Cosmetic Surgeon

What to Look for When Any Doctor Could Be a “Cosmetic Doctor”

Cosmetic surgeon examining woman's face during consultation.

You might see the terms “cosmetic surgeon” and “plastic surgeon” used interchangeably, but there is a notable difference: Cosmetic surgeons focus on elective procedures for cosmetic purposes, while plastic surgeons focus on reconstructive surgery to restore normal function and/or appearance of a particular area. While many plastic surgeons also offer elective procedures, cosmetic surgeons focus entirely on this area.

So if you are looking for a cosmetic procedure such as a facelift, brow lift, breast augmentation or tummy tuck, choosing a cosmetic surgeon makes the most sense. But how do you choose the right cosmetic surgeon? Look for these five factors during your search.

1. Experience

Double-check qualifications and experience during your consultation. This is the most important factor when choosing a surgeon.

Your cosmetic surgeon should have years of experience performing the specific procedure you’re considering. Find out if this cosmetic surgeon has a specialty, then see if that specialty matches up with your needs. For example, a cosmetic surgeon who focuses on facial procedures might not be the best fit for you if you’re thinking about getting breast implants with a breast lift.

2. Personal Recommendations

Do you have a friend or family member who has had cosmetic surgery? Ask them for their personal recommendations. If you don’t know anyone yourself, a friend or family member might know someone who has had experience with a cosmetic surgeon, so ask anyway.

You can also check for online reviews and customer testimonials written by people who know about a particular cosmetic surgeon or practice. See what other people have to say to help you narrow down your search in the beginning.

3. Red Flags in Photos

Most cosmetic surgery offices post before and after photos on their websites to help you get an idea of the level of expertise and results that this cosmetic surgeon has been able to achieve in the past. But, as with everything on the Internet, you have to be on the lookout for red flags.

Just a few common red flags to look for in before and photos include:

  • Photos that appear to be very outdated
  • Photos that appear to have very different lighting and/or are in an entirely different setting
  • Photos that appear to feature two different people in the before and after

4. Hospital Affiliations

Reputable cosmetic surgeons should have hospital privileges with an accredited facility. That way, if there are any complications during your procedure, you can rest assured that your cosmetic surgeon has access to the necessary facilities and equipment to give you the best care possible.

5. Realistic Prices

It’s not uncommon for cosmetic surgery practices to offer the occasional deal or discount on certain treatments and procedures throughout the year. But if you find a doctor who is offering the same services for well below the average price you see everywhere else, this should raise a red flag.

While there’s nothing wrong with saving where you can, you don’t want to risk your health and safety for a bottom-dollar price on cosmetic surgery that seems too good to be true.


What to Look for When Any Doctor Could Be a “Cosmetic Doctor”
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What to Look for When Any Doctor Could Be a “Cosmetic Doctor”
Is a cosmetic surgeon a plastic surgeon? What should you look for? Cosmetic surgeon Dr. James Koehler of Fairhope shares the answers to these top questions.
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March 18, 2020
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