Factors to consider when choosing a plastic surgeon

Factors to consider when choosing a plastic surgeon


It is recommended that the doctor you choose has extensive experience in all plastic surgery procedures, and not only in the specific procedure that you plan to have.

Questions to ask your potential cosmetic surgeon in this regard:

  • How did you train in the procedure I am considering?
  • For how long have you been performing this procedure?
  • How many years of plastic surgery training and experience have you had?


The Doctor must be certified by a recognized National or International Plastic Surgery Association.



The doctor must constantly take continuing education seminars and must be involved in new trends concerning patient safety, medical techniques and international standards.



The doctor must operate in accredited medical facilities that guarantee patient safety. An accredited facility is one that meets strict national standards for personnel, surgeon credentials, equipment and operating room safety. Also make sure the Doctor is supported by an experienced anesthesiologist.

Questions to ask your potential cosmetic surgeon in this regard:

  • How would you respond if an emergency were to occur during surgery?
  • What type of clinic do you use? Does it have up-to-date emergency equipment and anesthesia monitoring devices?


Costs may vary considerably depending on the geographic location of the surgeon you choose, on the surgeon´s experience and also on individual patient factors. Not all patients can be treated with the same technique, and the complexity and length of surgery affect cost.

Questions to ask your potential cosmetic surgeon in this regard:

  • What is the total price of the surgery and what does include? (fee, operating room, anesthesia, and which other charges?)
  • If a second surgery is needed, what is your financial responsibility?


There is no better recommendation than real testimonies from people like you. Ask the doctor for testimonies from local and foreign people.



They include malpractice claims and disciplinary actions.

Questions to ask your potential cosmetic surgeon in this regard:

  • How many complications have you had?


Make sure that the clinic and/or doctor offers you a comprehensive follow up care where they can monitor your results and recovery process. You should inquire about follow-up appointments and about the doctor’s policies if revisions are necessary.

Questions to ask your potential cosmetic surgeon in this regard:

  • How long of a recovery period can I expect, and what kind of help will I need and will you provide during my recovery?


The initial appointment is an important opportunity for questions to be asked and answered. It should include a discussion of risks as well as benefits of the surgery. A thorough consultation also involves a review of medical history including any existing medical conditions. All these factors help the surgeon to custom-tailor the operation to best meet the needs of each patient.

Questions to ask your potential cosmetic surgeon in this regard:

  • What are the risks and benefits of having this procedure?
  • Am I a good candidate for my procedure of interest? If not, what is keeping me from being a candidate?
  • What are my options if I am dissatisfied with the outcome of my surgery?
  • Do you have before-and-after photos I can look at for each procedure and what results are reasonable for me?


Make sure you choose a surgeon that made a good connection with him.

Statistics show that more than 50% of international patients focus on personality and relationship when choosing a physician. You need to feel very comfortable with your cosmetic surgeon and their support team.

Things to ask yourself:

  • Do I like spending time with this surgeon?
  • Do I feel like I can trust this surgeon to recommend what’s safe and right for me?
  • Would I feel comfortable asking this surgeon any question I might have throughout the process?
  • Do I feel comfortable disclosing my full medical history and habits to this surgeon? (This is critically important to your safety!)
  • Is the doctor courteous and professional?
  • Did the doctor seem to understand your areas of concern?
  • Does the surgeon understand your expectations?
  • Does he help you understand your options?


We all know that what one person finds beautiful may be unattractive to another. This is why it is so important to find a cosmetic surgeon that shares your aesthetic sensibility.

For this reason, you can’t just trust a friend’s recommendation of a surgeon, or solely depend on the cosmetic surgeon’s experience. You’ll need to look carefully at the results for each surgeon you interview.

Things to ask yourself:

  • Do his results look like you want to look after your surgery?


Make sure you are going to be treated very well. Some of that will be obvious after you receive the first answer in your mail, or a few minutes after you walk in the door of cosmetic surgeon’s office or once you have direct contact with any of the staff.

Staff members are the people who will schedule your appointments, check you in and out, give the doctor your messages, and address insurance concerns.

Things to ask and look for:

  • Is the staff friendly, helpful, courteous, and happy to see you?
  • Do I get helpful materials that fully prepare me for the risks and realities of surgery and recovery?
  • Are all fees clearly stated? Is the quote all-inclusive?
  • When I contact the practice, do I receive a prompt reply?
  • Is the office clean, organized, and professional?
  • Is the atmosphere warm and inviting?
  • What arrangements are there after the surgery if I need medical advice?
  • What if I need further surgery and you are unavailable?
  • When will I be seen again after the surgery? Will any further tests be needed?
  • How long it takes to make an appointment for a routine visit, whether they offer same-day appointments, and how long patients are kept in the waiting room?


Electronic health records let your doctor track your medical history, share info with specialists, and monitor all of your drugs. Many doctors also have a patient portal, a secured website that gives you 24-hour access to your health information, allowing you to book and track doctor appointments, get lab results, request prescription refills, and e-mail questions to your doctor.


  • American Board of Cosmetic Surgery, http://www.americanboardcosmeticsurgery.org
  • Smart Beauty Guide, http://www.smartbeautyguide.com/select-surgeon/how-to-choose-a-surgeon
  • Surgery Wise, http://www.surgerywise.com/Hot-topics/choose-a-surgeon.htm
This page is also available in: Spanish (Español)