How to Make Sure Your Plastic Surgeon Is Safe

San Diego woman reading plastic surgery reviews and looking at before and afters.

When it comes to choosing a plastic surgeon here in San Diego, nothing is more important than safety. All too often, we hear stories about people ending up in unqualified hands or taking dangerous risks to save on surgery. Some corners just aren’t worth cutting, and choosing a safe, qualified plastic surgeon is absolutely one of them.

In this blog post, we’ll share tips for vetting a plastic surgeon and catching red flags early so you can enjoy a safe, rewarding plastic surgery experience without the risk.

Check for board certification in plastic surgery.

Safe surgery starts with a safe surgeon. Board certification represents the gold standard in knowledge, hands-on experience, and ethical training.

Make sure the American Board of Plastic Surgery specifically certifies your surgeon. Other boards, such as the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery, aren’t recognized as official certifications. It’s a small difference in title, but a huge difference in safety.

Visit our page on Your Safety to learn more about what it means to be a Real Plastic Surgeon®.

Read real patient reviews and look through before-and-after photos.

No matter what a surgeon claims about their experience, skill, or safety practices, little compares to seeing actual before-and-after photos and reading actual reviews by real patients.

Look for insight on things like:

  • Was the office clean and safe?
  • Did the reviewer experience any complications?
  • Would they recommend this surgeon to a friend?

If you can’t find reviews or before-and-after cases online, ask to see them during your in-person consultation. If a surgeon refuses to show you examples of their work, that’s a big red flag.


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Avoid traveling over the border to cut costs.

Cheaper doesn’t always mean better, especially when it comes to plastic surgery.

Safety protocols, credentialing, products, and materials don’t have to go through the same regulations internationally as they do here in the U.S. That means you aren’t guaranteed any of the safety measures put in place by the FDA to keep you safe.

In one case, this lack of regulation led to an infection outbreak among plastic surgery patients in Tijuana, as reported by NBC. It was so widespread, the CDC warned against traveling to the area for plastic surgery whatsoever. It’s just not worth the risk.

Make sure your surgery will be performed in an accredited facility.

Most plastic surgeries are performed in ambulatory surgical centers. Your surgeon’s chosen facility should be AAAASF-accredited and staffed by board-certified anesthesiologists.

Check that your surgeon has hospital privileges at a local, recognized hospital. Surgeons have to undergo peer review and vetting to be granted privileges, so it’s a good sign your surgeon is respected and trusted by fellow doctors.

Ask questions and look for transparency and a collaborative approach.

The best plastic surgeons in San Diego (and elsewhere, for that matter) are open and transparent when answering questions about risks, safety, credentials, and so on. A surgeon should never hide details of your procedure from you or make decisions without your express consent.

Your surgeon should be 110% dedicated to creating the results you’ve been dreaming of and keeping you safe every step of the way. You deserve nothing less.

If you would like to learn more about choosing a safe plastic surgeon in the La Jolla area, we would love to answer your questions. To get in touch, contact us online or call (858) 452-1981.