1. Board Certification
A doctor’s board-certification is the best indicator of his or her training in a particular medical or surgical specialty. In the USA, look for certification by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS). The American Board of Plastic Surgery is the only accrediting board recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) which certifies doctors in the specialty of plastic surgery. Only plastic and cosmetic surgeons certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery are uniquely qualified to perform reconstructive and cosmetic surgeries on the entire face and body.
Verify Dr. Wagner on the ASPS website here:
Plastic and cosmetic surgery can be something of a ‘buyer beware’ situation today if your surgeon is not certified by the ABPS. Cosmetic Surgeons are not necessarily fully trained or certified Plastic Surgeons. They may not have the training or skill level of a certified Plastic Surgeon. There is no accrediting board for cosmetic surgery, you only need have a basic medical degree. There are no training requirements for doctors to call themselves cosmetic surgeons. Many doctors performing breast operations, facelifts, tummy tucks and other procedures who have no accredited training to do such surgeries, which would normally be undertaken by a Plastic Surgeon. Use caution when selecting your surgeon and find an American Board of Plastic Surgery certified expert.
Experienced cosmetic plastic surgeons typically perform a wide range of cosmetic surgeries on a regular basis. Patients should ask about the surgeon’s experience with the particular procedure being considered. Evaluate the doctors before and after photos of the surgery you may be considering. Check to make sure the surgeon you are considering has a long history of providing excellent care on your locale.
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3. Surgery Facility Accreditation
Most plastic surgery operations can safely be performed in an ambulatory surgery center, in fact, most such surgeries are performed in these types of facilities. Current published data shows that accredited ambulatory facilities have a safety record comparable to that of hospital surgery settings. However, not all surgical facilities are equal. Be sure to inquire about the facility accreditations, as well as the anesthesiologists. Know if they’re assigned to you during your surgery or if they are simultaneously responsible for other patients. In addition, be sure that the surgeon has operating privileges at a near by accredited hospital in case an unforeseen complication were to occur.
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4. Post Operative Care
Good surgical care doesn’t end with the surgery. Reputable plastic surgeons want to see the results and monitor your patient’s progress. Post surgical procedures usually require consistent post care, after photos and documentation of your healing and progress. You should inquire about post surgery follow-up visits.
5. Reliable References
Asking your primary care doctor for recommendations is a good place to start, and friends may offer suggestions, but the surgeon’s board-certification should always be verified independently by contacting the American Board of Plastic Surgery.
6. Physician Consultation
The consultation is an important opportunity for questions to be asked and answered. It should include a candid 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. Ask about your pre-operative appointment and what should be expected then.
7. Surgeon and Staff Rapport
Even the most experienced or certified surgeon is not the “right” surgeon for every patient. Any successful relationship depends on good communication. Patient satisfaction is enhanced when surgeon and patient candidly discuss goals, agree on realistic expectations, and plan the course of the surgical journey together.
Don’t make a decision based solely on the charm or personality of the surgeon. Make sure you sense integrity, sincerity, professionalism and ethics from the surgeon’s staff and facility.
8. Reasonable Cost
Plastic surgery is not cheap. If the cost of your surgery is too good to believe, it might just be. In plastic surgery, you usually get what you pay for. Never make your surgery decision based solely on cost. National cost averages vary based on geographic region, surgeon experience and skill (or lack thereof), and individual patient factors. Not all patients can be treated with the same techniques, and the complexity and length of surgery affects cost. Patients should note that plastic surgery is rarely covered by insurance. Beware if the price for a surgeon’s work seems significantly lower than other competing plastic surgeons within the same city. This should serve as a ‘red flag’ so use caution when things look like too good to be true.
Dr. Jeffrey Wagner is board certified by the ABPS and has been a plastic surgeon for 23 years. Dr. Wagner is been recognized by both peers and patients as an expert in plastic surgery. He has been an educator of plastic surgeons and has published many articles and presented at numerous educational seminars and professional meetings. Most of his surgeries are performed at the Community Surgery Center facility located in Northeast Indianapolis. This surgery center is conveniently located and connected to the Community North Hospital. Dr. Wagner and his staff are all highly experienced and pride themselves with being an excellent resource for your surgery questions and concerns and they invite you to their facility for a complimentary cosmetic consultation. Wagner and Associates Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and the Community North Surgery Center both offer Care Credit as a financing option.
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