So, You Want To Have Plastic Surgery In San Antonio
This is the first in a series of posts about someone’s plastic surgery journey. We begin with what we feel is one of the most (if not the most) important decisions of the process – choosing your plastic surgeon.
When considering plastic surgery, there are many decisions and many things to consider. While most people spend time thinking about the costs, downtime, and the potential results of the procedure, there are more important matters to consider, such as the plastic surgeon you choose for your procedure.
Here are 10 things to consider when choosing a plastic surgeon.
1. Is Your Plastic Surgeon Board Certified By The American Board Of Plastic Surgery?
Over time, patients have become more and more savvy about how to choose and evaluate a doctor. when it comes to a plastic surgeon – there are a few additional considerations. Only the American Board of Plastic Surgery can certify plastic surgeons. A facial plastic surgeon is an ENT (Head and Neck Surgery) who has taken on additional training.
A cosmetic surgeon is an entirely different entity. A cosmetic surgeon is not a plastic surgeon. Only a board certified plastic surgeon has completed the required training laid out by the American Board of Plastic Surgery – 4 years of medical school and then either a “traditional” training program of at least 5 years in a core surgical field (general surgery is most common) and then 3 more years in plastic surgery. There is also an integrated option with 3 years of general surgery followed by 3 years of plastic surgery. Both pathways are eligible to take the board exams for plastic surgery.
A word about the examination process in plastic surgery. When a plastic surgeon completes his or her training (typically 6-9 years of training beyond medical school) they enter into a collection period where all of their work will be reviewed and then used as a part of their certifying examination. At the start of that process, they will sit for an extensive written exam, known as the qualifying exam. Only those who pass both exams are board certified. During the collection period (typically 9 months) your surgeon will not be called board certified even though they have completed all their requisite training. Certainly, their experience will be limited to their training but that doesn’t mean they aren’t good plastic surgeons!
To find a board certified plastic surgeon in your area – click HERE.
To see Dr. Michael A. Baumholtz’s profile and credentials – click HERE.
2. Do You Want To See a Local Plastic Surgeon or Travel to One?
Medical tourism is on the rise where patients who are seeking lower prices will travel far from home, sometimes even out of the country, to have their plastic surgery procedure. My best recommendation is to not choose your plastic surgeon based on price alone. Two questions must be addressed at this juncture:
• How will you receive post-operative care from far away?
• What happens if you need additional care?
It’s always nice to have your plastic surgeon local to you, so you can get the care you need within a moments notice.
3. What Credentials Should You Look For?
MD or DO indicates you are dealing with a physician. The letters F.A.C.S. (Fellow of the American College of Surgeons) after a surgeon’s name is an indication to the patient that the surgeon has passed a thorough evaluation of both professional competence and ethical fitness.
ASPS indicates a member of the internationally recognized American Society of Plastic Surgeons (www.plasticsurgery.org)
ASAPS indicates a member of the internationally recognized American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. Now known as the aesthetic society (www.theaestheticsociety.org)
4. Social Media And Marketing Plastic Surgery Unrealistic Expectations
Social media and TV have been making people come to expect a certain standard of beauty for a long time now. Plastic surgery procedures have the same technique and steps to complete, but every patient is incredibly unique and will have their own experience with the process. While it’s nice to see the flavor of a plastic surgeon and his or her work, don’t judge a plastic surgeon solely by what you see on Instagram, TikTok, or whatever platform comes next.
5. Plastic Surgery Cost
This is a tricky topic but one that comes up in every consultation. If you are searching based on price alone, you’ll do well to remember the adage – there is always someone who will do it cheaper. Most service centers will ask you to pick 2 out of 3: fast, cheap, & good because rarely can you have all three. In plastic surgery, that couldn’t be more true. Next, you need to understand what is and isn’t covered by the price.
• Are breast implants included in the surgery cost?
• Are follow-up appointments included?
• Is there a facility fee?
• Will there be an anesthesia fee?
• Will I need medication after?
• Are bras and garments provided?
All good questions to ask!
6. Convenience and Access
At the core, we believe we are in the customer service business. We’ll do our absolute best to accommodate our patients who want to be seen. It is a blessing to the practice that we are busy, but I often struggle to believe it when I hear practices tell patients they are booked for a year (sometimes more). Do you want to be seen? We’ll do our best to make that happen. In the era of covid, we offer both in-person consults and video consults to our patients both before and (when appropriate) after their procedure.
7. After Hours and Follow Up After Plastic Surgery
After your plastic surgery, one of the most crucial time periods besides the actual surgery itself, is the recovery time and the self at home care. Here are a few things to consider while looking into a plastic surgeon.
• After your surgery, are your follow up visits included in the price?
• Does the plastic surgeon provide a plan for your recovery?
• How often will the surgeon want to see you?
• What are the consequences of not coming for a follow up?
We believe your outcome represents a partnering of time and effort working together for your best result. Your plastic surgeon should help guide you through every step of the way to make sure you heal from big procedures like a breast augmentation or a mommy makeover.
8. Plastic Surgery Facility
Where will my surgery occur? Many plastic surgeons have office-based operating rooms which can be lovely. It’s really important to know if the facility, whether it’s onsite or offsite, is certified by one of the major certifying boards, typically the AAAASF or JCOAH.
9. Anesthesia in Plastic Surgery
Who will keep you safe and comfortable during your procedure? At our practice, we use only board-certified anesthesiologists. Other plastic surgery practices may choose to use nurse anesthetists who will likely work under the supervision of board-certified anesthesiologists. We feel the additional safety of a physician anesthesiologist is an important part of a patient’s surgery.
10. Do You Feel Confident in Your Choice of a Plastic Surgeon?
You’ve gone to your consult and asked your questions. What are your feelings about the things we reviewed today? Do you feel safe with this surgeon? Do you feel the surgeon has your best interest at heart or is the surgeon more interested in your checkbook or your outcome? You should have all the confidence in the world to continue with a plastic surgery procedure. Do not be afraid to consult another plastic surgeon to find the right one. At our practice, we endeavor to help patients understand realistic goals and then achieve them!
All of us at Baumholtz Plastic Surgery hope this has been helpful in your decision-making process. We look forward to hearing from you and guiding you through your journey.