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How to Choose Your Plastic Surgeon

Posted March 19, 2018 in Choosing a Plastic Surgeon

woman doctor in cap and face mask in surgery roomYou have made a serious decision to have a cosmetic procedure. Now, you might be wondering, how do I pick a surgeon I can trust? After all, this person will be creating changes that you will have to live with for years, if not the rest of your life. When choosing a plastic surgeon, be extremely judicious. Doing a bit of research can mean the difference between a successful procedure that instills greater confidence and an operation that produces unsatisfactory results, which can potentially lead to additional costs, time, and heartache.

Board Certified

The very first thing you should look for when choosing a surgeon is that they are board certified by The American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS). Legally, doctors can refer to themselves as plastic or cosmetic surgeons without having advanced training in surgery. What many people do not realize is that the state medical board does not require surgeons to be specifically trained to perform the procedures they offer. ABPS board certification ensures that the surgeon is specifically trained and experienced in plastic surgery.


When consulting with surgeons, ask about their specific training and experience in the procedure you are interested in undergoing. Find out how many of those procedures they have performed and look at their before and after pictures of previous patients. Get a feel for the surgeon’s specific style. If you are looking for a particular technique, look for a surgeon with experience in that area.


An excellent surgeon will have an impressive reputation among patients and other doctors. Ask for recommendations when beginning your search. A family member or friend might be able to point you in the right direction. Another useful resource is your general practitioner. They may be able to recommend a colleague whom they trust.

It is also beneficial for you to check the record of the surgeon for malpractice suits or complaints from former patients. State medical boards are required to make this information available to the public. In some states, this information can be found online, while you can request the record by mail in others.

Surgery Facility

Find out where the surgeon performs surgery. You want to make sure that where your surgery will be performed has an adequate medical staff and life-saving equipment if something goes wrong. Look for the facility’s level of accreditation. Accredited operating rooms will have the necessary care and equipment. Also, ask about the qualifications of the anesthetist that will be administering the anesthesia during the procedure. Make sure you have a certified registered nurse anesthetist or a board-certified anesthesiologist for your safety.

Facility Privileges

Finding out where the plastic surgeon has privileges is an easy way to verify their qualifications. To be granted privileges to operate in hospital facilities, a doctor must go through an extensive background check. Being in good standing and having opportunities at reputable hospitals is a good indication that a surgeon is well-qualified.

Customer Service

Pay attention to the initial consultation. First impressions are everything, and your comfort should be their priority. Attentive and courteous staff set the tone for the initial meeting with the doctor. During your consultation, ask as many questions as you need to without feeling rushed. Take your time. The surgeon should answer all your questions in a detailed and professional manner. Your surgeon’s overall demeanor will give you an idea of the way they will act in future interactions.

To learn more or see if Dr. Koch is the right surgeon for you, call (716) 631-1220 today!