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Going under the knife? Here's how to confidently find a qualified doctor, surgical facility

Surgical team.

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This article is sponsored by Careaga Plastic Surgery.


Opting to go under the knife is a big decision in and of itself. The other big choices are finding the right doctor and the right surgical facility.

Once you've decided which procedure you're interested in, there are some questions you need to ask and answers you need to hear before deciding what surgeon you will use and at which facility you will have your surgery.

One of the most important things to know is that there is a big difference between a board-certified plastic surgeon and a cosmetic surgeon.

Dr. Daniel Careaga, owner of and lead surgeon at Careaga Plastic Surgery, said you want to be 100% sure your surgeon is board-certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery.

"There are some who refer to themselves as cosmetic surgeons -- there is absolutely no credentialing for that. There is absolutely no board certification," Careaga said.

[RELATED: Click here to find out if your potential surgeon is board certified]

Next, make a consultation with the surgeon and for the surgery or procedure you are inquiring about.

Dr. Paul D. Durand said the consultation is probably the most important part of the patient-doctor relationship for any procedure.

With that, a key part of choosing what procedure is appropriate for you is looking at before and after pictures.

"Every patient is different," Durand said. "It's important that you look at before and after pictures of people that look like you as a patient."

Careaga said there are many people who tell him they would prefer to undergo surgery in a hospital, because they believe it is safer.

"Outpatient surgery is as safe as hospital-based surgery when you are choosing the right operation, the right facility and the right patient," he said.

Are you considering elective surgery? There are more questions you should note before going to meet with your potential surgeon, such as:

  • Were you trained specifically in the field of plastic surgery?
  • What are the risks and complications associated with this procedure?
  • How many procedures of this type have you performed?
  • Am I a good candidate for this procedure?
  • How are complications handled?
  • What type of anesthesia will be used?
  • How long of a recovery period can I expect, and what kind of help will I need during my recovery?
  • What are my options if I am dissatisfied with the outcome of my surgery?

Are you interested in plastic surgery and have more questions? Contact Careaga Plastic Surgery by clicking here or calling 305-910-2847.