Flashy Doesn’t Mean Fabulous
The Four Most Important Things to Look for on a Cosmetic Surgeon’s Website
Whether it’s the nose job you’ve dreamed of since high school or the breast lift or tummy tuck you’ve had in mind ever since you had your kids, the decision to undergo cosmetic surgery is a big deal and commitment that starts with choosing a surgeon who you can trust. With all the websites, ads and marketing materials out there, how can you best evaluate a doctor’s credentials and make the right choice? “Google” it…
Start with a basic Google search: Type “plastic surgeon [insert your geographic area]” or “procedure name” followed by your location (i.e., “breast augmentation Boston”). Develop a list of five or six potential surgeons, then ask your internist, friends and/or family members if they recommend anyone. Cross-reference the names to see which ones come up twice. It’s usually a good sign if you come across a doctor’s name from more than two trusted sources. Once you’ve identified one or more surgeons, the next step is to check out their websites. Remember, lots of websites have bells and whistles that can be distracting and confusing, but bigger isn’t always better, and flashy doesn’t necessarily mean fabulous.
Here are four things to look for when evaluating a plastic surgeon’s website:
1: Before and Afters
Check out the image gallery for the procedure you are considering. Find a person who is similar to you in size, skin type and ethnicity to see if you like the way their results turned out. This exercise will give you an idea of what you may look like if you choose this surgeon. It’s not the be-all and end-all or a guarantee, but it should give you a better handle on the doctor’s vision, talent and skillset.
Reviews speak louder than advertisements. Read what others are saying about the surgeon on review sites such as Yelp, HealthGrades, Vitals and ZocDoc. Pay attention to the date the reviews were posted and keep in mind that just because a surgeon has all 5-star reviews, that doesn’t necessarily mean he/she is a perfect surgeon. Reviews should help solidify your decision, not make it.
3: Experience and Board Certification
How long has the surgeon been in practice? Is he or she board certified by an accredited board such as the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS)? It’s another good sign if the chosen surgeon is a member of specialty societies such as the American Society of Plastic Surgeons or the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery.
4: Financing Options
Plastic surgery procedures are expensive and usually not covered by insurance. Therefore, a cosmetic surgery practice’s website should indicate whether financing is available. If it does not, call the practice and find out what types of patient financing they offer. This exercise will also introduce you to the practice and illustrate what type of customer service you can expect if you become a patient.
Presumably your search will generate two or three strong lead candidates. Set up consults with each of them to see if you have a good rapport. You shouldn’t feel rushed or unimportant during this initial get-to-know-you visit. It can set the tone for your experience. You also shouldn’t feel pushed into making decision on the spot. Make sure the surgeon answers your questions thoroughly, and look around the facility to make sure it meets with your standards.
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