In order for a physician to achieve surgical skill, it takes dedication to knowing the human body, several years of training to learn how to handle the body’s tissue, and most importantly, recognizing when surgery is indicated and not indicated. For patients, the key to finding out who has appropriate skills is to ask your potential surgeon some basic questions:
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- How commonly do you perform this operation?
- Do you instruct other doctors or students in learning about this procedure?
- Can you show me photos of other patients with similar body styles to mine, that have long-term consistent excellent results?
In choosing a surgeon, the doctor should be friendly to you and your family, available to answer all your questions to your satisfaction and demonstrate that they have appropriate knowledge of the procedure that you want performed.
Your surgeon should be confident, not cocky, compassionate to your needs, and appear to genuinely care about you as a potential patient. This is the day of choices and if you do not like what you are hearing or feeling from the physician, find one that is willing to address your concerns.
You are not buying a loaf of bread here! Surgery is serious business, with the potential for tremendous repercussions if poor choices are made by you or the doctor. Make sure that you are not just rushing into a procedure that you do not fully understand.
Ask about potential complications, risks and benefits and just how long the post-operative period will last. Finally, make sure that the doctor has discussed any prescription medications that you will need to take and has reviewed the post-operative instructions. These discussions should be reinforced with written instructions that you sign off on and that you understand.
Surgeons and Board Certification