Maybe, if your fortunate, you have a friend that guinea pigged a few surgeons already and has an amazing reference but, if not, then what do you do?
Step 1: Referrals
Referrals are king. Depending on the community you live in, and how discreet you want to be, think of asking friends who have had good results with their surgeon or has heard of one with excellent results. Maybe your aesthetician, your laser technician or even your hairdresser. What’s the word around town?
Step 2: Go Online
Being a little more discreet? Perhaps you live in an Amish community and would prefer not to be excommunicated (sad attempt at a joke, no offense Amish ladies)? Then hitchhike to your nearest Starbucks and go online! Do a search for ‘plastic surgeons in [your area]’.
If you live in a small town then maybe go outside your limits a bit and check in the nearest city. Check out their websites. Most plastic surgeons sites have ‘before and after’ pics. Check those out.
Step 3: Reviews, Reviews, Reviews
Search under google for ‘Dr. [name of doctor] Reviews’. Consider reviews, but only as part of the decision process, not as the end all be all. These days doctors actually hire people to keep an eagle eye out for bad reviews then follow with two or three phony positives.
Also, one disgruntled patient can wreak a whole lot of havoc on a doctor that perhaps was not at fault. Maybe she ate two big macs a day after lipo or bench pressed the week of her breast implants? So even though it’s important to check, be a little cynical and then look into it more.
Now narrow it down to the five that resonate with you. You’ll get a feeling. And remember who you picked because we use them again in the point system below.
Step 4: Employ a Point System
Once you have your five top options, make appointments for consultations. After you visit each office, rate the experience from 1-5 on each of the following criteria:
Do you feel a connection?
Yes there should be a connection – to an extent. A connection of mutual understanding, comfort and confidence. Remember that you aren’t looking for a boyfriend, but if you find one, awesome.
Just don’t let him practice on you. Been there, done that, and ended up with stripper boobs (nothing against strippers, of course, but big ass boobs are not wardrobe practical). Trust me on this. (Rate 0 for ‘Put down the scalpel!’ – 5 for ‘When can we start?)
Before and After Pics !
You should be able to peruse a veritable supply of photos showing how the surgeon has captured the desirable results in patients like you, again and again and again. (Rate 0 for ‘What, you have no photos?’ – 5 for ‘WOW! Sign me up!’)
Is the office staff happy and well-preserved? Think about it. (Rate 0 for ‘Lord, they look like wax dolls’ – 5 for ‘OMG, did you do that here?’)
Can you afford it? Never choose based on price. If you can’t afford the surgeon of your choice then wait! (Rate 0 if they try and sell you on other procedures – 5 if they give you a detailed personalized quote on the procedure that you asked them about)
to an extent. How did they do on their reviews? Refer back to Step 3 above. (Rate 0 for ‘OMG scary!’, 5 for ‘people really love you man’)
Ask Questions. Get Answers
and see if your surgeon really has your best interests at heart. Does she take her time? Does she care, or at least pretend, to care about you? Does he/she try try to upsell you?
Trust your gut. (Rate 0 if he/she tries to up sell you on other procedures – 5 if you leave feeling well informed and comfortable).
This is not a science, ladies,but these are useful steps when trying to thin out the herd. Always remember,though, that sometimes even the best doctors get bad results and there is always a risk that you could be that one bad case.
Have you seen ‘Botched‘ ?