Choosing a Plastic Surgeon

There are many plastic surgeons in the Palo Alto and San Jose, CA metro areas, but they are not all equally qualified. To help you to get the best treatment and results, we have compiled a quick guide so you know what to look for as you narrow down your options.

To learn how Dr. Hoffman can help you accomplish your surgical goals, request your consultation online or call our office at (650) 325-1118 (Palo Alto) or (408) 371-1118 (Campbell) to schedule your appointment.

Excellent Training

You should seek out a surgeon with exceptional training from respected institutions and programs. This is true for undergraduate school and medical school, as well as residency and fellowship programs. You can find The U.S. News & World Report rankings for undergraduate and graduate programs at The best surgeons opt to complete enhanced training through extended residencies, additional fellowships, or both, and continue to train on new techniques and treatments throughout their careers. Ideally, your surgeon has completed additional specialized training in the procedure that you are considering.

If a surgeon’s website does not provide a curriculum vitae or summary of his or her training and certification, you should request this information at your consultation.

Board Certification

The term “board-certified” gets used a lot within the medical community, and if you are considering plastic surgery, it can be confusing to compare board certification to other professional memberships and certifications. When a doctor says he or she is a board-certified plastic surgeon, it means that he or she has completed additional training and rigorous testing beyond his or her medical education and residencies. The board doing the certifying is just as important as the certification itself. Look for a surgeon who is certified by The American Board of Plastic Surgery, such as Dr. Hoffman.

The American Board of Plastic Surgery, or ABPS, is one of 24 member boards supervised by the American Board of Medical Specialties. Created in 1933, the American Board of Medical Specialties aims to protect patients by setting high professional standards for physicians. By earning board certification, surgeons like Dr. Hoffman have demonstrated their mastery of reconstructive and cosmetic plastic surgery, their commitment to professional ethics, and their competence in all manner of surgical scenarios.

Impressive Experience

Experience is about more than just years in practice; it is also about what a surgeon has accomplished during those years. An experienced surgeon has performed thousands of procedures and accordingly should have thousands of satisfied patients, many of whom will offer testimonials. He or she has earned the respect of other physicians in the field and has cultivated an excellent reputation in the community.

Look for a surgeon who continues his or her education by attending training and seminars on innovative techniques and technologies. The most respected surgeons serve as authorities in the field by presenting to their peers at such meetings. Seek out a surgeon who has been appointed to leadership roles in professional organizations and educational entities. Check to see if the surgeon has authored articles or studies for respected publications such as professional journals or textbooks.

An experienced plastic surgeon has amassed thousands of before-and-after photos of his or her work. If a surgeon does not offer an online photo gallery, ask to see photos of his or her work when you visit the office.

Superior Staff

Plastic surgeons are only as good as the team members they hand-pick to support them. A great plastic surgery practice is staffed with individuals who have worked together for many years. They should be well-trained, knowledgeable, friendly and accommodating. The reception staff and patient coordinator should be highly professional, and should create a welcoming and comfortable environment that puts you at ease. You should be treated with kindness and respect from your first phone call to the practice, and above all, the staff should be willing and able to provide answers to all of your questions.

Additionally, you should look for a plastic surgeon who works with a top-notch surgical team and board-certified anesthesiologists.

Online review sites are often the best place to find out how a plastic surgeon’s staff cares for patients. Read real patient reviews to learn what men and women have said about their experiences with our practice.

Expertise in Your Procedure

Plastic surgeons are trained in all aspects of reconstructive and cosmetic plastic surgery, however, most choose to specialize in specific procedures or categories of procedures. For example, Dr. Hoffman has more experience and training than most Palo Alto and San Jose-area plastic surgeons when it comes to breast enhancement and body procedures. He is a former presenter and instructor for the American Society of Breast Surgeons, and he has completed post-graduate training in advanced techniques in surgical and non-surgical body contouring.

Surgeons should make clear on their websites the procedures in which they have specialized training and extensive experience. As a proactive consumer, you should make a point of looking at a surgeon’s photo gallery to evaluate his or her work, not just for quality of results, but for depth and breadth of experience.

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