Choosing Your Plastic Surgeon

Serving Altoona, State College, Johnstown, DuBois, and Nearby Pennsylvania

You have decided to opt for plastic surgery to enhance your physical appearance. Now it is time for the challenging part — choosing a plastic surgery provider you can genuinely trust.

Many people struggle with this step because:

  • They are not fully committed to surgery in the first place
  • They make the mistake of choosing a surgeon without doing their homework or asking the right questions

You can avoid these pitfalls by using our handy summary of what to look for in a plastic surgeon and facility.

Getting Started

Make sure you are prepared when you visit each center or call up the practices. Remember that most plastic surgery practices charge a fee for the initial consultation, but it will not cost you any money to have a phone conversation with the staff.

You can also take trips to the centers you are interested in and have a look around, even without an appointment. The good news is the initial consultations do not require any obligation; they are purely to help you choose the right surgeon and procedure for your individual needs.

Qualifications

Ask your plastic surgeon to thoroughly detail his or her background, training, and special qualifications related to your procedure of choice. Ideally, you want to choose a plastic surgeon who either specializes in your procedure of choice or who has performed many of those procedures in the past.

Board Certification

It is of the utmost importance that you choose a plastic surgeon who is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS) as well as the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS). This will ensure that your surgeon has undergone the most extensive training possible in the field and keeps up on the latest developments and advances in techniques and technology.

Experience and Safety

Ask each surgeon about his experience, not just in the general field of plastic surgery, but also with the specific treatment you are seeking. You have every right to ask the staff members about their backgrounds and experience as well. Your surgeon and his staff should also demonstrate a commitment to safety in all aspects of the procedure. It is important to ask potential surgeons about their safety record.

Facility

Ask each practice to give you specific details about their plastic surgery facility. Do they have an on-site surgical center? Is the facility accredited by one or more major accreditation organizations? You should also ask if the plastic surgeon has privileges at local hospitals in case of emergency, or in case you choose to have the procedure performed in a hospital setting.

Professionalism

Evaluate the level of professionalism exhibited by every member of the practice you meet. From the first phone call, your inquiries should be handled with a fair amount of respect, kindness, and directness. In general, a high level of professionalism speaks to the skills, experience, and quality of care that is provided.

Questions to Ask Your Plastic Surgeon

When deciding on the right plastic surgery practice for you, it is important that you ask the doctor and staff all of the questions you have in order to get straight answers that will help you make an informed decision. You might also want to talk to other friends and family members who have had plastic surgery performed. It is always a good idea to review the plastic surgery center’s website and take notes on important points you would like to explore further during your consultation.

Do not be afraid to speak your mind both in person and over the phone — the more you know, the better prepared you are to move forward with confidence. You can also use the list below when attempting to gather information from a plastic surgery practice. Trust your instincts. If you are not happy with a response, be sure to ask for clarification or further explanation.

For more information about the services available at Blair Plastic Surgery and Dr. Robert Louton's skills and experience, please call 800-833-3888 today.

Questions You Should Ask Your Plastic Surgeon

  • What credentials/education does your plastic surgeon have?
  • Is the surgeon board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS) as well as the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS)?
  • Is the plastic surgeon a member of key professional societies and in good standing with these organizations?
  • Can you provide details on the skills and background of the plastic surgeon?
  • Do you and your staff members participate in continuing education regularly?
  • How has your practice adopted new technologies lately?
  • Tell me about your safety standards in the on-site surgical center.
  • What are the pre- and post-operative instructions for the procedure I am interested in?
  • Is your facility accredited and in good standing with major accrediting organizations (such as The American Association for Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgery Facilities or The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations)?
  • What is your facility’s protocol in an emergency situation?
  • Is there a partner hospital nearby where your surgeon has privileges?
  • Do you have a variety of before-and-after photos and written patient testimonials available to view?
  • Are there alternatives to the procedure you are recommending?
  • How much experience have you had performing this specific procedure?

Questions You Can Ask Yourself before Moving Forward

The decision to undergo plastic surgery is a very serious one that should not be taken lightly. Before moving forward with your procedure, you should ask yourself the following questions:

  • Are you choosing to enhance your appearance on your own terms?
  • Is your surgeon professional and courteous?
  • Does the staff treat you with respect?
  • Are you realistic about what plastic surgery can and cannot do?
  • Are you seeking a permanent change and willing to do the follow-up work necessary to sustain the results?
  • Are you fully aware of the potential risks involved with the procedure?
  • Is your physical and emotional health stable?
  • Are your doctor’s recommendations in line with your body goals?
  • Did you take enough time to make an informed decision about surgery?
  • Can you afford all the costs of surgery?

Please contact our Pennsylvania plastic surgery offices today to schedule your initial consultation with Dr. Robert Louton by calling 800-833-3888 or completing our online form. Blair Plastic Surgery has two convenient locations in Altoona and State College, Pennsylvania.