way to choose a plastic surgeon or to guarantee your result.”
Recovering from plastic surgery is just as important as preparing for it. Post-procedure, your body will undergo significant changes as the healing process begins. If you have had multiple procedures done at once, the process may take even longer. To ensure your body heals properly, you will need to follow appropriate aftercare that will be administered by your surgeon’s facility.
The main priority and concern is always patient safety. Anyone deciding to get plastic surgery wants a surgeon whose primary goal is to protect their patient during and after the procedure. This involves answering questions honestly and making arrangements for post-operative care and concerns. Aftercare is an essential aspect of any plastic surgery procedure. However, as a patient, it is your responsibility and more importantly it is in your best interest to ask upfront about the kind of follow-up care that is offered at your surgeon’s facility, and what the doctor recommends you should do.
Ideally, a patient and their plastic surgeon would remain in near-constant communication after the procedure. The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) states that the relationship between patient and surgeon does not cease after leaving the operating room. However, this relationship may not always be possible to maintain with the doctor directly. Aftercare may consist of follow-up appointments at the surgeon’s facility to change dressings/bandages, as well as any of the patient’s questions and concerns being promptly addressed either in person or by phone, email, or via Skype™. Because plastic surgeons deal with such a high volume of patients on a daily basis, reasonable expectations must be kept about the administering of aftercare.
While your surgeon is the one who makes the incisions, he or she may not always be the one tending to your dressings or scars post-procedure. Reputable surgeons are often in high demand, so they may not have schedules that allow for doctor-to-patient, around-the-clock follow-up, but this shouldn’t leave you feeling forgotten. Any good surgeon will have a solid aftercare system in place to make up for this, which usually consists of a team of trained professionals, including a registered nurse for example, to be responsible and available for answering any of the patient’s questions and help address any of their concerns post-procedure. The surgeon carefully selects these individuals based on their experience, skills and credentials. They are required to follow doctor’s recommendations as well as procedures, guidelines and policies laid out by plastic surgery organizations.
The Canadian Society of Plastic Surgeons notes that there is “no foolproof way to choose a plastic surgeon or to guarantee your result.” The decision requires patience as it may involve consulting several doctors before finding the one that is the right fit for you. No matter how time-consuming or stressful this may prove to be, it cannot be a quick, poorly thought-out decision.
A doctor’s skill and surgical performance record should be paramount in this decision-making process. Perhaps a renowned doctor is not as charismatic as the patient might hope; this should not take away from his/her skills and credibility if the doctor is board-certified, has proven to hold a successful track record and has routinely performed the desired surgery with excellent results.
You can verify the doctor’s certification with boards and societies like the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and the American Board of Plastic Surgery. ASAPS recommends 10 steps to take when choosing a plastic surgeon, including checking the rapport with your surgeon, checking in with reliable sources, verifying facility accreditation and inquiring about follow-up care.
A doctor should never be chosen based on price, their ability to market themselves, physical appearance or convenience. They should be picked based on reputation, specialization (not all plastic surgeons can work on the body, for example), skill level, experience and credentials. Researching your desired plastic surgeon ahead of time to ensure they are board-certified should be a patient’s first step and top priority.