If you are considering a cosmetic surgery procedure such as breast augmentation, liposuction or a tummy tuck, the most important decision you will make is selecting a cosmetic surgeon.
There are a number of cosmetic surgeons in the Mississauga and Brampton area, so how do you assess which one is right for you?
5 Important Things to Consider When Selecting a Cosmetic Surgeon
- Cosmetic Surgeon Credentials
According to the Canadian Society of Plastic Surgeons, although a number of cosmetic surgery procedures are available in Canada, “not all practitioners are surgeons or plastic surgeons.”
If a physician refers to themselves as a “Cosmetic Surgeon”, they may or may not be trained as surgeons. This means the same general physician who treats you for colds and flus is allowed to perform a cosmetic procedure.
On the other hand, plastic surgeons are physicians that are trained specifically to perform these procedures. Plastic surgeons complete a minimum of five years of training in surgery after they receive their medical degrees. They are also required to pass an exhaustive examination administered by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. Once they pass this exam, they are certified to practice reconstructive and cosmetic plastic surgery.
Therefore, your first criterion for selecting a cosmetic surgeon should be whether or not the doctor is a surgeon trained to perform these specific procedures. The accreditations you should confirm are:
- Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada
- Canadian Society of Plastic Surgeons
- Canadian Society for Aesthetic (Cosmetic) Plastic Surgery
- The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario
You should also research the surgeon’s experience level; how long has he or she been performing cosmetic surgery procedures. In addition, the surgeon should have hospital admitting privileges so they are able to use a hospital facility if required.
- Cosmetic Surgery Areas of Specialization
Once you have identified board-certified cosmetic surgeons in your geographical area, your next consideration should be their areas of specialty.
Some cosmetic surgeons perform more body shaping procedures such as tummy tucks, liposuction, butt lifts, and breast enlargement or re-shaping, while others concentrate their practices on facial procedures such as face and eyelid lifts.
You should know which of these areas the cosmetic surgeon you are considering spends more time practising – body shaping or facial rejuvenation.
When you contact potential clinics, simply ask if the surgeon specializes in body or face procedures. Reduce your list of potential surgeons to those who specialize in your area of interest.
- The Cosmetic Surgery Clinic/Facility
The clinic or facility where your procedure will be performed should be certified by the Out-of-Hospital Premises Inspection Program (OHPIP) developed by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario.
The College was given the authority to administer this program in 2010 to provide oversight of cosmetic surgery performed in facilities outside of hospitals. This (OHPIP) certification validates that the clinic operates under the same medical and safety standards as a hospital.
You should ask any clinic you are considering if they have been validated by the OHPIP program.
When you visit the clinic(s) you are considering, you should get a sense of how the clinic operates:
- Is the staff friendly, helpful, and professional?
- Is the clinic well-maintained and of a standard you would expect for a surgical facility?
- Do you have an overall comfort level with the facility and the way in which you are treated?
- The Consultation
Once you narrow the potential cosmetic surgeons in your local area, you will need to book a consultation with the clinic(s). The consultation is a crucial step in you making an informed decision.
Typically, the consultation will begin with an in-depth discussion with a cosmetic procedure consultant. The consultant should first and foremost be concerned with your needs; why you are considering cosmetic surgery, your expected outcomes, how knowledgeable you are about the procedure, financial considerations, etc.
The consultant should be empathetic. To this end, it is beneficial if the consultant has experienced cosmetic surgery so they can offer first hand insight and answers to your questions.
Once you have met with the consultant and have been deemed a good candidate for your desired procedure, you should request to meet with the surgeon who will be performing the surgery.
This will give you an opportunity to determine your comfort level with the surgeon:
- Does he or she listen to you intently?
- Does he or she answer your questions patiently, carefully, and in language you can understand?
- Does he or she make you feel comfortable and give you confidence?
- Does the surgeon have good “bedside manners”?
- Will the surgeon take good care of you post-procedure?
- Is this someone who makes you comfortable?
The consultation experience should give you a high level of confidence in the surgeon, the supporting medical and office staff, and the cosmetic surgery facility.
- Results/Outcomes of Cosmetic Surgery Procedures
You should have a clear understanding of what to expect from your cosmetic procedure. There are two ways to get a good sense of your potential outcome: before and after images, and information you secure during your consultation.
View before and after images of the patients of the cosmetic surgeon you are considering. These pictures should not be “glam photos”. They should be of people you can relate to; those with similar characterises so you get a good sense of what you can expect.
During your consultation, ask the consultant and surgeon what can realistically be achieved; are your expectations based on similar patients, will you look natural after your procedure, do you have the right body type for the outcome you desire, etc.
You must go into cosmetic surgery with your eyes wide open in order to be unconditionally pleased with the result.
Should Price Be a Primary Consideration?
Having cosmetic surgery is a decision you make for a lifetime. Often times, these procedures are life-changing so the one thing you should not include in your top five considerations is price. Having cosmetic surgery is not like buying a consumer item – you should not make a decision based on the lowest price.
All reputable cosmetic surgery clinics will be within an acceptable range in terms of pricing, plus or minus 10%. If you receive a quotation that is significantly lower than the others, this should raise a red flag.
Make an Informed Decision
To have maximum confidence in the results of your surgery, you should select a cosmetic surgeon and clinic based on these criteria:
- Is the surgeon board certified?
- Does the surgeon specialize in the procedure you are considering?
- Do the results that other people experienced match with your expectations and the outcome you desire?
- Is the clinic properly accredited for professionalism and safety?
- Was your consultation experience positive and did it leave you with a good feeling about the surgeon and the clinic?
Making a thoughtful decision about your cosmetic surgeon will ensure that your procedure will result in a positive and safe experience – and an outcome that meets or exceeds your expectations.
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month
The month of October is the Canadian Cancer Society’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The main themes for the awareness campaign are get involved, get screened, and get support.
We urge you to visit the Canadian Cancer Society’s website to learn more about this very important awareness program.
>> The Brampton Cosmetic Surgery Center and Medical Spa has been performing cosmetic procedures in the Mississauga, Brampton and Greater Toronto Areas since 1994 under the direction of Dr. Robert Sleightholm. If you are considering a cosmetic surgery procedure, please contact us to arrange for a consultation.
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