Due to the lucrative nature of plastic surgery and cosmetic procedures, there are many cases of fraud with individuals pretending to be plastic surgeons, including actual physicians who were never trained in plastic surgery but offer cosmetic procedures.
Your friend can tell you if they were adequately prepared for the surgery and if they received the information needed to make an educated decision. Don’t forget to ask how they felt about the facility where the surgery was performed. If they give you a glowing review, you have another surgeon to consider.
If you need a surgery that is highly specialized, don’t be surprised if the surgeon who is recommended is in another part of the country. If your surgery is uncommon, you may not have the option to remain near your home for treatment unless you live near a major city.
Just remember to worry less about bedside manner and more about the final outcome. If you have to choose between a nice surgeon and a highly skilled surgeon, the skilled surgeon is the better bet. Hopefully, you can find someone who is both compassionate and highly skilled.
Call or email your insurance company and request a list of the surgeons that accept your insurance locally. These lists are often available online at the insurance company’s website. If your family physician suggests a specialist, be sure to request that list.
Each state has a medical board that licenses physicians and participates in disciplinary action for surgeons who have issues with their practice. Take the time to look up recommended surgeons on the website for the state medical board. Do they have a license to practice in the state where you plan to have surgery? If they do not, you can cross the name off of your list of possible surgeons. Is the surgeon “in network” on your insurance plan? If they are not, the amount you will may have to pay out of pocket could be substantially higher.
Once you are able to see the surgeon, ask questions. Does the surgeon answer questions in a way that is easy to understand? Do they rush through the consultation, or give you the time you need? Bedside manner isn’t necessarily an indication of surgical skill, but it is an indication of whether or not the surgeon will give you the time and answers you need to feel secure in your choice.
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