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Last Updated on April 4, 2019

There are more cosmetic surgeries done in the U.S. than any other country, With revealing there were over 4.3 million performed in 2017, nearly double that of Brazil, which had the second highest number of such procedures at a little more than 2.4 million. With that, there are countless plastic surgeons to choose from, but they can vary significantly when it comes to skills and experience. And, you probably don’t want to get a Brazilian butt lift from one that’s primarily experienced with a tummy tuck, for example.

To find the best plastic surgeon for the procedure you’re considering, be sure to ask at least these five things during your consultation or before.

Are You Board-Certified?

The plastic surgeon you choose should be board-certified. While there are several certifying boards, the gold standard is The American Board of Plastic Surgery. This certification indicates that the physician you’re considering has the experience, knowledge and extensive specialized training necessary in addition to revealing his or her commitment to excellence in the field. Be sure to verify after asking, which can be done on the ABPS website.

How Often Have You Performed the Procedure?

Don’t worry about appearing rude by asking too many questions – after all, if the surgeon were to undergo surgery, you can be they’d be asking lots. The ideal answer to this question is hundreds of times over many years. At this point, the doctor will have worked out any problems he or she has run into. Of course, if it’s a new procedure or something that’s uncommon, that may not be possible. Don’t worry about appearing rude, after all, if the surgeon were to undergo surgery, you can be they’d be asking plenty of questions too.

The more times the surgeon has performed the particular procedure, the more before and after photos you’ll be able to view in order to get a good sense of their aesthetic style, allowing you to make a better decision.

Where Do You Perform the Procedure?

Some procedures are routinely performed in-office, while others are done in a hospital or outpatient ambulatory center. The best place to have your surgery done depends on how complex the procedure is as well as your age and health. While hospitals are usually the most expensive place for a surgery, a hospital procedure may be safer. On the other hand, outpatient surgery centers usually have a lower risk of infection. If it will be done outside of a hospital, ask the surgeon if he or she has hospital privileges, just in case something unexpected occurs during the procedure and you need to be transferred there.

What Type of Anesthesia is Used and Who Administers It?

All cosmetic surgeries require some kind of anesthesia. General anesthesia and local anesthesia are both quite safe when performed by a qualified provider. The best type to use depends on the patient and procedure. Local anesthesia has a shorter initial recovery, but general anesthesia is usually a must for more complicated surgeries like a full facelift or abdominoplasty.

What is the Recovery Process Like?

You’ll need to find out how much time you’ll have to take off from your daily activities like work, taking care of the kids, exercise and so on. It’s also important to find out what restrictions you’ll be under. For example, most patients won’t be able to lift heavy objects, including children, for several weeks after surgery. If the amount of time necessary for recovery or physical limitations might cause an issue, you might want to talk to the doctor about less invasive procedures or postpone having the surgery.

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