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Choosing the Right Plastic Surgeon

Plastic surgery, now often referred to as cosmetic surgery, has gone through a “facelift” of sorts all its own over the years.


Plastic surgery began in the 1970s as a means for the wealthy population to slow down the aging process.  That aspect of plastic surgery has not changed. What has changed are: 

  • The types of procedures performed
  • The reasons why
  • The types of people undergoing them, especially here at Baystate.


Gone are the days when these procedures were considered to be a luxury expense for the rich and famous. Today, cosmetic surgery procedures are used by people young and old to get an edge in business, hide scars or tattoos, or even fix earlier plastic surgery work.


Selecting a certified surgeon is the single most important factor in the success of your plastic surgery. The American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS) is a wonderful resource for people to locate and research plastic surgeons across the country.  Consider a doctor certified by the ABPS.  Going on a consultation for cosmetic or plastic surgery can be intimidating. It is important to be prepared and to have completed most of your research before you go.


There's been tremendous amount of media attention on plastic surgery in general and cosmetic surgery in particular.  The potential negative effect of this attention is to trivialize the importance and the seriousness of these operations.  Anyone interested in undergoing cosmetic surgery should carefully research the procedure and the qualifications of the surgeon.


Consider and ask the following questions when researching plastic surgery:

  • Where will the procedure be performed, and at what hospital does the surgeon have privileges?
  • How the procedure is performed?
  • Are there any reasons why you may not be a good candidate for this procedure?
  • Are there any alternative procedures?
  • How often does the surgeon perform the procedure that you want?
  • How long will the surgery take?
  • What type of anesthesia will be used?
  • When can you go home?
  • How long is the recovery?
  • How long will it take to heal?
  • Ask about incisions. Where will the incisions be located and how severe can the scarring be?
  • What are the risks or complications?
  • Do they have any before and after pictures?
  • Can they provide for you a reference list of patients who have had the same procedure?
  • When can you return to your normal activities, including exercise?