Choosing a doctor for breast implant surgery

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Once you have decided that breast augmentation surgery is for you, the next step is to find a doctor. This article walks you through the steps recommended to help you choose the right doctor for you.


Start by asking around. Do you have any friends or family who've had breast augmentation surgery? Go to them first and ask them about their experiences. Ask your family doctor if she can recommend anyone to perform the surgery.

Then contact the hospitals in your area. Ask which board-certified plastic surgeons have operating privileges in the hospital. This privilege signifies official hospital approval for the surgeon, and is a sign of confidence.

As a last resort, check the yellow pages or online advertisements. And keep in mind that plastic surgery is a highly competitive field and there are many different surgeons and practices eager for your business.

Get some questions answered

Once you've gotten your list of possible surgeons, track down the following info to help narrow the list:

  1. Check with the appropriate medical board in your state. Make sure the surgeon is licensed and has no pending cases against him.
  2. The county clerk or circuit court in your area should be able to tell you whether the surgeon has any malpractice suits on record. Malpractice suits don't always mean a bad surgeon, but 3 or more cases within a 5-year period should be considered a warning sign.
  3. Verify both credentials and training. Most doctors say they're "board-certified," but certified by which board? Is the board of certification even recognized by your state?
  4. Make sure the surgeon has hospital admittance privileges in case there is a complication during surgery.
  5. Verify that the anesthesiologist is either a CRNA (certified registered nurse anesthetist) or a physician anesthesiologist.
  6. Read the patient consent form and ask all your questions before signing it. Proper communication throughout all the steps of the surgical process will result in greater satisfaction for both you and your doctor.

Verifying certification

The American Board of Medical Specialties has a free online service (requires registration) that allows you to search based on your doctor's name for board certification status. Go here to verify all certifications.

Follow your instincts

Always meet face-to-face and trust your gut instincts. If there's something about the surgeon you don't like, keep looking. There are dozens of doctors perfectly willing and able to perform breast augmentation for you - there's no reason to settle.