While Scottsdale is known for its fine dining, spring training, and world class shopping, the world of plastic surgery is also discreetly in full swing. Having treated many patients who came to me after their surgeries did not go as planned, these are the five most important plastic surgery questions you should ask before going under the knife. 

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1. Are you Board Certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery? 

The American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS) is the only recognized board for Plastic Surgeons. To obtain this certification, a surgeon must complete a 6-to-8-year authorized training program, pass a 300-question written test, and then complete an 8-hour oral exam. While any doctor can take a training course or fellowship to become a “certified cosmetic surgeon”, it is not the same level of training. Be sure to review your surgeon’s education.

2. What is the follow up plan? 

Dr. Roni Prucz is an award-winning and top-ranked Board Certified Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon and Founder of Phoenix Plastic Surgery.

I have treated many patients who had surgery outside the country. Unfortunately, these patients had four-to-eight-hour procedures and some never see their surgeon post-operatively. After returning home many of these patients end up in the hospital or our clinic looking for help. In general, any cosmetic procedure should have at least a one week, two week, and 4-6 week follow-up. It’s important to be seen regularly by your provider.

3. What do you do when things don’t go right? 

No matter how talented or skilled a surgeon may be complications happen. Any surgeon that puts forward a perfect track record or promises unrealistic results is misleading you, and all patients should be made aware of the risks of their surgery. How a surgeon handles their complications is important. Do they offer extra care? Do they personally see the patient? Do they charge for revision surgeries? All these items should be addressed pre-operatively. 

4. How many of these operations do you do? 

Some surgeons have very niche training while others have a broader focus. There are pluses and minuses to each. The surgeon who performs only one or two procedures may do that surgery well but may become “cookie cutter” if that is all they do. They may also not have the surgical skills needed to treat unexpected problems. Conversely, a broadly trained surgeon can perform all procedures and can treat any surprising issues. A possible drawback to this surgeon is they may not have performed your specific procedure enough to ensure the optimal result unless they have several years of experience. Do not be afraid to ask your surgeon’s comfort level with your surgery.

5. Why should I pick you? 

This may seem like a strange question and everyone will want to hear a different response. But ultimately how the physician answers will either strike a chord that makes you comfortable or sends you running. Not only is a surgeon’s intelligence, training, and ability important, but you must also like the person and enjoy spending time at their office with their staff. 

After reviewing these questions, the next thing to do is ask around and read reviews. In general, negative reviews and the surgeon’s responses are as important as the five-star accolades. Also, if you’re lucky enough to have a friend who is a nurse or anesthesiologist, they will be able to give you the inside information. Plastic surgery can be a rewarding and life-changing procedure if you make sure to do your homework in advance.

Editor’s note: This article is brought to you in collaboration with Scottsdale Professionals Collective.

Author: Dr. Roni Prucz is an award-winning and top-ranked Board Certified Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon and Founder of Phoenix Plastic Surgery. Combining his background in engineering with the artistry of plastic surgery allows him to create custom treatment plans to provide the symmetry and natural results that patients from all over the country seek. He has been named by other physicians as a Phoenix Magazine Top Doctor for Plastic Surgery of the Face and Body, Paradise Valley’s Top Physicians, and he is the No. 1 Ranked Plastic Surgeon in Phoenix.