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Brand Reach >> Considering Plastic Surgery? Researching Surgeon Key to Safety

Dr. Dan Shell IV, MD, FACS

On Aging Gracefully — and Healthfully
Commentary by By Dan H. Shell IV, MD, FACS. Dr. Shell is an ASPS Member Surgeon with an office in Oxford, Miss.
The popularity of plastic surgery is soaring — and more and more doctors are trying to meet the demand.
Any licensed physician can claim to be a plastic surgeon, so the importance of making sure your doctor is properly trained and certified is paramount.
With ever increasing numbers of providers offering plastic surgery, it can be easy for the public to become confused about a doctor’s qualifications, and the impact it can have on their safety. Plastic surgery is serious and, like any operation, it carries risks.
I’m proud to be a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), the foremost authority on cosmetic and reconstructive plastic surgery and the specialty’s leader in patient safety initiatives. I am a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons and is board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery.
To help consumers have the safest plastic surgery possible, I’ve put together a checklist to guide patients through the process of planning for plastic surgery:
• Evaluate Yourself: Prior to researching a doctor, you need to be comfortable and confident with your decision to have plastic surgery. Ask yourself, “Why — and for whom — am I looking to have this surgery performed?” Patients should be internally motivated to have a procedure. “What kind of results am I expecting?” and “Is this a good time for me to have surgery?”
• Check Your Doctor’s Board Certification: Determine if your physician is certified by The American Board of Plastic Surgery for plastic surgery of the face and all areas of the body. This certification ensures that the surgeon has graduated from an accredited medical school and completed extensive and rigorous surgical training. ASPS Member Surgeons meet these and other strict standards of education and experience.
• Ensure that Medical Facilities are Safe: Everyone who chooses plastic surgery has the right to a safe procedure. Procedures should be administered in a setting with the necessary equipment and qualified medical personnel to observe patients and manage potential complications, and should be accredited by a national or state recognized accrediting agency/organization.
• Obtain a Medical Evaluation: Your general health can affect the results — and safety — of the plastic surgery procedure you choose. When considering plastic surgery, consult with your surgeon for an evaluation and a full medical history to determine what is most appropriate and advisable for you.
• Be Informed: Talk about the procedure with trusted friends and family as well as your physician. When a treatment decision is made cooperatively between the physician and patient, the physician should explain the risks, benefits, alternatives, and reasoning for the proposed treatment, after which an informed consent document should be signed by the patient.
It has been a long and challenging road for me to become an ASPS Member Surgeon. ASPS  is the largest organization of board-certified plastic surgeons in the world. Representing more than 6,700 physician members, the Society is recognized as a leading authority and information source on cosmetic and reconstructive plastic surgery. ASPS comprises more than 90 percent of all board-certified plastic surgeons in the United States.
Editor’s Note: For patients considering plastic surgery, Dr. Shell recommends visiting his website, www.ShellPlasticSurgery.com which offers more detailed information to help you determine if plastic surgery is right for you or contacting Shell Plastic Surgery at 662-236-6465 for further information.

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