Unfortunately, there is no law preventing any licensed doctor from calling himself or herself a cosmetic surgeon. A number of under-qualified practitioners have decided to make a quick buck by hanging up a shingle and performing plastic surgery procedures, so it is critical that patients be savvy in selecting a physician who can skillfully, safely and ethically address their cosmetic surgery needs.
Dr. John Smoot, and Dr. Wendell Smoot, cosmetic surgeons in the La Jolla, San Diego, California area, are all long-standing American Society of Plastic Surgeons members. Peace of mind comes from knowing these physicians have undergone years of rigorous surgical training and are constantly in tune with the very latest innovations in their field.
As you venture forth to consider plastic surgery, be sure to come armed with questions for your potential surgeon. It is essential that you locate a doctor you can trust with intricate and complex procedures that, when done improperly, can cause pain and suffering, and at worst, have disfiguring consequences:
Is your potential doctor board certified?
You will want a doctor that is board certified with the American Board of Plastic Surgery. Be wary. Many doctors claim certification or even pose as triple board certified. Call the American Society of Plastic Surgeons or ASPS at 1-888-4-PLASTIC (1-888-475-2784). This organization can tell which surgeons are actually board certified and have great credentials. Visit the ASPS web site for more information.
How many (of your specific procedure) has the doctor performed?
Training and certification is an excellent starting point, but experience is also essential. You really don't want to be a test case for a physician who is just learning a procedure. Make sure your surgeon is well practiced.
Can you review before and after pictures?
Ask to see before and after photos. Carefully examine these to get an idea of what your surgeon can achieve. Be sure to ask what amount of time has transpired between each photo.
Could you speak to a patient who has undergone the procedure?
Although many patients are sensitive about their cosmetic surgeries and would prefer to remain anonymous, in some cases a doctor may have a few that are willing to speak with prospective patients. Talk to some patients that have gone through the procedure you are considering. Learn about the amount of pain and discomfort involved and how long it took for complete healing to occur. Would they choose to undergo the process again?
If the surgery would be performed in an outpatient facility or the doctor's office, is that facility state licensed and Medicare certified?
If a facility is both state licensed and Medicare certified, this means strict safety, management, operational, and sterilization procedures are followed. Also ask if a hospital has given your physician privileges to perform surgeries in his/her office. There may be a reason they only perform office surgeries, and that reason could be that they do not have hospital privileges.
Who would actually perform your surgery and the necessary follow-up care?
Will the actual doctor with whom you had the consultation perform your surgery or procedure, or might some of it be handled by a less experienced surgeon? Check carefully into your post-operative care. Often, patients will not see their surgical physician for any of the required follow up.
If you are interviewing potential cosmetic surgeons, please contact the offices of Dr. John Smoot, and Dr. Wendell Smoot to schedule a cosmetic surgery consultation or call 800.715.5052 today.
Wendell Smoot, M.D.
John Smoot, M.D.
Reza Sadrian, M.D.
Carol Hollan, M.D.
9850 Genesee Ave. #300, #380
La Jolla, CA 92037
Phone No: (858) 587-9850
Fax: (858) 622-2066
If you live near La Jolla or elsewhere in San Diego and would like to learn more about abdominoplasty or liposuction, contact our practice today.