Tips for Choosing the Right Surgeon
Understanding Board Certification
Make sure the surgeon you choose is board-certified in PLASTIC SURGERY by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. The American Board of Plastic Surgery website will tell you if a doctor is board-certified in plastic surgery. www.abplasticsurgery.org
Why is it so important to have a board-certified surgeon? Because legally any surgeon is permitted to do any procedure. That means even an oral surgeon could legally perform a breast augmentation. And yes, this kind of thing happens in the real world! Don’t be fooled into thinking that all board certifications are equal because they aren’t.
Requirements to become Board Certified in Plastic Surgery are very strict and include the following:
• Graduate from an accredited medical school;
• Complete at least six years of surgical training following medical school with a minimum of three years of these in a plastic surgery residency training;
• Pass comprehensive oral and written exams;
• Perform surgery in accredited, state-licensed, or Medicare-certified surgical facilities;
• Follow a strict Code of Ethics;
• Continuing medical education, including patient safety.
Check the surgeon’s record & ask about hospital privileges
Be sure to check the State of Florida Medical Board’s website which can be found at www.flboardofmedicine.gov/.
• Look for malpractice judgments, plus any disciplinary actions by the board.
• It never hurts to do a Google search too!
• Even if you’re having a plastic surgery procedure at an outpatient clinic that is not affiliated with a hospital, it’s worth asking where the doctor has hospital privileges, because hospitals do background checks. If a surgeon doesn’t have hospital privileges somewhere, that’s a red flag.
Dr. Wallace holds medical privileges at six different medical locations in Fleming Island, Orange Park, Jacksonville and Jacksonville Beach. His expertise in facial trauma was also a fundamental building block in opening the Level 2 Trauma Center at Orange Park Medical Center.
Come Armed with Questions
One crucial question for your potential surgeon is how often he or she does the procedure you’re interested in and how often he or she uses the implants you have chosen. The more frequently performed, the more experience obtained. The American Society of Plastic Surgery has a list of questions you can print out and bring with you to the doctor’s office. We suggest asking these questions at a minimum.
You should never feel rushed through the consultation with your surgeon but being well prepared will help make the best use of the time. Bring a trusted friend or family member with you. It’s easy during a consultation with your surgeon to forget even the most obvious questions. As the old saying goes, two heads are better than one!
Understanding the Risks
Although the risk of having a post-operative complication is quite low, the possibility exists, as it does with any surgical procedure.
Dr. Wallace will go over the risks in detail during your preoperative consultation so that you fully understand the risks.
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