Buyers Beware: Questions to ask a Plastic Surgeon
During these hard times, many people are looking for great deals on everything – including cosmetic surgery. But is it smart or safe to bargain hunt when it comes to your health? In an age where injecting fillers and toxins into your face is a common beauty trend, many women do not hesitate to line up for the latest “non-invasive” beauty treatment of the moment. Injectables have become so popular that dentists and OB-GYNs are now offering them, and many women are overlooking the risks associated with these procedures. Each year, thousands of prospective patients bargain hunt for cosmetic procedures– price being the main attraction.
But have they done their research? Knowing the best fit doctor for the procedure makes all the difference. Do your research and ask key questions. What is your specialization? Sub-specialization?
According to Dr. Miami board certified plastic surgeon Dr. Michael Salzhauer , “with the U.S. economic climate being unstable many plastic surgeons are slashing their prices to attract customers who are driven by the cost of surgery. Consumers are affected by the slowing economy are beginning to ‘price shop’ with plastic surgeons,” says Dr. Salzhauer. But buyers beware, “it can be a very dangerous practice to bargain with your health the way you would when a new car.”
Below is a list of the must-ask questions Dr. Salzhauer advises potential patients to ask a prospective plastic surgeon before deciding who is the right choice to perform their procedure:
Ask the Doctor
Make sure your surgeon is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, the only board recognized to certify surgeons in the entire spectrum of plastic surgery. Make sure your plastic surgeon is also a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), the largest plastic surgery society in the world.
How many times have you done this procedure?
Surgeons who frequently and regularly perform the particular procedure you request have often seen the variations, nuances, and even complications which make for a well seasoned expert. Also, if a surgeon sees referrals from others in his field, he is seen as an expert by his peers, the ultimate compliment.
What other medical staff will assist with the procedure?
Your surgeon should be the primary one who performs and directs your surgical procedure. He will be assisted by various personnel such as nurses and surgical scrub techs who routinely operate with your plastic surgeon. In addition, your plastic surgeon will often use someone who is trained in anesthesia, such as an anesthesiologist or certified nurse anesthetist.
Where will the procedure be performed?
A board certified plastic surgeon who is a member of the ASPS is required to perform your surgery in a certified and accredited outpatient surgery center or hospital. This represents the gold standard for patient safety.
What type of anesthesia will be used during the procedure?
Type of anesthetic depends on the type of procedure, length of surgery, and professional recommendation of the anesthesiologist.
What are the risks associated with this procedure?
All surgery comes with inherent risks and complications. Your board certified plastic surgeon will discuss the recovery, risks, and alternative treatment options with you so that you might make an informed decision
Can you provide me with 3-6 references to patients on whom you have performed this procedure?
Your plastic surgeon will provide you with several patients who have undergone your particular procedure so that you can learn about their surgical experience from a patient’s perspective.
What is the exact breakdown of fees for this procedure?
You should expect to see a clear, written estimate of your surgical procedure. This will include surgeon’s fee, anesthesia fee, operating room costs, and implant fees if any.
About Dr. Michael Salzhauer
Miami board-certified plastic surgeon Michael Salzhauer, MD, has extensive experience with procedures such as liposuction, breast lift, breast augmentation, breast reduction, brow lift, face lift, nose improvement surgery, ear reshaping, laser eyelid rejuvenation surgery, neck lift, plastic surgery for men, abdominoplasty, lip enhancement, BOTOX® injections, and other wrinkle treatments. He maintains a high level of surgical activity to enhance his expertise, averaging 800 operative procedures per year since 2000. Dr. Michael Salzhauer was educated at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri and he was trained in the latest plastic surgery techniques while serving on the staff of the Mount Sinai Medical Center in Miami Beach; the University of Miami Medical Center; and the prestigious Cleveland Clinic Foundation. Dr. Michael Salzhauer has recently authored “My Beautiful Mommy,” a children’s book explaining the phases of plastic surgery.