Let me say this from the get-go: plastic surgery is very safe. In fact, one of the main reasons that plastic surgery is more common than ever before are the medical and technological developments over the last 20 years designed to increase patient safety. While this is undeniable, I still tell all my prospective patients not to take this for granted. It’s true that plastic surgery is safer than ever, but all surgery comes with some inherent risk and there are still things you can do to put your safety first during plastic surgery.
- Find a board-certified plastic surgeon who has experience performing your specific procedure(s). Board-certification is a big deal and should be the very first step towards selecting a plastic surgeon. Make sure to find someone who is specifically board-certified as a plastic surgeon, not to be confused with someone who refers to themselves as a “cosmetic surgeon.”
- Make sure that your prospective plastic surgeon has hospital privileges. This term refers to the right of a plastic surgeon to use the resources (equipment, facilities, etc.) at a given hospital. While some cosmetic procedures are performed in-office or in a plastic surgery center instead of a hospital, hospital privileges can be an indication that your plastic surgeon has been properly vetted by their peers and by a hospital committee. Conversely, a plastic surgeon not having any hospital privileges can be a red flag.
- Stay domestic. Although plastic surgery tourism may seem tempting due to potentially lower surgical costs, the risks can be plentiful due to lower safety standards in some countries and the need to travel after your procedure.
- Discuss your recovery period at-length with your plastic surgeon. This is something I always make considerable time for during a pre-surgery consultation. It’s important to understand the recovery process and especially what to expect during your first few days following surgery. Every person recovers differently, and different procedures require different levels of downtime and recovery. Once they have been established, follow your doctor’s recovery instructions closely to ensure healthy healing and great long-term results.
Choosing to undergo plastic surgery is a big decision that should never be made lightly. It’s important to do your due diligence and make sure that you are putting yourself in the best position to be safe and satisfied before, during, and after your surgery. For more information or to schedule a complimentary plastic surgery consultation today, contact me, Dr. David Whiteman, at Southern Plastic Surgery. Don’t forget to follow along with us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for even more plastic surgery news, tips, photos, and more.