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Finding the right plastic surgeon for your breast augmentation can seem like the most daunting part of working toward your dream look. Should you give weight to online reviews? Before-and-after photos? A referral from your primary care doctor? The opinion of a friend?

There are several tips that can guide you in selecting the right surgeon for your breast augmentation. This list can help you to find an experienced plastic surgeon who you can entrust with your breast augmentation.

1. A Plastic Surgeon

It may seem like a no-brainer to pick a plastic surgeon for a plastic surgery procedure, but legally any doctor can perform any procedure. Based solely on the law, a psychiatrist or your family doctor could do your breast augmentation without having years of specialized training.

Plastic surgeons go through 4 years of medical school, followed by 3 to 5 years of training in general surgery and an additional 2 to 3 years of training in plastic surgery. That’s why you want to only entrust your breast augmentation to a plastic surgeon.

2. Board Certification

Choosing a board-certified plastic surgeon adds another layer of assurance that the surgeon’s knowledge has been tested and verified. Certification through the American Board of Plastic Surgery is completely voluntary. Plastic surgeons who pursue certification take oral and written exams and meet training requirements that exceed the minimum standards for obtaining a medical license. They then have to maintain and renew their certifications every 10 years to remain a board-certified plastic surgeon.

3. Experience and Skill

Board-certified plastic surgeons can further specialize in specific procedures. One surgeon may be an expert on effective treatments for conditions that affect the hands. Another may have years of experience performing rhinoplasty procedures. A board-certified plastic surgeon who specializes in breast augmentation may have done hundreds or thousands of enhancements and be very skilled in helping each woman attain her desired results.

4. A Female Plastic Surgeon

A female plastic surgeon brings a different perspective to breast augmentation. She has both the technical and aesthetic knowledge of how breast augmentation works and the firsthand experience of being a woman. Many women prefer to see a female OB/GYN for these reasons, and may feel more comfortable and understood when talking with a female doctor about female anatomy.

5. A Thorough Consultation

Once you think you may have found the right plastic surgeon, book a consultation. Think of the consultation as similar to an interview and a chance to see the plastic surgeon in action. Watch for signs that she is being thorough. You want a plastic surgeon who talks candidly with you about if you are a good candidate for breast augmentation, reviews your medical history and considers any existing medical conditions. You also want a plastic surgeon who takes time to examine your body and listens to your goal. Learning these details is an important step in creating a personalized approach to your breast augmentation.

6. Rapport

A plastic surgeon may look like a great fit on paper. She may have the proper training, board certifications and experience performing breast augmentations. She may guide you through an extensive consultation. But do you like her?

The best results happen when you find a skilled plastic surgeon who fits the bill technically as well as personally. You should feel comfortable asking questions about every aspect of breast augmentation. Pay attention to how she responds. Does she listen attentively and give detailed answers? Does she carefully explain everything from picking the perfect-sized breast implant to having realistic expectations?

Good communication with a board-certified plastic surgeon is the cornerstone that brings your breast augmentation plan together and ensures results that you will love.

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