Medically reviewed by Dr. John Rosdeutscher – Written by Sine Thieme
There are many options when it comes to contouring your body – liposuction, tummy tuck, fat freezing, you name it. If you’ve already narrowed it down and decided that skin tightening is the best course of action, congratulations. You’ve already taken an important step in the right direction. Next up: Choosing a plastic surgeon for your skin tightening procedure.
To help you in choosing the right plastic surgeon for skin tightening, consider the factors explained below by the NuBody Concepts Cosmetic Surgery staff in Nashville and Memphis, Tennessee.
The Cosmetic Surgery Center
A reputable cosmetic surgery center should offer you a consultation with the same plastic surgeon performing your surgery. Don’t be discouraged if you have to pay a fee for this. In fact, paying a fee is a sign that you’ll be meeting with a doctor instead of a salesperson.
A consultation doesn’t mean you have to appear in person, although it probably helps to get a better understanding of the facility and staff. However, most cosmetic practices have expanded options for virtual consultations during the pandemic, and this is likely to stay. If you live far away or have a work schedule that won’t allow you to take the time for a roundtrip to the clinic, a video conference with the plastic surgeon might be a good alternative.
If you do get a chance to visit in person, you’ll have an opportunity to assess the practice and staff, their friendliness, their attention to detail, and their professionalism. Skin tightening is a minimally-invasive procedure that can be performed outpatient vs at a hospital, but the practice should have a well-lit and well-equipped operating suite and a well-trained staff.
If an in-person visit is impossible, see if you can do a virtual tour of the clinic in addition to a video consultation.
Here are some questions to ask yourself about the cosmetic surgery practice in consideration:
- How friendly is the staff when speaking on the phone?
- How promptly are you called back when a question cannot be answered right away?
- Is the front desk staff friendly and welcoming?
- Are you seen on time and is the appointment process well organized?
- Does the doctor take time to answer all your questions and address your concerns?
- Will you be seeing the same doctor and nurses during your procedure as during your consultation?
If anything about the plastic surgery center makes you uneasy, that might be a red flag for you. When you’re going in for an elective procedure, you should be able to feel relaxed and trust that your results will make it worth it.
The Surgeon’s Experience With Skin Tightening
Plastic surgery is a vast field, with big variations between procedures. Some surgeons practice a broad field of surgeries, whereas some others like to specialize on a few. One isn’t necessarily better than the other, but it does help greatly to have performed the same surgery many times before. Plastic surgery is part science and part art form, and practice makes any artist better at his or her craft.
Skin tightening is a relatively new field of cosmetic surgery. It is a cousin of liposuction, or sometimes even grouped as just another type of liposuction method. A surgeon practicing liposuction ten years ago may have thought he provided good skin tightening results, but what was available then in the form of laser energy cannot hold a candle to what’s possible today using the latest radio frequency assisted lipolysis technologies.
Rather than asking how many years of skin tightening experience your surgeon has, it may be more useful to ask about the numbers of procedures performed. Again, it’s a relatively new technology, and some surgeons got in from the start and have hundreds if not thousands of procedure under their belt. Others might say they have offered it for several years but in reality only performed a handful.
Board-Certification in Plastic Surgery
Technically, a doctor doesn’t have to be board-certified to perform skin tightening or any other plastic surgery. However, board certification by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) is an achievement in and of itself, and can show a surgeon’s diligence and experience.
To be certified, an applicant must complete at least six years of surgical training after medical school. Three of these must be residency training in the plastic surgery field. You also have to pass comprehensive oral and written exams and have a degree from an accredited medical school. Lastly, you are required to complete continuing medical education that ranges from latest technologies to patient safety.
Before & After Images
Your plastic surgeon should be able to show you skin tightening before and after pictures of patients they worked on. Make sure you ask for these – often available in the form of a an in-office “brag book” – even if you have already seen their website gallery. Some pictures are not cleared by the patients for online posting but can be viewed in the privacy of the plastic surgeon’s office. The surgeon can then explain in detail what was done on a particular patient and how it would be similar or different for you.
For newer technologies such as radio frequency assisted lipolysis, there might not exist yet a large library of patient images. Not every patient is willing to have their pictures used and it can take time for longer-term results to show. Rather than quantity, focus on the quality of the pictures given by your cosmetic surgeon, and make sure they show his or her own work.
In addition to pictures, you can also ask for testimonials and references. When reading patient reviews, try to get a feel for whether they seem genuine. Longer, more detailed reviews that highlight specific experience are typically more trustworthy than shorter, more generalized reviews. If some patients share a bit of criticism, this can be a sign of more realistic reviews than if every single one is a 5-star endorsement. You want to make sure that testimonials and reviews seem to be given by real patients of the practice you are evaluating. Often, patients who have had a good experience will mention specific staff by name – that is another indication of real patient reviews.
Safety Measures at the Cosmetic Surgery Practice
Patient safety should be the highest priority at any plastic surgery center – or any medical facility. You go there to achieve the results you envision, but safety should always come first. Make sure you ask the surgeon and staff what measures are taken to minimize risks. It is a good idea to ask about the specific risks and safety record of the procedure you are having. You should be given an “informed consent” document to sign before your skin tightening procedure, but it’s a good idea to ask the doctor to explain the risks in words you can understand. Also make sure you ask for the practice’s COVID-19 safety measures.
We hope that we’ve given you a better understanding about choosing a plastic surgeon for skin tightening. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any other questions.
American Society of Plastic Surgeons: ASPS Member Qualifications