January 4, 2008, Newsletter Issue #51: Finding a Qualified Breast Reconstruction Surgeon

Tip of the Week

Selecting a qualified breast reconstruction surgeon is very important because it can have a significant impact on the outcome of the procedure. The following checklist will help a patient to determine whether or not a particular breast reconstruction plastic surgeon is a good candidate to perform the procedure:

Are you a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons? Surgeons who are members of this society are certified to perform plastic surgery, perform procedures in accredited medical facilities, adhere to a strict code of ethics and participate in continuing education programs. It also assures the surgeon has had at least five years of medical training and two years of training specifically in plastic surgery. Can you provide before and after pictures of previous breast reconstruction patients? These photos will provide telling evidence of the surgeonís skill level.How many breast reconstruction surgeries have you performed in the past year? This question will give the patient a good indication of the level of experience the surgeon has with this type of procedure. Some plastic surgeons may specialize in breast reconstruction surgeries and perform many of these operations each year while others may have fairly limited experience with the procedure.Finally, the patient should ask any questions which she may have about the procedure and the recovery period. In evaluating these answers for accuracy and honesty the patient will be able to gauge whether or not she feels as though she can trust the surgeon and feels comfortable with the surgeon. This is important because a patient who trusts and is comfortable with the surgeon is more likely to be honest about her concerns about the procedure.

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