There are over 35 plastic surgeons in Tarrant County. From Colleyville and Southlake in the north, to Mansfield and Burleson in the south; from west Fort Worth to Arlington and Grapevine in the east, there’s likely to be a plastic surgeon’s office within a few miles of your home. If you add in doctors who have undergone other types of training and call themselves cosmetic surgeons or facial plastic surgeons, there are even more options. So, how do you choose? How can you know who to go see?
Look At The Credentials
The bells and whistles of a doctor’s website can be distracting. Sometimes purposefully so. Don’t get distracted. Look for the credentials. They’ll tell you a lot. For instance, look at the training of the surgeon. Is the surgeon a plastic surgeon? Almost all surgeons who completed training in an accredited plastic surgery program make it easy to find that on the website. The surgeon’s bio states she/he completed a plastic surgery training program at a university. Someone who is a facial plastic surgeon, on the other hand, probably didn’t complete a plastic surgery training program. A surgeon who indicates she/he is a facial plastic surgeon may be a great surgeon, but that person probably completed an ENT program (ears, nose, throat), not a program accredited by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. Is that the best surgeon to be doing your tummy tuck? You have to decide. The more information you know before undergoing your surgery, the better.
A growing number of surgeons market themselves as cosmetic surgeons. Look closely. Almost all plastic surgeons do cosmetic surgery. It is an integral part of their typical 6-8 year plastic surgery training. A surgeon who markets herself/himself as a cosmetic surgeon may not have completed a plastic surgery training program. Some of the facial plastic surgeons are cosmetic surgeons too. There are many types of surgeons whose websites and marketing materials indicate they are cosmetic surgeons. In some cases, these are people who trained in urology or orthopedic surgery and then spent a year doing cosmetic surgery procedures at one of 27 private practice offices across the country. Once they do that, they may be certified by the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery. Clearly many of those surgeons do great work. Fantastic even. Some people might question, however, whether they want a urologist or orthopedic surgeon doing their facelift. If your surgeon shows certification by the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery, that just might be the case.
The American Board of Plastic Surgery is one of 24 medical specialty boards that joined together to form the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS). The boards work together to protect the public by assessing and certifying doctors who meet specific training, educational, and professional standards and requirements. The American Board of Cosmetic Surgery is not a member of ABMS. Is that important? Each person has to decide for herself.
Fort Worth Top Doctor Awards
Each year two local magazines, 360 West and Fort Worth Magazine, ask Tarrant County physicians to submit names of doctors they think are the best in the area. The magazines add up the votes and publish the results. I have been honored to be a ‘TopDoc’ 20 times by Fort Worth Magazine, and 5 times by 360 West (360 West has only been doing this award for 5 years). Texas Monthly magazine does this every year as well. I have been named a Super Doctor 17 times by Texas Monthly. Do awards like this really matter when trying to select which surgeon to do your surgery? Maybe not. But they do indicate something.
How To Choose A Cosmetic Plastic Surgeon
It’s really a personal decision. Sometimes a friend or family member recommends a particular surgeon. Often the search begins online. If you look at websites, look for some of the information listed above. Narrow your list of candidate surgeons. Visit with two or three. You may find the training, credentialing, and awards to be similar, but you just ‘mesh’ better with one surgeon than the other. There probably isn’t one “best” plastic surgeon. Do your research, have a few visits, then make your decision with confidence!