The Premiere Site For Celebrity Plastic Surgery By A Real Plastic Surgeon

I'm a Michigan-based Board Certified Plastic Surgeon who has been featured on Dr. 90210. The info here is my opinion alone and should not be taken as fact or as medical advice. I've not treated any of the celebrities presented here.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

How Do You Choose a Plastic Surgeon?

I've received numerous emails asking me how a prospective patient should choose a plastic surgeon. Unfortunately, with medical insurance reimbursements declining, many physicians are attempting to become "plastic surgeons" in order to make more money. This can be anyone from your family doctor to your ER physician to even your dentist. There is no law against a person calling themselves a plastic surgeon or even advertising themselves as that in the paper or yellow pages. Heck, I can put an ad out that says I'm the world's best cardiologist, and if I could convince you to let me perform angioplasty on you then there is no law against it!
My first advice to a patient is to go to the website: and find surgeons certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery in your area. This website lists nearly every board-certified plastic surgeon in the U.S.
Second, make sure that the board-certified plastic surgeon you select is proficient in the surgery you are interested in having. Plastic surgeons are trained in a wide array of plastic surgery, including hand, reconstructive, and cosmetic surgery. Just because I was fully trained in hand surgery doesn't mean you want me reattaching your thumb!
Third, meet with the surgeon(s) to make sure you are comfortable with him or her. There is no better indication of how your surgical experience will be than the face-to-face consultation with the surgeon. If you don't meet the surgeon during the consultation or it is very rushed, it is an indication that the surgeon may also rush your surgery and may not take care of you afterwards.
Finally, there is a difference between a cosmetic surgeon and a plastic surgeon. The field of plastic surgery is very difficult to enter, as the residency positions are extremely competitive to obtain and consist of at least five years of rigorous training with at least two of those years dedicated to plastic surgery. Cosmetic surgeons, on the other hand, can be trained in one of many fields, including ENT, general surgery, OB-Gyn, and dermatology. Often, these practitioners can abruptly change their medical practice to become a cosmetic surgeon with as little as one year of cosmetic surgery training. I once had the family physician of a patient of mine try to convince her to cancel her facelift with me so that the family doc could perform the facelift herself! Crazy!
Now, there are some outstanding cosmetic surgeons out there, don't get me wrong. I often send difficult eyelid reconstructions to oculoplastic colleagues of mine, who would do a much better job than I. Just do your homework and make sure that your surgeon has the training to do the surgery you want. Although he or she may perform a fantastic rhinoplasty, it may not be wise to let a facial plastic surgeon (an ENT with additional training in plastic surgery of the face) perform your breast augmentation. This happens more often than you may think (especially here in metro Detroit).
Good luck and feel free to comment.

Thanks for reading.
Michigan-based Plastic Surgeon
Anthony Youn, M.D.


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Aud Rey said...

Great advice. Very helpful

Unknown said...

The only way is trusting a scientific society that registers all surgeons. Otherwise, only marketing works, and that´s a worse way...