Choosing the right surgeon may be one of the more important choices you will make. Steps to help you make the right decision are outlined here by the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) and here by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS).
Briefly, you want someone who is qualified, that you feel comfortable with. A qualified surgeon should at a minimum be certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS). Be cautious of those who simply say they are “Board Certified.” There are 24 Boards, and the doctor's certification may not be in Plastic Surgery. Board certification in plastic surgery is a requirement for membership in the ASPS and the ASAPS, so if your surgeon is a member, then their certification in plastic surgery is confirmed.
Checking hospital privileges (by calling the medical staff office and asking if the surgeon has privileges to perform your surgery at their facility) lets you know that the hospital review committee has reviewed the surgeon’s training and competency to perform your surgery, even if the procedure is not going to be performed at the hospital. This is important because a surgeon may do anything he wants to in his own office without the hospital's scrutiny.
Interviewing two or three surgeons lets you know who will best suit you. You want to have good rapport with your surgeon.
The Aesthetic Center for Plastic Surgery's Check List for Choosing a Plastic Surgeon
The physicians at ACPS have prepared the following check list to help you select the best plastic surgeon for your procedure.
Download the check list (PDF)