Top 5 characteristics of the best surgeons

OP. DR. YUNUS DOĞAN

The criteria

Choosing a plastic surgeon can be a tedious process. Like any decision regarding your health, you should take some time and research. Don’t feel like you are obligated to see a specific doctor before you know he or she meets our top five characteristics.

Think of it like a big purchase: would you buy the first flatscreen TV or vehicle you see? Hopefully not: you would find the most popular models and read some reviews, compare and contrast different options and finally decide which one suits you best. You want to be informed about all your options so you can choose the best one for your needs. You want to know others’ opinions concerning the product.

Follow the same process when choosing a plastic surgeon. There certainly are different personalities, qualifications and skill sets out there, but the most successful surgeons share a few similar qualities at their core. Read on to learn the top five characteristics to look for in your plastic surgeon.

5. Officially trained and certified

If you’re still comparing this decision to buying a new TV, think of a doctor’s diploma like a UL label on your new flatscreen. You wouldn’t buy a TV that was assembled haphazardly or may not have all the parts it needs to function properly; you look for the UL certification on the box. Likewise, you don’t want to put your body or your future goals in the hands of someone who may not have the proper training and certification.

Generally speaking, plastic surgeons must graduate from a six-year long medical program after completing their bachelor’s degree. If a plastic surgeon wants to specialize in a particular area or body part, they may complete an additional 1-3 years of school. Then they complete a residency program and THEN they can practice. This can vary by country of origin, so check for specific training requirements related to your situation. If you read our post telling you how to get natural results from plastic surgery, you already know we included a link to check a doctor’s certification.

4. Experienced with your desired surgery

Unless you’re participating in a clinical trial, you probably don’t want to be someone’s first patient. You want a doctor who has seen bodies like yours and achieved successful outcomes. You want a doctor who has performed your operation so much that she could perform it in her sleep.

Asking for and reviewing your potential surgeon’s portfolio can be a reassuring part of your research. It can give you peace of mind regarding a surgeon’s capabilities and history. You want to see real-life examples of the surgeon’s work. Based on the size of the portfolio, you can also gauge how many other people have entrusted their bodies to this doctor.

3. Positively reviewed

Similar to scrutinizing your surgeon’s performance history in #4, you also want to gather opinions of past patients. Reading reviews can tell you about patients’ overall experience, giving you a wider perspective of the process. You will read about details you can’t see in post-op photographs.

The portfolio can show you physical results. Reviews can tell you about additional things like the surgeon’s team and their treatment style, bedside manner and other aspects of the complete package. Bonus points for a high quantity of reviews, just like on Amazon.

2. Compassionate

Bedside manner was mentioned in #3 but is important enough to warrant its own number. The manner in which your doctor speaks and reacts to you throughout the process directly corresponds to how comfortable you will feel before, during and after your surgery. If you meet a surgeon and your personalities don’t quite match, you may feel ill at ease. A compassionate surgeon will be a caring one, who will respond quickly to your concerns and any problems that may arise.

1. Communicative

Congratulations! You’ve checked four of the five boxes. You researched and found a board-certified surgeon with enough experience to make him competent, enough positive reviews to make you comfortable and a compassionate heart that will understand any fears or questions you have. But how will you know if he REALLY understands? Hopefully you can just ask.

This element is especially important when you travel abroad for surgery: communication is key. If a patient is considering plastic surgery in Istanbul, the language barrier could be a problem. Effectively expressing yourself and understanding what the other party responds with is essential in so many aspects of our life. Surgery is no different. Communication with your surgeon should be uncomplicated. You want to be able to convey your goals and desired outcomes simply and you want your surgeon to be transparent, honest and easily understood about all aspects of your process.

The last stitch

Now that you know five important characteristics of the best plastic surgeons, you can make a better informed decision when it’s time to choose. Remember, your body is one of the most important things you can invest in.

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