When women and men in our area start looking for a plastic surgeon, they often begin by searching for the “best plastic surgeon in Washington, D.C.” It’s a search that can yield a lot of helpful information—if you know what you’re really looking for. There are quite a few traits that may constitute a qualified plastic surgeon. But how can you be sure a surgeon is truly the best?
Here are a few considerations to keep in mind as you conduct your search.
Any surgeon you choose to perform your plastic surgery procedure should be certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. An important note: While the language sounds similar, keep a cautious eye out for surgeons who are certified by the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery, as this board is not recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties.
Other credentials that speak to a surgeon’s training and abilities are hospital privileges in the area, membership in a society such as the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), and status as a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons.
Experience in Your Procedure
Your surgeon should have demonstrated experience in your selected procedure—or, better yet, be specialized in your area of interest. At your consultation, you’ll have the opportunity to ask how often your surgeon performs your procedure and whether they have any specialized training or knowledge of advanced techniques. Read more suggestions for questions to ask during your initial appointment in our previous blog post.
Referrals from doctors in the area and words of praise from both patients and fellow practitioners are signs that a surgeon is at the top of their field. Peer-voted awards such as Top Doc show that the people who have worked with this surgeon, either as a colleague or a patient, hold them in high regard.
Excellent Before-and-After Photos
One of the best ways to determine a surgeon’s abilities and artistic vision is to look through their before-and-after photos. These photos should be diverse and plentiful, and they should display natural-looking results that suit each person’s face or figure. This shows that the surgeons tailor their approach to flatter each individual and that their practice is an inclusive place. In addition to online photo galleries, you can ask to see photos at your in-person consultation.
Ultimately, the best surgeon is the one who listens attentively and caters to your unique goals. Your surgeon should help you feel safe, supported, and confident from the first appointment to the final follow-up. While online research is a great place to start, nothing compares to a consultation in this regard. This initial meeting should give you a good feel for the surgeon’s personality and approach so you can see if it aligns well with what you’re looking for.
If you would like to learn more about our team of plastic surgery specialists here in the Washington, D.C. area, please contact us online or call (703) 560-2850 (Annandale, VA), or (301) 652-7700 (Chevy Chase, MD).