6 Tips for Finding a Plastic Surgeon in Phoenix AZ

The Blog
Dr. Jude LaBarbera, MD Plastic Surgeon


6 Tips for Finding a Plastic Surgeon in Phoenix AZ

Plastic surgery has made giant leaps over the last few years, thanks to advances in medical technology. Plastic surgeons are now able to deliver dozens of procedures and achieve precise results in even the most complicated surgeries. Likewise, patients are becoming increasingly comfortable with these procedures. In the past, cosmetic surgery used to be a preserve for Hollywood celebrities and a select few. Nowadays, the figures point to an entirely different situation. 

According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, there were over 1.8 million cosmetic surgery procedures, and 15.9 cosmetic minimally-invasive procedures in the United States in 2018. The most popular plastic surgery treatments were breast augmentation, liposuction, rhinoplasty, eyelid surgery, and tummy tuck in that order. The leading non-surgically (minimally-invasive) treatments in the country were BOTOX, soft tissue fillers, chemical peels, laser hair removal, and microdermabrasion. 

Nowadays, individuals who are looking to address cosmetic concerns in a particular part of their body find that they have ample procedures to choose from. More so, the number of plastic surgeons in the country has increased dramatically over the last 20 years. You must find and work with a highly seasoned plastic surgeon in order to increase your chance of getting a satisfactory procedure outcome. This page offers crucial tips to help you find the best plastic surgeon in Phoenix. 

Steps to Find the Right Plastic Surgeon in Phoenix AZ

The truth is that there is no ‘one size fits all’ plastic surgeon. Even if you are looking to get the exact same procedure as a friend, their plastic surgeon might not be the best fit for you. It is up to you to qualify them, assess their skills, and gauge your comfort level. At the end of the day, you do not want to have your procedure performed by a professional who makes you feel uncomfortable. Many seasoned surgeons understand that selecting a plastic surgeon is a highly individualized choice and thus will not pressure into making a decision. 

Follow the following steps to find the right plastic surgeon for your cosmetic procedure:

1. Look for Board Certification 

Before a plastic surgeon comes up on your shortlist, they should be certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS). The ABPS is the official certifying body for plastic surgeons in the country. To be eligible, plastic surgeons undergo a rigorous certification process and have to meet stringent requirements. Additionally, check to see whether the plastic surgeon is a member of the ASPS. This is a global specialty organization that advances quality care by encouraging high standards of training, ethics, physician practice, and research in plastic surgery. In other words, the ASPS fosters the highest quality, professional, and ethical standards in cosmetic and reconstructive plastic surgery. To be a member, plastic surgeons need to maintain rigorous training and patient safety standards. 

Given that many untrained and unqualified plastic surgeons are advertising themselves by the title ‘cosmetic surgeons’, checking for ABPS certification and additionally ASPS membership is a crucial first step. These credentials tell you that the said surgeon is highly trained and also qualified to deliver the procedure you are interested in. 

2. Assess the Surgeon’s Skills and Training

The next step to finding the best surgeons in Phoenix AZ for your cosmetic procedure is to assess their surgical skills and training. How do you do this? By checking for this information on their website, or asking during your initial consultation. You want to see that the surgeon’s style and approach are attuned to your aesthetic goals. What surgical methods do they offer to suit varying patient needs? All in all, some surgeons have special training in fields such as microsurgery that can come in handy when performing some procedures. All in all, the bottom line is that the right plastic surgeon should be able to customize each procedure to the patient’s precise requirements. Consider coming up with a shortlist of 3 surgeons based on the information you gather and schedule a consultation with each one of them before making a final decision. 

3. Confirm Competence and Experience in the Procedure you Want

Different surgeons have different levels of experience in varying procedures. It is not uncommon for a plastic surgeon to be extremely experienced in breast augmentation surgery while they only have considerable experience in other procedures (let’s say hernia repair). Look for indicators that the specific specialist you are interested in has successfully performed dozens (even hundreds) of the type of procedure you are interested in. This is important to alleviate your anxiety and increase your confidence level as you plan ahead for the surgery. 

4. Ask to See Before and After Photos

During consultations to find the best plastic surgeon in the city of Phoenix AZ, make sure to ask for before and after photos from past patients. These give you a good impression of the kind of aesthetic outcome the surgeon can achieve. Testimonials and case studies are also valuable. Consider checking for patient reviews on the surgeon’s website or popular forums – or even contacting a referred past patient – to get honest feedback regarding the plastic surgeon’s work. 

5. Pay Attention to How the Surgeon and Their Team Make you Feel 

Surgery is a huge deal and there may be challenges along the way. To start with, you experience downtime ranging from at least a week to a few months following the procedure. This is a time when you will be unable to undertake your regular work routine. You will need to rest, care for your wounds, and stay away from work. To lay the groundwork for a proper recovery, it is important that you feel comfortable about this journey right from the start. Pay attention to how the plastic surgeon and their support team make you feel right from the first consultation visit. It is important to select a Phoenix plastic surgeon whom you like and you can completely trust with your safety and results. 

6. Learn About the Operating Facility 

Your safety during surgery is the number one priority. Plastic surgeons may choose to perform the procedure in an in-office operating room or accredited health facility. Keep in mind that accredited operating rooms are equipped with crucial life support systems just in case something went wrong during the procedure. Ask your plastic surgeon where they are going to perform the surgery, and whether the facility has AAAASF, AAAHC, JCAHO, or IMQ certifications. Also, ask about the anesthesiologist’s qualifications. You want your anesthesia to be administered by a Board Certified Anesthesiologist, or a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA).