In these tough economic times we are all concerned with getting the best price possible even when shopping for plastic surgery. Seeking out the best savings when shopping for groceries and clothing is something I routinely do. However, I cringe at the phone calls we get from patients who are seeking a better quote from another surgeon.
First off we need to compare apples to apples, a concept which can be difficult to explain in a 30 second conversation. What area of plastic surgery is the caller interested in? If its breast augmentation, breast reduction, breast lift, liposuction or abdominoplasty I ask, “Is the quote from a board certified plastic surgeon?” If the caller is interested in facial plastic surgery I ask if their surgeon is a board certified facial plastic surgeon. You would be amazed at how many callers have no idea.
The public will contact an office and simply ask, “Is the doctor board certified?” According to the American Board of Medical Specialties, about 80% of all doctors are board certified in a specialty. The real question to ask “Is the doctor board certified by the ABPS (American Board or Plastic Surgery) or the AAFPRS (American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery)?” These are the two board certifications for plastic surgery and facial plastic surgery respectively. The ASPS and the AAFPRS has very stringent training programs, guidelines and testing in place. Currently only Texas, California, Louisiana and Florida mandate that doctors be specific about their board certification specialties. In every other state, it is legal for physicians to simply state that they are board certified.
The bottom line here is that you may pay a little more for a well trained appropriately board certified surgeon to perform your plastic surgery, but aren’t you worth is? It’s not like you are buying a new suit that you can return if the fit isn’t quite right. So when it comes to plastic surgery, ask the right questions.