Choosing a Plastic Surgeon after Weight-Loss Surgery – My Bariatric Life

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    Choosing a Plastic Surgeon after Massive Weight-Loss

     

    Someone told me that you do not buy a procedure. You buy a surgeon. I completely get that now. Reflecting on my tummy tuck experience 10-yrs after my gastric bypass, I have the utmost respect for and confidence in my plastic surgeon. That’s huge for me as someone who has worked in healthcare marketing most of my career and alongside physicians in peer-to-peer relationships.

     

    For one thing, having worked on a first name basis with physicians as equals, some of whom are top in their field, has transformed the way that I view healthcare and interact with my personal physicians.

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    For another thing, having worked in the pharmaceutical industry has given me insight into many side effects, adverse events, and rare diseases. Add to that my intimate, heart-breaking experience with close family members whom have had numerous serious health challenges. These experiences have both emotionally scarred me and, at the same time, empowered me.

     

    The end result is that I am very involved in my healthcare decisions and extremely discriminating when selecting doctors who will work in partnership with me. And most of all, I choose only those doctors who provide the very highest level of care. Case in point, I travel 45-minutes to my primary care physician because she is that fabulous. Why, I even drove my dog 1 hr 15 min each way, every week, to Penn Vet when she underwent chemotherapy. So when it came to selecting my plastic surgeon, I had very high criteria to meet. And in the end, my choice was clear, and it was a very good choice, indeed.

     

    If you have read all the chapters of my tummy tuck article, you well know that my surgeon’s aftercare is top notch. I would characterize it as he “held my hand” through all the worry that I experienced afterwards. Had he not done so, or had he not been a surgeon whom I trusted implicitly, then I would have been a basket case. I truly mean that. And I know for a fact that he treats all his patients this way – at least all of them that I know.

     

    The point of all this is that you need to feel this way about the surgeon you choose. Travel out of state if you must. And if you are a weight-loss surgery patient, choose a plastic surgeon who specializes in working with this patient population’s unique needs. My surgeon is the Chief of Post-Bariatric Surgery at the hospital where I had my tummy tuck. He is well-known for his body work on bariatric patients. I have since moved out of state but I will fly back to him for additional plastic surgery when the time is right.

     

    I have corresponded with too many bariatric patients who have had complications after plastic surgery and their surgeons ignored them. Don’t let this happen to you. The plastic surgery forum on ObesityHelp.com is a great resource to connect with other bariatric patients who have undergone plastic surgery after massive weight loss. They will tell you all about their experience and their surgeons. Another good resource is RealSelf.com where you can have your questions about plastic surgery answered by multiple plastic surgeons and connect with plastic surgery patients.

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    The choice of a qualified surgeon may be based on recommendations from friends and other patients, careful research, and personal compatibility. Ultimately, choosing a surgeon certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgeryis an essential step to ensure the best training and credentials. Physicians who are certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery have been specifically trained for the specialty of plastic surgery. They undergo training at only accredited institutions, and then undergo rigorous oral and written examinations.

     

     

    The bottom line: Plastic surgery should be a life-changing experience for the better. As with any big decision, good preparation and careful planning go a long way to ensure the best possible results and the safest outcome.

     

     

    Related articles:

    When Diet and Exercise Aren’t Enough: Plastic Surgery

    My Bariatric Life “Tells All” About Her Tummy Tuck

     

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Published On: June 02, 2013