Essential Factors to Consider Before Choosing a Cosmetic Surgeon

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There’s a myth that beauty is skin-deep, but for those seeking cosmetic surgery, beauty isn’t only skin-deep. The right cosmetic surgeon can make or break the desired outcome of your procedure. 

The success of your plastic surgery hinges entirely on the expertise and skill of your cosmetic surgeon. While only 1% of these procedures go wrong, you can still face dissatisfactory results. In most cases, the outcome doesn’t match the expectations. However, you can also face issues such as infections, scarring, or nerve damage.

Getting plastic surgery is a significant decision that has permanent results. Still, choosing the right surgeon for the job is far more challenging. One botched operation can cost you money and your health. So, carefully consider the following factors before you choose a plastic surgeon.


Ensuring your surgeon is qualified for their role is essential for the success of your surgery. With around 100 deaths related to cosmetic surgery per year, carefully choosing a professional can save your life. To check whether your surgeon is a qualified professional, consider the following:

  • They are an MD holder from an accredited medical university
  • Certified by The American Board of Plastic Surgery, which is the only acceptable and recognized plastic surgery board, according to the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS)
  • A member of the American Society of Plastic Surgery, which you can use to check their credentials

However, you’re looking for the highest qualified surgeon. In that case, you can consider the most competent and ethical surgeons who are fellows of the American College of Surgeons. These FACS surgeons demonstrate high levels of patient care and undergo a series of evaluations to prove their proficiency.

In cities with numerous plastic surgeons, choosing the best can be difficult. Suppose you live in New York, which ranks 8th as the city with the most plastic surgeons. In that case, meet qualified plastic surgeons like Dr. Brad M Gandolfi, MD, FACS, a double board-certified plastic surgeon operating in NYC. Doctors like him are a prime example of what you should be looking for in a surgeon. With degrees, apprenticeships, and fellowships from prestigious institutions, you can relax knowing your procedure will go smoothly. Highly qualified professionals like Dr. Brad have the aesthetic sense to produce natural-looking results and deal with your surgery smoothly and effectively. 

Communication style

You should feel calm and relaxed while talking to your plastic surgeon. Trust is an important aspect to consider, as you should be aware of every possible outcome of your procedure. Establishing open communication with your cosmetic surgeon involves you in your surgery and lets you comfortably seek answers regarding your operation. Choose a surgeon you like by carefully observing their professionalism, tone, and how they treat their staff. You should beware of surgeons who attempt to pressure you into getting procedures you don’t need during consultations or do not elaborate on their qualifications. A professional surgeon will specify their accreditations and cater to your requests.

Professional record

nose surgery

There are approximately 20,000 medical malpractice lawsuits in the U.S. every year. You should thoroughly research your potential surgeon’s disciplinary history to ensure you’re not a victim of such negligence. You can go to sites such as to check the credentials, active licenses, and any active complaints against your chosen physician. You can also look up patient testimonials by checking their before and after photos. Reading the reviews of satisfied patients can help reassure you about your surgeon’s skills and competency. However, you should beware of any clinics social media influencers recommend, as they get paid to promote them. Focus on genuine reviews, and always check your physician’s credentials before agreeing to any procedure.

Plastic surgeon VS Cosmetic surgeon

Depending on your procedure, you may unknowingly choose an underqualified professional. According to a recent survey, 59% of American women do not know the difference between plastic and cosmetic surgeons. This lack of awareness can result in scam surgeons claiming to be ‘board certified’ but lacking the necessary credentials to perform plastic surgery.

Beware of cosmetic surgeons who claim to be certified by the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery. It isn’t an official board that the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) recognizes. Instead, seek plastic surgeons who get their credentials from a recognized board called the American Board of Plastic Surgery. They undergo extensive training and are qualified for complex procedures like breast implants or rhinoplasty.

Availability of aftercare

Your plastic surgeon should inform you how to care for yourself after your operation and provide the necessary post-surgery care. You’ll need to frequently visit for checkups and get your doctor to prescribe painkillers or antibiotics. Your surgeon should give you an in-depth guide to recovery, and you should be able to contact them if you experience any post-operative discomfort, such as:

  • Elevated temperatures of more than 101 degrees
  • Excessive bleeding
  • Increased drainage or painful swelling
  • Peculiar discharge from the incision site
  • Nausea or persistent vomiting

Aftercare is essential, and you should communicate with your doctor to ensure they will be available post-surgery to address any concerns or questions.

Operating facility

Avoid plastic surgeons operating outside hospitals, like in a garage or an unaccredited facility. It would help if you took the time to visit your surgeon’s office or clinic to ensure they meet the sanitary standards and have the necessary equipment. Trained anesthesiologists and nursing staff are also essential to provide the proper care. The appropriate accreditation of their facility ensures they meet crucial safety measures, like life support, to provide the best care.


As cosmetic surgery is a medical procedure, choosing a qualified and experienced surgeon is important. When looking for the right doctor, consider factors such as the type of procedures they offer, their credentials and certifications, experience with similar procedures, patient reviews and feedback, reputation in the medical community, safety protocols in place during treatments, cost of services provided and whether or not they have recovered from any malpractice suits.