How to find the right doctor for your cosmetic procedure

Wednesday, March 13, 2013 - 11:00pm

(StatePoint) Everyone has heard about a cosmetic procedure that left a patient unsatisfied or worse. But don't let those anecdotes scare you. There are plenty of qualified, talented doctors available for every procedure.

Whether you're investigating a tummy tuck or laser fat removal, don't rush to the first doctor in the phone book. For better results, do your research:

o Ask your friends for referrals, particularly if you like their results.

o While cost may be a factor, remember, less is not always more. This is your body, so opt with the best choice. Many doctors offer their patients financing choices that can help make procedures more affordable.

o Read reviews online. What kind of reputation does the doctor have?

Begin your research process at a site which offers patients an easy way to directly connect to multiple doctors in a matter of minutes, and offers valuable resources on various procedures.

For example, www.LocateaDoc.com, a top online physician directory of 150,000 doctors, connects patients with cosmetic and plastic surgeons, hair restoration specialists, and ear nose and throat doctors. Prospective patients can search by body part to find a specialist, by procedure or treatment name, location or doctor's last name.

o Schedule a consultation with several doctors so you can get a sense for how knowledgeable they seem and how comfortable you feel with them, their staffs and offices. Develop a list of questions in advance and take notes so you can remember the specifics about each doctor and experience.

o A picture is worth a thousand words, so compare doctors' work visually. For instance, you can review over 60,000 before and after cosmetic surgery pictures at LocateaDoc.com. The searchable gallery includes botox pictures and images of other procedures done by doctors listed in the system. Filter results by procedure, gender, age, height and weight to see the results of patients similar to you.

o Investigate multiple procedures that deliver similar results to determine which is right for you.

By doing appropriate leg work in advance, you can walk into your procedure with confidence that you've made a good decision.

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