Finding the right breast surgeon can be an overwhelming and daunting task. With so many to choose from, it’s challenging to know how to find a good plastic surgeon that fits your needs. At Breast Care Center Miami, we understand what that is like. Our seasoned and board-certified staff are here to walk with you on your journey to improved health and well being. If you don’t know how to choose a plastic surgeon, keep reading before going under the knife!
How to choose a plastic surgeon: Tips and advice
Plastic surgery is on the rise. In fact, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons has indicated that over 17 million aesthetic procedures have been performed, with breast augmentation taking the top spot of all cosmetic surgeries. Before going under the knife, have a good idea of what kind of breast surgeon you are looking for. If you’ve been diagnosed with breast cancer, you may need a breast cancer surgeon that specializes in reconstruction techniques. According to the ASPS, breast reconstructive and tumor removal surgeries have declined. That doesn’t change your need for one if you’ve been diagnosed with breast cancer, but it does indicate a shift in breast cancer treatment.
These numbers are important because they show the vast amount of breast surgeons in the market and how important it is that you find the perfect one for you. There is a large market for plastic surgery that is attracting unqualified physicians and even non-physicians wearing lab coats. This is a scary thought but it is important that you do your due diligence in finding a board-certified breast surgeon that you can trust. Here are the steps you should take now:
- Ask friends and family for recommendations – Do you have anyone close to you that has had work done? If you feel comfortable, ask them about their experience and the doctor that they saw. A friend can give you an honest account of the entire process including the surgeon, surgery, and recovery experience. Even if you don’t know anyone personally, chances are that someone in your circle knows someone who has. Health professionals also have connections that may be valuable to you as well. Friends and acquaintances in health care can steer you in the right direction for a trusted breast surgeon in your area. They are usually very open to providing recommendations.
- Do your homework – Reading up on reviews of breast surgeons in your area will put you in the know. You can easily get a sense of the patient’s experience and make an educated judgment on whether you should visit them as well. The Internet is a valuable tool in doing your research on who would be best to perform your procedure. And this leads us to our next important point.
- Use caution and skepticism – When researching reviews on the Internet, it’s good to apply a healthy dose of skepticism. Anonymous reviewers may post negative reviews for revenge or to further their own agenda. Also, use caution when looking over before and after photos. Most often, breast surgeons will post legitimate before and after photos on their website but not all of them. Make sure these photos have the same amount of lighting and makeup in both photos to avoid using doctored photos as a reference. Sometimes, before and after photos can be manipulated to show false results.
Be wary of medics that rely too heavily on advertising. If you’re noticing constant pop-ups during your Internet search, that should be a huge red flag. Doctors should be more concerned with caring for their patients rather than the number of likes or self-promotion. You want quality over quantity.
- Check qualifications – After you’ve gathered your reviews and made your list, it’s important to check their qualifications. The last thing you want is to have a non-board certified medic working on you and experiencing complications from it. Before your first face to face consultation, do more research on their ability to conduct both invasive and non-invasive procedures. Non-invasive procedures usually include injectables like Botox and Juvederm, laser treatments, chemical peels, and dermabrasions. These procedures can typically be conducted by non-MDs like physician assistants, registered nurses, nurse practitioners, or aestheticians who are supervised by a medical doctor. Breast surgery is an invasive procedure and should only be conducted by a qualified breast surgeon.
You’ll want to follow up on their training in your specific area of need. Doctors may specialize in a particular area but can perform simple cosmetic procedures and treatments without standardized training in that area. An example of this would be an OB-GYN or general practitioner who is also injecting Botox or performing liposuction. If you have a surgery that only a handful of doctors can perform, it’s best to find a surgeon who was involved in the invention or development of that procedure.
Always look for a breast surgeon who is certified with the American Board of Plastic Surgery. The ABPS has strict membership prerequisites that include training and board certification to perform both cosmetic and reconstructive surgery. Additionally, They have an online database and search engine where you can look up your list of surgeons. Although there are many boards out there, the ABPS is the one you should pay close attention to. They are the central and trusted source for plastic surgery.
- Check hospital affiliation – Your preferred breast surgeon should have hospital privileges. If they only conduct surgeries in their office and have no hospital privileges, this is a major red flag. You want to feel comfortable that if anything goes wrong medically, your medic has hospital affiliation and access to address any issues or complications.
- Ask questions at the consultation – Think this as a job interview and you are the boss! You want the best candidate for the position and the work at stake is your health and well being. When you approach your consultation this way, you will have plenty of relevant questions to ask before you begin. You and your doctor should be on the same page by the end of your inquiry. Some things you should consider asking include:
- Number of procedures they’ve performed
- Past and present photos
- Qualifications and training
- Professional association membership
- Common procedure complications
- Next steps if something goes wrong
During this dialogue, your breast surgeon should be able to inform you of how long it will take, how it will be performed, and if anesthetic will be used. They should also be able to tell you how long recovery will take, potential complications and risks, what the results will look like, and if you’ll experience any pain afterward.
- Trust your gut – Pay close attention to the doctor’s bedside manner and check for a spotless office. If your doctor always seems rushed or pressured, this can be a red flag. If the office staff is not friendly or the office does not seem sterile, you should think twice about allowing them to operate on you. The last thing you want is to feel taken advantage of. In the end, it’s best to trust your gut after making these observations and take your time making such an important decision for your health.
Book your consultation with us today!
Knowing how to find a plastic surgeon in Miami can be intimidating. Luckily, you don’t have to go far for these qualities in an excellent certified breast surgeon. The Miami Breast Center has a fellowship-trained board-certified General Surgeon that specializes in the care of diseases of the breast. Our experienced, compassionate staff is also board-certified and committed to providing personalized care to each of our patients. Book your next consultation with our breast surgeon today!