An alternative title to this blog post is, “How to vet a website” or another way to say it is “how to sniff out B.S. on a website”! This guide is here to help you evaluate different aspects of a cosmetic surgeon’s website and determine what’s fact, what’s fiction and ultimately how to protect yourself from white coat deception.
At the beginning of every cosmetic surgery website, the doctor states their philosophy, sort of like a mission statement. If they start off saying, “cosmetic surgery is the combination of art and science” or some variation of that statement, that’s a point against them! It doesn’t mean they’re not a good doctor but it’s such a cliche, you’d hope they would try to be a little more creative.
Credentials of the Plastic Surgeon vs Cosmetic Surgeon
As you scroll down their webpage, they should start to mention their credentials. This can get pretty tricky. If they say they’re a plastic surgeon AND they state they’re board certified in plastic surgery, you can be confident that they have undergone the most rigorous training in cosmetic surgery. It doesn’t mean they’re the best doctor or that they don’t make mistakes, but it does mean they have the most experience possible coming out of their plastic surgery training program. I mentioned it was tricky because sometimes they’ll say they’re a cosmetic surgeon but never mention plastic surgery. That’s because there are no rules on who can say they’re a cosmetic surgeon or not. It’s like saying something is “organic”. You think you know what it means but in actuality, there’s no nationally recognized standard. So remember, if they only mention cosmetic surgeon but never plastic surgeon, they’re hiding something.
That being said, you could assume that someone that states they’re a plastic surgeon, is a real plastic surgeon. Not always true. Take a look at the screenshot from a doctor’s website below. This doctor mentions plastic surgery multiple times on his site, stating at least once “One of Texas’ Leading Plastic Surgeons”. But as you read further, he mentions that he’s board certified in dermatology, not plastic surgery. Note the picture below with arrows highlighting interesting teaching points. The caption details these teaching points further.
Another really easy way to determine if someone is a real cosmetic surgeon (ie a plastic surgeon), is to look for the following icons or logos that readily identify them as a board certified plastic surgeon.
I haven’t seen anyone using these logos when they weren’t a plastic surgeon so hopefully that kind of fraud won’t occur.
The Photo Gallery
Let’s move on to the photo gallery on their website…. but you say they don’t have a photo gallery?! I’m not saying that only competent plastic surgeons have pre and postop photos on their site, but I will say that I don’t understand why surgeons wouldn’t want to show off their work, especially since photos are what patients are looking for. While others may disagree, I believe that the more photos a surgeon posts, the more excellent results he/she has. Remember that no one would post bad results on their site. So it stands to reason that if they post many photos of a particular procedure, they statistically have achieved good results in a higher percentage of those procedures. Keep in mind that for facial procedures, a doctor may have many great outcomes but since a photo of the face would reveal someone’s identity, those patients may not have given their doctor permission to post their photos. But back to my point…Dr. Motykie, a participating BuildMyBod plastic surgeon, has more examples of his tummy tuck results than I’ve ever seen on any other website! See the screenshot of his tummy tuck photo gallery below. To peruse his personal website more, click here. With so many photos, a clear listing of his credentials and licensure by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, you can be confident he’s a real plastic surgeon.
If you’re still not sure if someone is a real cosmetic surgeon that has completed plastic surgery training to become a board certified or board eligible plastic surgeon, you can find out by going to www.plasticsurgery.org, surgery.org or buildmybod.com. Also, if you want a list of questions that provide a basic guideline of what you should ask your plastic surgeon during a consultation, click here and print out these questions.
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