Plastic surgery aims at correcting functional and structural shortcomings in an individual and restores form and function of an organ or body part. Choosing the best plastic surgeon can greatly affect the outcome of plastic surgery.
Plastic surgery is one of the best gifts of science to people who have been unfortunate enough to have suffered from a disease, accident or mishap that left scars or marks on their body. Plastic surgery also helps people who have body parts with impaired forms, structures or function. But did you know that this field, that has gained immense popularity in the past few decades, has in fact been in existence since 800 BC?
The ancient Indian surgeon Sushruta, who wrote the Sushruta Samhita a medical treatise about surgery, is regarded as the father of surgery. He made great contributions to the field of plastic surgery as early as the 6th century BC. In the modern era, Joseph Constantine Carpue, who performed the first rhinoplasty in England around the 19th century, spent many years studying local plastic surgery that was well-known and prevalent in India around 2500 years ago.
From something that began as early as the 8th century BC, plastic surgery has become a highly skilled as well as a highly paid profession. However, plastic surgery in recent times has almost become synonymous with cosmetic surgery. You do not necessarily need to have a scar, a burn wound or a congenital or birth-defect to want to make a trip to the plastic surgeon’s clinic; you might simply want to reshape your nose, or lips, or you might think you have been too blessed with respect to your mammary glands.
Choosing the Best Plastic Surgeon
Plastic surgery – more so cosmetic surgery – requires high degree of skill and expertise. It is hence imperative to consult the best when it comes to opting for this type of surgery. Here are a few pointers…
Cosmetic surgery is only one of the subsets of plastic surgery. Plastic surgeons are in fact highly specialized in different branches of plastic surgery. Depending on the kind of plastic surgery, select the plastic surgeon specialized in it. Reconstructive plastic surgery deals with such cases as burns, injuries caused due to accidents and other mishaps, congenital deformities, birth deformities, etc. On the other hand, cosmetic surgery is a kind of aesthetic plastic surgery. Choose accordingly.
2. Credibility and Certification
Another thing to ensure you choose the right plastic surgeon would be to talk to people who have had a plastic surgery done by the concerned plastic surgeon. Credibility is very important. Plastic surgery, unlike other surgical procedures, requires an equal amount of knowledge and aesthetic sense. Things like where the plastic surgeon makes a ‘cut’ or incision, how he conceals the sutures, how well he is able to blend the surgery with the rest of your body to make it look homogenous, matter a lot. Also it will be a good idea to verify your plastic surgeons credentials and certification, especially certification by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. A surgeon may appear confident and like he knows his job, but it might not always be so! Better be safe than sorry.
3. Best Practices
Things like hygiene, protocol are not something you can afford to compromise on when going in for any kind of operative procedure. Hospital privileges also matter. Make sure you opt for a surgeon who follows the rulebook. Take a look at the hospital or clinic. You should also inquire about the operation procedure in detail, what kind of machinery is going to be used, the technique that the surgeon plans to use, etc. As a patient it is your right to know what is going to be done to you, and the doctor is answerable for that. Do not hesitate to clear all your doubts, especially about the risks and dangers involved in plastic surgery.
While this may seem secondary, it is an important point! It is essential you get value for money; that does not mean you look for a doctor who will do a free nose-job for you if you go in for a tummy tuck! However, an unusually low-priced surgeon should be viewed as a red flag. At the same time, if the ‘before’ and ‘after’ pictures, of plastic surgeries he has carried out so far, look pretty much the same, chances are he is not as skilled as he seems to be. And that means you will only be wasting your money. Don’t let that happen.
Confused? Let me explain. It is important to verify if the plastic surgeon you have selected is currently practicing plastic surgery or not. A good plastic surgeon will never run out of business. If the last surgery your plastic surgeon did was months ago, take it as a red flag. One of the ways to gauge the situation can be to ask him if you can see some of his latest work. Another pointer is to try to observe how frequently he performs any surgery. If you suggest three possible dates when you can come and he says he is free on all three days, that should sound like an alarm to you!
6. Talk the Talk
A plastic surgeon needs to more than simply operate you. He needs to understand exactly what you want to get done. He needs to be sensitive and friendly in his approach. He should be respectful and concerned about the procedure. His approach should not be casual. You go to a grocery store and ask for a bag of chips and they give you a bag of chips. However, it shouldn’t be like, you go to a plastic surgeon and want to have a boob-job done, and he says – “OK go change and lie down on the bed, I’ll be there.” No! Look for important signs in the way a doctor talks to you, the way he greets you when you enter the cabin, his overall approach etc.
One thing I can say is, follow your instinct. Especially if you are getting bad vibes, get out! You do not want to think “Heck! I should have listened to my inner voice!” after the bandage has come off your face, do you? Wish you luck!