How To Select a Plastic Surgeon


If you are considering cosmetic surgery, you may wonder “how to select a plastic surgeon.” The right plastic surgeon is the one who understands your needs and aesthetic goals and who is skilled in the art and science of plastic surgery.

Some of the qualities are subjective and will vary depending on your needs, goals, and preferences. Other qualifications to consider are more objective and the result of your surgeon’s commitment to training, education, and experience.

Please keep in mind that medical care, including plastic surgery, is customized to the individual. This article isn’t a substitute for personalized care from a doctor or plastic surgeon. We hope this information empowers you to find and select the right plastic surgeon for your needs.

Finding a Well-Qualified Plastic Surgeon

First, talk with any friends, family, and colleagues who have had plastic surgery. If you are looking for a local surgeon, word-of-mouth referrals can be one of the best ways to find someone skilled with a proven track record. Ask about their experience as well as the results. 

In addition to networking, you can find a qualified plastic surgeon by checking state and national associations and agencies. Consider seeking a board-certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS). This voluntary certification demonstrates knowledge, experience, and a commitment to excellence. Of course, some fantastic plastic surgeons have not yet earned the certification. If you don’t have a personal referral from someone you trust, you can find a well-qualified plastic surgeon by looking for one who is board certified.

At the very least, check your State licensure bodies to vet any plastic surgeons you are considering. 

There are so many reviews online through Google, Yelp, Facebook, RealSelf.com, and more specialized websites. Read reviews of local plastic surgeons. If you have ever bought a low-quality product on Amazon with fantastic reviews, you probably understand you need to be cautious about acting purely based on reviews. However, they can be a good starting point as you compile a list of plastic surgeons to consider. 

Check your local and state press for award-winning plastic surgeons. While not all awards are equal, they can help you identify a practice that has a good reputation. 

We suggest you compile a short list of skilled and well-reputed plastic surgeons. Technical excellence and skills are essential, as are soft skills like the good aesthetic taste and an open communication style. While some may argue that aesthetic taste and a sense of proportion are skills, it is also highly subjective so we include them among soft skills. 

Finding a Plastic Surgeon Who Connects With You

Once you have identified a few plastic surgeons with good professional reputations and credentials, book a consultation with the top contenders. This appointment is your chance to share your goals, ask questions, and determine whether the surgeon is a good fit for you. When it comes to plastic surgery, one size doesn’t fit everyone. 

Since you are trusting your appearance to your plastic surgeon, you want to find one that shares your aesthetic vision and has a good sense of proportion. Most likely, you will have the chance to look at before and after photographs from real patients, including some who may be similar to you. Modern imaging tools also can give you a more concrete picture of what kind of results you may be able to expect. Pay attention to whether the surgeon shows you examples that actually appeal to you. If you want a subtle, natural look and a plastic surgeon specializes in a more dramatic Hollywood look it may not be the right fit. The same principles apply in reverse. You will be more likely to get the results you want when you and your surgeon share an aesthetic vision.

Ask a potential surgeon about their approach to plastic surgery. It may help to ask about both their background and philosophy. For just about any cosmetic procedure, there are surgeons who specialize in it and have a passion for providing great results for their patients. If you want breast augmentation, you can find a plastic surgeon who specializes in that rather than one with a passion for facelifts. While most plastic surgeons offer a range of procedures, most have their favorite specialties.

In addition to aesthetics, you also want to find someone who makes you feel comfortable and treats you as an individual. If you feel uncomfortable talking with a doctor, you will have a hard time frankly expressing your hopes, goals, needs, and concerns. Customer service and bedside manner matter. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons recommends that patients look for a good plastic surgeon who has the ability and willingness to customize the treatments to your needs. 

Take the time to ask about the surgeon’s experience with procedures like the one you are considering. Also, listen to any suggestions the surgeon may have. Sometimes a patient may come in with a specific procedure in mind, but after learning about the goals and preferences, it may become clear that a different procedure may be a better fit. Honesty and frank communication are essential for a positive outcome.

Please keep an open mind, but pay attention to whether the plastic surgeon communicates clearly, explains their recommendations, and ultimately respects your wishes. Respect is equally important to soft skills like honesty and clear communication.

While you are visiting for a consultation, pay attention to the practice and the office. Try to get a feel for the team. Do you feel valued and respected as a patient? Are you impressed with the practice’s customer service standards, cleanliness, and detail?

Schedule Your Consultation

Your next step on how to select a plastic surgeon is to schedule an appointment. We hope Charlotte Plastic Surgery makes your shortlist if you are in the Charlotte area. We have served the community for decades and balance a proven track record with award-winning excellence and today’s best practices. Contact us today to schedule a consultation with one of our top-notch plastic surgeons.