Finding the ’right’ plastic surgeon is not as simple as many prospective cosmetic surgery patients may think. Plastic surgery ’makeover’ shows and misleading commercials and print ads create the illusion that cosmetic surgery is a simple process; however, this is not the case. Whether contemplating a breast enlargement, a facelift, or a tummy tuck, prospective plastic surgery patients need to understand the significant commitment required with plastic surgery. It is the patient’s responsibility to select the right plastic surgeon and surgical facility.
Patients need to understand and acknowledge that there is no such thing as “risk-free” surgery. It is easy for many patients to be misled in the process of choosing the right plastic surgeon. However, generally patient satisfaction is increased when a surgery is performed by a properly trained board certified cosmetic surgeon at an accredited surgical facility. There are several guidelines that prospective patients can follow when selecting a plastic surgeon.
American Society of Plastic Surgery (ASPS) Guidelines
The American Society of Plastic Surgery (ASPS), the largest and most recognized national organization of board-certified plastic surgeons, has adopted the following guidelines to assist patients in selecting the ’right’ board-certified cosmetic surgeon:
- Board Certifications and Memberships
- Research Surgical Centers and Hospitals Used by Your Plastic Surgeon
- The Plastic Surgeon-Patient Relationship
- Costs of Surgery Performed by a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon
- Final Thoughts on Finding the Right Board Certified Cosmetic Surgeon
- Contact a Board Certified Plastic or Cosmetic Surgeon in Austin
Board Certifications and Memberships
When choosing a doctor to perform cosmetic surgery, it is important that prospective patients look for board certification and ASPS membership. Our team meets both of these criteria. See below for more information.
Verify Your Cosmetic Surgeon’s Board Certification
To determine if a cosmetic surgeon is properly trained in plastic surgery, patients should verify that a surgeon is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS). Although other medical boards are able to certify surgeons, only ABPS holds American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) recognition for plastic surgery specialty certification. An ABPS board-certified cosmetic surgeon has specific training and expertise in plastic and reconstructive surgery.
There are financial incentives for doctors who are not board-certified cosmetic surgeons to perform cosmetic procedures. Physicians who are family practitioners, internists, dermatologists, dentists, and maxillofacial surgeons are usually not certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery since the board only accepts candidates whose major professional activity is limited to the field of plastic surgery. This standard allows the board to select candidates with higher levels of training and practice in cosmetic surgery. Also, surgeons who claim that they are ’facial plastic surgeons’ are usually not certified by the ABPS.
Look for ASPS and ASAPS Memberships
Membership in the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) and the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) is a good indicator of a cosmetic surgeon’s experience in cosmetic and reconstructive surgery and the surgeon’s American Board of Plastic Surgery certification. (Cosmetic surgeons in Canada may hold memberships with plastic surgery certification from the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.) You may check the membership status of a board-certified cosmetic surgeon by visiting www.plasticsurgery.org.
Both of our board-certified plastic surgeons, David Mosier, M.D., F.A.C.S.., and Steven Holzman, M.D., F.A.C.S., are active members of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery and the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.
Research Surgical Centers and Hospitals Used by Your Plastic Surgeon
Almost as important as checking for certification and memberships of a surgeon is the need to research the facilities used by a board-certified plastic surgeon. Patients can trust the facilities we utilize at The Plastic Surgery Center of Austin.
Check Facility Accreditation
Board-certified cosmetic surgeons can safely perform plastic and reconstructive surgery in a hospital, a surgical center, or an office-based facility. Whichever location a plastic surgeon uses, it is important for patients to verify that the facility is accredited, especially since many office-based facilities lack accreditation and are not members of the Joint Commission of Hospital Accreditation Organization (JCAHO). The Joint Commission’s accreditation is an indicator of a quality facility that has met a level of commitment to meeting performance standards. JCAHO evaluates and accredits health care facilities throughout the United States.
Drs. Mosier and Holzman perform all of their surgeries in JCAHO approved facilities. HealthSouth Surgery Center is both accredited and JCAHO approved.
Confirm Hospital Privileges
Accredited and JCAHO-approved hospitals evaluate a board-certified plastic surgeon prior to granting operating privileges. Patients should verify not only that the hospital is accredited and has passed JCAHO inspections, but also that their cosmetic surgeon has operating privileges for the specific procedure to be performed at that surgical facility.
Seton Hospital Network and St. David’s Hospital Network, both of which are used by our surgeons, are accredited and have passed all JCAHO inspections.
The Plastic Surgeon-Patient Relationship
Finding a board-certified plastic surgeon who uses accredited surgical facilities is only part of finding the right cosmetic surgeon. Prospective plastic surgery patients need to be sure that the cosmetic surgeon they select is not only skilled, but also has a good rapport with patients.
