If you’re currently dealing with breast cancer, in particular if you are trying to cope with the loss of a breast or breasts due to mastectomy, the last thing in the world you want to add to the pile is the hassle of trying to choose the right surgeon to perform your breast reconstruction. Making a decision doesn’t have to be an insurmountable challenge, however. When choosing your surgeon, keep the following in mind
• His certifications
• His education and experience
• The Breadth and depth of his knowledge
• His eye for aesthetics, and
• Whether or not he inspires confidence
It should go without saying, but not everybody in the medical profession is qualified to do what they’re doing. The first thing to check when choosing a cosmetic surgeon to perform a procedure as complex as a breast reconstruction is that he is board-certified. In the United States, any medical doctor can legally perform cosmetic surgery procedures, but not all are certified by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. If a plastic surgeon is not certified by the ASPS, look elsewhere.
Education and Experience
Don’t be afraid to ask where a surgeon went to school, and what they specialized in. Dr. Liu, for example, studied reconstructive surgical techniques in both Taiwan and New Orleans, and has published research papers on the subject. There are varying levels of experience and education that can be acceptable, but the key point is that you should be comfortable with how experienced your doctor is.
Breadth and Depth of Knowledge
Even if you already have a fairly good idea what type of breast reconstruction procedure you’d like to have done, it’s not a good idea to find a surgeon who specializes exclusively in that type of procedure. The broader a surgeon’s knowledge of the various techniques available, the more valuable his advice is likely to be when helping you to choose a course of action. That being said, depth of knowledge is also important. You want to select a surgeon who has as much experience and knowledge as possible in the specific procedure you eventually choose.
Eye for Aesthetics
It’s important to remember that, in addition to being a complicated surgical procedure, breast reconstruction is equally about aesthetics. A surgeon with a background in the visual arts will have a better eye for symmetry, balance, and what is more aesthetically pleasing than will a surgeon without such a background.
This is an extremely stressful and difficult time in your life. It is absolutely vital that the surgeon who’s reconstructing your breast make you feel confident, listened to, and understood. If, during your consultation, you don’t feel your needs are being considered, find another surgeon.
Dr. Perry Liu is a Beverly Hills board certified plastic surgeon. His skills embody the convergence of art and medicine that is the essence of aesthetic and reconstructive plastic surgery. Dr. Liu is graduate of Duke University, and continued on to medical school at Emory University in Atlanta You can find Dr. Perry Liu on Google+. Dr. Liu is located in Beverly Hills for breast reconstruction services.