Choosing the right cosmetic surgeon is the most important decision you make as your outcome is primarily dependent on your choice of plastic surgeon. Finding a surgeon skilled in cosmetic surgery is sometimes difficult and unfortunately there is no single reliable method for finding the right one for you. In today’s age of the internet and all kinds of social media, information sources may be inaccurate, contradictory and confusing. This can make your task very daunting and challenging. However, you can start by checking his credentials.
You shouldn’t go to a doctor because he is cheap. You should go to a doctor because you trust him. It should be all about trust and patient safety. Therefore, it is incumbent upon you to carefully and conscientiously research your surgeon and make sure that he has considerable experience in the procedure you are interested, a stellar reputation and a resume of consistently favorable results.
After your research, the office consultation is the next best way to evaluate the selection of your cosmetic surgeon. You need to be comfortable with him and also with his staff. A good surgeon should be an effective communicator, a patient listener to your concerns as well as a compassionate caregiver.
If you have selected Dr. Hervé Gentile and you feel that you are not ready for a consultation with him, you can arrange to have a complimentary consultation with our highly trained staff or attend one of our seminars.
Although Dr. Hervé Gentile is among the most experienced and respected cosmetic plastic surgeons and he is one of the first triple board certified plastic surgeons, we cannot stop emphasizing that you need to do your homework. Believe it or not any doctor can call himself a plastic or cosmetic specialist…but is he indeed a trained plastic surgeon? Plastic Surgery is a surgical super-specialty. To be accepted into their highly competitive training programs, successful applicants must stand out from the others based on their skills, recommendations, clinical achievements and their examination scores. For example gynecologists, ER doctors, family doctors, and all others are not trained in plastic surgery. Some of these doctors only training is some weekend courses. Many start with cosmetic medical procedures like Botox or filler injections but then decide to branch out into surgical procedures. The foundation of plastic surgery is reconstructive surgery and all plastic surgeons have spent many years in training and have developed and refined this necessary experience which complements aesthetic surgery. Before you can make a beautiful face you first need to know how to reconstruct it. Some Plastic Surgeons like Dr. Gentile have obtained additional training by serving a fellowship in Facial Plastic Surgery.
The American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) is the agency, which governs specialty boards. They assure that surgeons certified in Plastic Surgery have received the appropriate training, passed rigorous exams and have demonstrated experience and competence in both cosmetic and reconstructive surgery. Also you need to know that there is no ABMS recognized certifying board with “cosmetic surgery” in its name. To see if a surgeon is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS) you may call the ABMS at 1.866.275.2267 or check the web site at www.certifieddoctors.org or www.abms.org.
Members of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (ASAPS ) are among a select group of American Board of Plastic Surgeons specializing only in Cosmetic Surgery of the face and body, who have been in practice for at least 8 years and have been researched and approved by their peers. You can check doctors for this membership by visiting www.surgery.org and clicking on find a surgeon or Dr. Herve Gentile member. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons encompasses plastic surgeons that are board certified in Plastic Surgery but also perform Reconstructive Surgery and can be visited here.
Plastic Surgery of the Head and Neck can also be performed by surgeons certified by the American Board of Otolaryngology who are Fellows of the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. Those surgeons who are certified by the American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery have obtained additional training and experience in Facial Plastic Surgery (Dr. Hervé Gentile is certified by both boards). You can check their certification at abfprs.org and membership at Facial Plastic Surgeons Fellows.
It is important that your surgeon is also a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons (this is why you will see Fellow Surgeons writing FACS after MD). The American College of Surgeons admits to its Fellowship only those surgeons whose professional activity is devoted to a surgical practice and who agree without compromise to practice the professional and ethical standards of the College. In evaluating the eligibility the College investigates very thoroughly the entire surgical practice as well the professional and ethical behavior of each applicant. This is another difficult step to climb for those who aspire to become the best physicians to provide care to our patients.
Also you can check if the surgeon is included in the BEST DOCTORS IN AMERICA® list. To be included in their database as deserving Best Doctor status, the doctor must undergo a rigorous nomination and electoral process by his peer doctors. The Best Doctors methodology is very impartial and strictly independent. The only way to be recognized as one of the Best Doctors in America® is for the doctor to earn high marks for clinical ability from his or her peers. Only the top 5% of all doctors are deemed deserving and are voted to be included on the Best Doctors list. Their website is http://www.bestdoctors.com/about-best-doctors/our-doctors.
Castle Connolly identifies top doctors based on an extensive nomination process and reviewed by their physician led team. You can check their top doctors by visiting www.castleconnolly.com.
In a recent Consumer Study women in the USA, between the ages of 21-60, were surveyed on their perceptions of various cosmetic medicine procedures. In an apparent reaction to the unregulated medical spa industry, almost 80% of women surveyed rated medical credentials as very important when choosing a cosmetic treatment provider but nevertheless a large percentage of them are unaware and choose non-plastic surgeons for their cosmetic non-surgical and surgical procedures. Today, there are many untrained doctors performing cosmetic procedures and these non-specialists include Obstetricians & Gynecologists, Internal Medicine, ER and Family Doctors, etc. Unfortunately in this country there is no law against any Doctor calling himself a Cosmetic Surgeon or a Plastic Surgeon. With insurance reimbursements down many doctors are going to weekend cosmetic boot-style camps to learn procedures and then doing them on the following Monday. The results are many botched jobs.
- don’t be confused by other boards since many physicians are board certified but not necessarily in Plastic Surgery; some states even allow dentists to perform cosmetic surgery (would you want to go to your dentist to have a facelift?) …and remember that there is no law in this country against any doctor calling himself a plastic surgeon or a cosmetic specialist;
- don’t shop price… Doctors with few credentials or little experience will frequently cut costs in order to entice more patients;
- ask to talk to other patients;
- if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. No plastic surgeon can promise perfection…make sure you have realistic expectations and that you understand what your possible results are;
- make sure your surgeon has never been disciplined by any hospital or state medical board (in Texas you can verify by visiting the Texas Medical Board;
- remember that the outcome of your surgery is primarily dependent on your choice of surgeon;
- ask whether your procedure is performed in an accredited office surgery center … it is very important to investigate this since your own safety is the issue;
- don’t be snarled by gimmicks like lasers (they may better but only in very selective cases), computer imaging (we do not use it anymore as it can be deceptive and falsify your expected end results especially in Breast Augmentation and Rhinoplasty/Nose Reshaping), etc.
- remember that although your choice of surgeon is critically important, no surgeon can guarantee a perfect outcome.
MAKE SURE you also check our FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) for more on this subject as well as other important answers to other questions.