When you consider the sheer number of plastic surgeons in the country, specifically in the Northeast and more specifically here in NJ, it may seem challenging to choose one.
There are certain strategies that make the project much easier, however. First of all, clarify your goal to help make your search less perplexing. You simply need to find the best surgeon for you. That’s the essential goal boiled down to just one sentence.
Just keep coming back to the basic goal if you get frustrated during your search. Now for definitions…
Who is the right plastic surgeon for you?
What are the main attributes your plastic surgeon, the perfect surgeon for you, should have in order to make your surgical experience successful and achieve your goals?
One way to put it is: Find a top surgeon who is eminently qualified to perform your surgery, with whom you can communicate well and establish trust.
Here is our list of essentials that your best plastic surgeon must have:
- Education: Look for a board certified, career plastic surgeon. When you choose a NJ plastic surgeon with certification in both general surgery and plastic surgery, you are getting someone with years of in-depth surgical training. Surgeons certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (which is recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties) must meet stringent standards to qualify for membership. You can verify certification on the Certification Matters website or the American Board of Plastic Surgery website. If your surgeon does not have the proper certification, you may be getting a dermatologist with a short workshop in cosmetic surgery. Be sure to look for certification from the boards listed above to be sure your surgeon is well qualified.
- Experience: It takes at least 5 years experience, preferably longer, in plastic surgery (in practice, meaning after all your training is completed) to hone your technique. In addition, you should ask your plastic surgeon how many procedures like yours he or she has done this year or last year.
- Advanced qualifications: Reconstructive surgeons typically have the most detailed knowledge about the form and function of the body, which is essential for the very best surgical outcome. Don’t be mislead by framed diplomas that claim advanced degrees in cosmetic surgery or any specific procedure, these are often given at short, non-residency training type courses.
- Up-to-date knowledge: A plastic surgeon affiliated with a teaching hospital or university hospital is ideal, provided they have those years of experience discussed above. Surgical privileges are a second level of quality vetting as well, since an excellent record of success is required to be granted privileges at a prestigious NJ hospital.
- Reputation: Ask friends and relatives for recommendations, concentrating your search on surgeons who have done your specific surgery recently. Ask your surgeon if you can talk to any recent former patients. Looking for reviews online is only somewhat telling. Beware of fake reviews, however. Also check for sanctions while checking for state licensure with the Dept. of Consumer Affairs in NJ.
- Artistic chops: Get a sense of whether your surgeon understands the concept of beauty or attractiveness and balance in facial features or body parts. There are classic “rules” about facial proportions but keep in mind, you should find a surgeon who shares (or at least understands) your own specific sense of attractiveness. If you don’t want a “done“ look or a generic “model” look or don’t want to change your features drastically or lose an ethnic look that you identify with, make sure your surgeon understands these goals. A plastic and reconstructive surgeon should have an artistic sense in addition to surgical skills, but some are, of course, more aesthetically aware and attuned to your individual needs than others.
- The Ability to Say No: Getting fantastic outcomes in cosmetic surgery is as much about knowing when to say no as it is about recommending a specific procedure. The surgeon who is interested in the best outcome for you will be able to tell you when a procedure is wrong as well as right.
- Dedication: When meeting with your surgeon, you should get a sense that he or she is interested in your success. A good surgeon should be objective and decisive, and should not say just what you might want to hear. However, this does not mean they should be completely detached or uncaring. Your surgeon should not be dismissive of your goals or your questions. Choose someone who is on your side and genuinely seems to want what you want.
- Cost: We list this last because it’s best to find everything else first, then worry about paying for it. Shopping for a bargain is not a good strategy for something so important to your health and happiness. Neither is looking for a high price tag assuming you will get the best that way. To find the best, look for all the other stuff first.
We suggest you hold out for all of these attributes in your NJ plastic surgeon—including the factual qualifications, the personal qualities and person-to-person connection between you.
Unfortunately, many of our patients describe previous consults with other plastic surgeons as feeling like a sales pitch. If you feel like you are being sold to, then you are. When it comes to something as important and potentially life changing as surgery, don’t rush to make a choice and don’t settle for a sale.
It definitely IS possible to find all of these qualities in the same surgeon. In fact, this is exactly what we aspire to be at Cohen & Winters. Although we are experts, we are not the right surgeons for everyone.
We hope to provide some useful insights for you on our website. We also invite you to meet with us about your plastic surgery, find out if you’re a good candidate, ask questions and get more information in person.
Our goal is to help you gain a deeper understanding of your surgery and help you move toward your goal.
Top-Level Surgical Expertise in a Patient Focused Practice
The team at Cohen & Winters offers expertise in many categories of plastic surgery. Both NJ surgeons are board certified in general surgery and in plastic surgery, with 10+ years of wide-ranging experience in aesthetic and reconstructive surgery.
Patients visit the practice in Bergen County for information about rhinoplasty, revision rhinoplasty, septoplasty for breathing problems, teen rhinoplasty and nasal reconstruction procedures, areas where Dr. Winters is a noted expert.
Breast surgery is another important focus at Cohen & Winters, anchored by breast specialist Dr. Stephanie Cohen. Dr. Cohen advises patients about breast lifts, augmentation/implants, reductions, breast revisions and implant removal along with breast reconstructions, tummy tucks (abdominoplasty), abdominal wall reconstruction and combined surgical treatments known as mommy makeovers.
To ensure complete treatment of the breast and abdomen, the surgeons also offer liposuction for breast and body contouring.
Drs. Cohen and Winters also offer additional aesthetic and reconstructive surgeries, often working together as a team or in concert with other specialists in the areas of microsurgery, hand surgery, skin cancer surgery and facial reanimation.
These surgeries help restore form and function to the skin, hands and face and may include nerve grafts and muscle transfer. Facial surgeries offered also include neck and facelifts and eyelid surgery/blepharoplasty.
You and Cohen & Winters: Partnering for Success
The moment you meet Drs. Cohen and Winters and their highly trained staff, you will notice a difference from other surgical practices you may have encountered before. At Cohen & Winters Aesthetic & Reconstructive Surgery, our staff sees medicine as a calling, rather than just a business or merely a profession.
We are passionately dedicated to improving lives. We use our surgical skill and expertise as tools to help people achieve their goals. We partner with each patient throughout their surgical journey to ensure the best possible outcome.
To that end, we offer a no-charge consultation to help patients learn about their options and determine if surgery is right for them. We invite you to find out more about us here on our website and, when ready, give us a call and make arrangements to discuss your specific case at our Bergen County offices.