Over half a million men and women in the U.S. will undergo cosmetic surgery this year. Unfortunately, many will devote more time researching a planned new car purchase than finding a qualified plastic surgeon. We strongly recommend that you ask the following questions of your prospective surgeon before undergoing cosmetic or reconstructive surgery.
Are you Certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery?
Fact: Many physicians performing cosmetic surgery are non-plastic surgeons. Many are gynecologists, dermatologists, and even dentists. Some have had little formal training in the performance of cosmetic surgery.
Dr. Friedman has been certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery since 1997. As the Former Chief of Plastic Surgery at Parkland Memorial Hospital and the Founder and Director of the West Plano Plastic Surgery Center, he is experienced and well-qualified in both cosmetic and reconstructive surgery.
Do you have an artistic background?
Fact: Most physicians have no background in artistry or sculpture.
Dr. Friedman is an experienced wood and marble sculptor whose work has been exhibited in several galleries and is part of many private collections. His artistic eye and background as a sculptor are integral to his practice of plastic surgery.
Do you have an academic background?
Fact: Most surgeons do not teach, lecture, or publish.
Prior to entering private practice in 1996, Dr. Friedman served as Assistant Professor of Plastic Surgery at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas. He has numerous publications, national and international presentations, and radio and television interviews to his credit. He has written six book chapters as well as invited commentaries for Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and Plastic Surgery Outlook. He conducted Clinical Instructional Courses on behalf of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons for a decade, teaching surgical techniques to other plastic surgeons nationally.
Who performs the preoperative consultation?
Fact: Many surgeons perform only a cursory evaluation prior to surgery, instead referring you to a “cosmetic surgery coordinator” to answer your questions. If a surgeon does not have time to spend with you before surgery, do you think that he will take his time during surgery or spend time with you after surgery?
Dr. Friedman performs a preoperative evaluation and will personally address each of your questions and concerns. He will personally discuss your treatment options and the risks and benefits of any surgical procedure. He is never in a hurry before surgery—and he is never in a hurry during surgery.
Who performs the surgery?
Fact: Many surgeons rely on assistants to perform a portion of the procedure (such as closure of the incisions), as they divide their time and attention between patients in two different operating rooms.
Dr. Friedman personally performs each and every surgery from start to finish. His nationally-accredited facility, the West Plano Plastic Surgery Center, only has one operating room because he only operates on one patient at a time.
Who provides the anesthesia?
Fact: Most anesthesia for cosmetic surgery is provided by nurse anesthetists.
Dr. Friedman exclusively uses physician anesthesiologists for all surgical procedures. He believes that their specialized training and expertise enhance patient comfort and safety.
Who performs the postoperative follow-up visits?
Fact: Many surgeons are too busy to see their patients for routine postoperative visits. Instead, you will see a nurse or physician’s assistant.
Dr. Friedman performs each and every visit following cosmetic surgery. He generally schedules regular postoperative visits for up to a year after surgery. He is available for additional visits to address any questions or concerns.
There are many decisions to make when choosing to undergo cosmetic surgery. Remember that your most important decision is the surgeon. Choose carefully.
How much does a consultation cost?
Consultations with Dr. Friedman are generally $125.
How long does a consultation take?
Dr. Friedman generally spends 30 to 45 minutes face-to-face with his cosmetic surgery patients.
How long have you been practicing plastic surgery?
Dr. Friedman is in his 25th year of plastic surgery practice. He completed his plastic surgery training in 1994 and his hand surgery fellowship in 1995. He initially served on the full time plastic surgery faculty at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center (where he served as the Chief of Plastic Surgery at Parkland Memorial Service in Dallas) and then transitioned to private practice in Plano. He has been the Director of the West Plano Plastic Surgery Center on the campus of Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital of Plano since 2000.
Are you board certified?
Dr. Friedman has been certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery since 1997. He is an active member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons and the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. He has been named a Best Plastic Surgeon by D Magazine over a dozen times.
How do I choose a plastic surgeon?
Do your research
- Get referrals from family or friends, a trusted physician, or a website you respect.
- Look at the physician’s credentials and experience. Make sure the physician is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. If the physician is certified in cosmetic surgery, he or she is not a plastic surgeon. If the physician is certified in OBGYN, dermatology, anesthesiology, etc., he or she is not a plastic surgeon.
- Look carefully at online reviews. Remember that some review sites are genuine (google, yelp), and some are carefully selected by the physician (realpatientratings.com, the physician’s own website).
- Look carefully at physician photos. Most physicians choose their best photos to place online. If you don’t like the physician’s best results, you may not like their average results.
- Make appointments with two or three plastic surgeons.
- Pay attention to the cleanliness of the office, the attitude and attentiveness of the physician and his/her staff, the amount of time the physician spends with you and how patiently and thoroughly he/she answers your questions.
- Ask how often the physician does the procedure and how long he/she has been doing the procedure.
- Look at lots of photos. If the physician has very few photos of a procedure, he or she may not have much experience with the procedure.
- Ask to speak to one or two patients who have undergone the procedure.
Make a decision
- Choose the physician with whom you feel the most comfortable.
- Once you have made your choice, trust the physician to do his/her best.
How do I prepare for plastic surgery?
- Your most important preparation is finding a plastic surgeon whom you trust (see above).
- Follow all preoperative and postoperative instructions (which should be provided in writing) carefully. If you trust your physician, you should also trust the physician’s instructions.
- Avoid smoking for at least 2 to 4 weeks (depending on the type of surgery) and at least 4 weeks after surgery. Nicotine products of any kind can increase the risk of infection and interfere with wound healing.
- Avoid drugs that can predispose you to bleeding (aspirin, antiinflammatories, fish oil) for at least 2 weeks before and 2 weeks after surgery.
- Try to stay healthy. If you have a serious illness (fever, cough, flu), then you may wish to reschedule your surgery to a time when you feel better.
Do you offer financing?
We offer CareCredit and AlphaEon. We participate in the 6 month/ 0% interest and 24 and 36 programs.
Does insurance cover plastic surgery?
Dr. Friedman previously performed a great deal of reconstructive plastic surgery, including complex facial, breast, and hand reconstructions. Over the past 25 years, he has gradually narrowed his focus to mostly cosmetic surgery. A small percentage of his procedures are still reconstructive, and some of these are covered by insurance.