Consult Reliable Resources
Prospective cosmetic surgery patients often ask friends if they can recommend a good plastic surgeon. Patients also commonly consult primary care physicians and obstetrician/gynecologists for recommendations. Friends and physicians may offer helpful suggestions, but it is highly recommended that patients independently verify the board certification of their potential cosmetic and reconstructive surgeon through the American Board of Plastic Surgery.
David Mosier, M.D., F.A.C.S. and Steven Holzman, M.D., F.A.C.S., each have excellent references and patient testimonials, which are available upon request.
Look for a Thorough Cosmetic Surgeon
Before selecting a plastic surgeon, a patient should have the opportunity to meet with the surgeon and to ask questions about the desired surgical procedure, the techniques used, and the surgeon’s background and experience.
During a cosmetic surgery consultation, the plastic surgeon should candidly discuss the risks, benefits, and probable results of the surgery. Also, the patient’s medical history, including preexisting medical conditions, should be reviewed.
The information exchanged during a consultation allows the cosmetic surgeon to better tailor surgical procedures to the individual patient, as well as allows the patient to learn more about the plastic surgeon.
Be sure to select a board-certified plastic surgeon who conducts a thorough consultation.
Be Sure Your Plastic Surgeon Has a Good Rapport with Patients
During a consultation, a patient will be able to get an impression of the cosmetic surgeon’s personality and, perhaps, a glimpse at the doctor’s bedside manner. Even with impeccable credentials, not every board-certified cosmetic surgeon is the right fit for each patient.
To enhance the overall surgical experience and satisfaction, a patient should choose a plastic surgeon with whom the patient feels comfortable communicating. Without a good rapport, the patient may feel uncomfortable candidly discussing goals and expectations with the plastic surgeon, creating the possibility of undesired outcomes.
Patient testimonials are also a good insight into the cosmetic surgeon’s relationship with patients.
Check Your Cosmetic Surgeon’s Experience and Follow-up Care Policy
When choosing a plastic surgeon, patients should request information not only regarding a surgeon’s overall experience, but also about the doctor’s history with the specific surgical procedure being considered. When patients are considering undergoing a procedure that involves a ‘new’ technique or type of technology, they should further inquire if results supporting the safety and effectiveness of the procedure have been documented in a peer-reviewed journal or other reputable publication.
In general, plastic surgeons who are new to practice may have training in innovative techniques, but might not have performed enough of these procedures to be proficient in them. On the other hand, some cosmetic surgeons with more established practices may not be versed in newer techniques of plastic surgery.
Patient care should not cease after a surgical procedure is completed. Prospective patients should ask the plastic surgeon about his or her policy regarding follow-up visits and surgical revisions (should they be necessary).
Prospective patients should request to see before and after photographs of the plastic surgeon’s patients. Testimonials from previous patients may offer a supplemental view at the doctor’s results and level of patient care.
Dr. David Mosier and Dr. Steven Holzman have each actively practiced medicine for numerous years.They are currently active in several prominent medical associations. Before and after photographs of Dr. Mosier’s and Dr. Holzman’s cosmetic surgery patients are available throughout this site.
Costs of Surgery Performed by a Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon
Several factors, including the geographical region where surgery is performed, the cosmetic surgeon’s experience, and the number of areas to be treated, may contribute to a range in plastic surgery costs. At The Plastic Surgery Center of Austin, our patients are given a written price quote prior to their cosmetic procedure(s). This quote outlines surgical fees, anesthesia costs, and hospital expenses.
Other circumstances may also change the price of what may seem like the same cosmetic or reconstructive surgical procedure. For example, two patients can be charged separate amounts for a breast augmentation from the same plastic surgeon if different techniques are being used or if one procedure is more complex than the other.
It is important for patients to understand that, in most cases, cosmetic surgical procedures are not paid for by health insurance.
Our staff will help you file insurance paperwork.
Final Thoughts on Finding the Right Cosmetic Surgeon
The primary goal of a board-certified plastic surgeon is to ensure patient safety and satisfaction. However, patients should thoroughly research potential surgeons before selecting a cosmetic surgeon.
People can gather a number of facts regarding cosmetic surgery by using the resources available on the American Society of Plastic Surgeons website. It’s best that anyone considering plastic surgery view the educational materials provided on the ASPS website rather than risk being fooled with false promises and information provided by other sources.
Cost will always be a factor when it comes to choosing a board-certified plastic surgeon, but it shouldn’t be the only deciding factor. The most important issues to consider are the level of safety and the quality of care that the surgeon can provide.
If you are considering plastic surgery and looking for a board-certified plastic or cosmetic surgeon in the Austin area, learn more about Drs. David Mosier and Steven Holzman. Get the facts about our surgeons’ extensive experience, credentials, and professional memberships so that you can make the most informed decision about your surgery. For a cosmetic consultation with one of our board certified plastic surgeons, contact Plastic Surgery Center of Austin today.