These days, everywhere you look someone is claiming to be an expert regarding some area of plastic surgery. Some of those experts are legitimate. Others aren’t even
true plastic surgeons. When evaluating a potential surgeon, there are a few things to keep in mind. I’m going to review those and then discuss what makes a breast augmentation or breast lift surgeon an expert.

First of all, do not see anyone claiming to be a plastic surgeon whithout reviewing their credentials. They should be certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (the only true and recognized board by the American Board of Medical Specialties). This means they have completed vigorous surgical training – at least five years – with a minimum of two years specializing in plastics. Look for the ASPS member surgeon logo:

This will give you a great deal of assurance that the surgeon is a legitimate plastic surgeon with proper training.

Secondly, determining wether or not they are a true expert in the area they claim, is more difficult. It is fair to say that all board certified plastic surgeons are experts in breast surgery because of how much experience they have in performing breast procedures. However, if someone is claiming superior expertise in an area of plastic surgery (ex. breast augmentation or rhinoplasty), then there are a few things to consider. Does the surgeon perform more than the average number of these procedures each year? Has he published articles or book chapters in that area that demonstrate his added expertise? Most importantly, look at the before and after pictures. I’m always very hesistant when I visit a website that does not show any results pictures.

It doesn’t necessarily mean they don’t have any good results, but they may not have a lot of results to show. Or, they may not be detail-oriented enough to make good records and take standardized before and after pictures.Specifically for cosmetic breast surgery, the surgeon should have a large volume of breast patients. There is a lot of variety of breast shapes and sizes and many complex issues to consider when performing even a "basic" procedure like a breast augmentation. Asymmetry of breasts, the inframammary fold position, the amount of native breast tissue, quality of the skin, breast measurements and nipple position are all critical to consider when evaluating a patient. Someone who has spent a large amount of time studying breast anatomy and treating patients will have learned these things and show proficiency in addressing them. This leads to excellent and consistent surgical results. These are the things to look for when assessing an expert.

Dr. Zannis practices cosmetic plastic surgery in New Bern, North Carolina and is an expert in rhinoplasty, facial rejuvenation, breast surgery and abdominoplasty. He is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery.