Red FlagsNot all plastic surgeons who perform cosmetic surgery are created equal. In fact, there are many differences among them. That’s why it’s important to choose the right surgeon for your unique needs. By doing so, you can ensure you’re happy with your results. If you meet with a plastic surgeon and notice any of the red flags below, you might want to consider looking elsewhere.

No Board Certification or Board Certification in Something Other Than Plastic Surgery

You may be surprised to learn that it’s legal for anyone with a medical license to perform cosmetic surgery. The most highly trained surgeons, however, are certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. They have undergone a rigorous certification process, including at least six years of surgical training with at least two of those years focused on plastic surgery.

To earn board certification, plastic surgeons are also required to pass extensive written and oral examinations focused on all aspects of plastic surgery. Make sure that the surgeon you choose has received this important accreditation. Selecting someone that calls themselves a “cosmetic surgeon” but isn’t board-certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (explanation by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons) could be a risky move and should at least give you pause. All members of the Dallas Society of Plastic Surgeons are board-certified by this recognized board of the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS).

Lack of Before and After Photos

A reputable and experienced surgeon will have a before and after gallery that showcases their work. Most surgeons display their before and after photos on their website. Some plastic surgeons have them for review exclusively in their office.  Since before and after images can give you a good idea of the surgeon’s expertise and the types of results you can expect, they’re important. Occasionally there are plastic surgeons just out of training and (who) are very qualified but have not had the opportunity to build their gallery yet. However, if a surgeon doesn’t have before and after photos either online or in their office for the procedure that you are considering and they have been in practice awhile, that should be concerning.

Minimal to No Questions

When you meet with a plastic surgeon for a consultation, it’s their job to learn about you and your unique goals for the surgery. If a surgeon doesn’t ask you very many questions and simply tries to sell you, they’re probably not a good choice. Without understanding your objectives and motivations for the surgery, they won’t be able to tailor the procedure to your specific needs.

Unbelievably Low Pricing

Everyone loves a good deal. However, plastic surgery is an important investment that can pay off for years to come. If you come across a surgeon that offers a deep discount or is willing to perform your surgery for significantly less than the market price, you probably want to avoid them. There’s a good chance they lack the experience and skills necessary that you’re seeking. Save the bargains for groceries, clothes, and other smaller investments.

The Surgeon Moves Around Frequently

Reputable plastic surgeons normally base a practice and grow their reputation in that community.  Sometimes there will be a move or two in an entire career.  However, if a surgeon has moved their location every 2-3 years that should be concerning.

Promises of No Risks

Professional, respectable surgeons will not promise you the world. They’ll be honest with you about your expectations and any risks of the procedure. If a surgeon promises perfect results without any risks, they’re not being truthful with you. Every surgery (regardless of whether it’s elective or a medical necessity) will come with potential risks.  Choose a surgeon who doesn’t try to hide them from you.

Bad Reviews

Fortunately, you can find internet reviews, good and bad, on just about any surgeon. Before you commit to a plastic surgeon, take the time to read what other patients have to say about their experience with them. While a few negative reviews aren’t a big deal, many of them are likely a red flag, especially if they complain about similar issues. Ideally, you’d go with a surgeon with many positive reviews from satisfied patients.

To begin your search for a highly qualified plastic surgeon certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, please check out our member directory.

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