Like other types of surgery, plastic surgery requires the expertise of a skilled physician. The results of the surgery are long-lasting and so finding the right doctor for your procedure is critical. What should you look for in a plastic surgeon? Dr. Mark Mofid, a board-certified plastic surgeon out of San Diego, California, shares with us today some key questions to ask when choosing your plastic surgeon.
What are the Surgeon’s Credentials?
The very first question you should ask is if the plastic surgeon is board certified. Don’t just assume that they are. According to Dr. Mark Mofid, certification is voluntary. Doctors do not have to be certified in all the services that they offer. The American Board of Plastic Surgery (APBS) offers a rigorous qualification program. Plus, there are other programs that doctors can earn certification through like the American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (ABFPRS). You can also check the surgeon’s website for information about their specific certifications.
Additionally, you should check to see if the surgeon has hospital privileges. Even if you plan to have the procedure at a surgical center instead of a hospital, it could be a red flag if your surgeon doesn’t have hospital privileges. These privileges basically mean the doctor has been reviewed and approved by both peers and a hospital committee.
What Kind of Experience Does the Doctor Have?
In addition to ensuring that the plastic surgeon is board certified, Dr. Mark Mofid also recommends that you take a closer look at what type of experience the surgeon has had. How many times have they performed the procedure that you are interested in? Are there any reviews of the doctor, and what do they say?
You can also ask the doctor directly about his or her experience with your procedure. If the doctor has extensive experience with it, then they should have no problem sharing their success stories with you, especially those for the procedure you want to have. Dr. Mofid recommends that your specific procedure be one of the top three that your plastic surgeon regularly performs.
How is the Doctor’s Bedside Manner?
Doctors, like anyone else, are human beings with their own personalities, tastes, and preferences. You may connect with a surgeon, or you may not. According to Dr. Mark Mofid, being comfortable with your plastic surgeon’s bedside manner makes the process much smoother. At his practice in La Jolla, just north of San Diego, Dr. Mofid and his team strive to make the experience as comfortable and pleasant for his patients as possible.
He recommends that you choose one that you feel like you can trust throughout the process. Are you comfortable asking the doctor questions or voicing your concerns? What about sharing your medical history and habits with this physician? If the answer to any of these questions is “no”, then you may want to keep looking.
What are the Risks Involved with the Procedure?
One reason that finding a physician you connect with is so critical is that you need to be able to talk with your prospective doctor about any risks or complications involved with the procedure. Dr. Mark Mofid warns that while plastic surgery is relatively safe, your personal medical history could impact how safe a procedure is for you. If the surgeon quickly dismisses your questions, then this is a cause for concern.
The doctor that you choose should be one who is willing to openly discuss the risks and complications that could arise with your procedure. Dr. Mark Mofid actively discusses the safety of the procedure with his patients and will refuse requests from patients who wish to go “too big”, which could endanger their health now or in the future.
Where Will the Procedure Be Performed?
While some procedures are performed in hospitals, many are now performed elsewhere such as the doctor’s office or in a surgery center. According to Dr. Mark Mofid, these procedures should take place in an accredited ambulatory facility. Board certified plastic surgeons are required to use this type of facility. The reason this is critical is that these facilities must undergo regular inspections to maintain their credentials. They also must keep emergency equipment on hand in case an emergency arises.
If your procedure requires anesthesia, then there should be a certified anesthetist or anesthesiologist onsite as well to administer the anesthesia.
What Is the Recovery Process?
Finally, before you decide on a plastic surgeon, you should also inquire about the recovery process. What happens once the procedure is completed? Dr. Mark Mofid suggests that you and your physician have a recovery plan. What happens if you need medical attention after the procedure? Is there a registered nurse or doctor available 24 hours a day in case you need to reach them? What can you expect in the 24 to 48 hours after the procedure? Knowing what to expect and who to contact for help after the procedure is an important part of the recovery process. Dr. Mark Mofid and his staff at San Diego Skin offer caring, meticulous, and individualized care from the first appointment, through the treatment and recovery period. They go to great lengths to ensure the entire plastic surgery experience is as wonderful as possible for patients. Dr. Mofid is always happy to answer any questions you may have about the recovery process.
About Dr. Mark Mofid
Dr. Mofid is board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and also by the American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. He performed his undergraduate work at Harvard University, graduating magna cum laude, and completed his medical degree and training at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, where he also completed an advanced craniofacial research fellowship.
He believes in treating his patients with compassion and offers personalized treatment and care that is as individual as each of the people he serves. He believes that care should go beyond simply performing the procedure. Each of his patients receives a thorough, highly individualized consultation prior to operation. Using state-of-the-art equipment, his patients also receive a morphing session using digital imaging software. During this session, they can see simulated before-and-after results, so they can see the outcome before the procedure even takes place.
According to Dr. Mofid, it is important to schedule a consultation with your potential surgeon to discuss your goals and concerns. This is a great opportunity to ask questions like the ones detailed in this article so that you can make an informed decision about both the procedure and the doctor.