When you first start investigating cosmetic surgery, you may be seeing advice from all different directions—surgeons, patients, friends, relatives, doctors, and more. Everyone may have their own words of wisdom, but one of the most universal tips you’ll hear is to do your homework. It pays to take the time and educate yourself about the procedure(s) you’re considering, the treatment options available, and especially about the plastic surgeons you’re considering. The modern-day internet is both a blessing and a curse for this task. While it puts all the latest and most comprehensive information at your fingertips, it can also lead you to inaccurate information, and it’s not always easy to distinguish trustworthy sources from bogus ones. As a double board-certified plastic surgeon, I’m deeply familiar with the industry as a whole and I’ve guided thousands of patients through their pre-surgical research, so I’ve been able to distinguish the good sources from the bad.
The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) · www.smartbeautyguide.com
This is one of the highly trusted organizations for cosmetic and reconstructive plastic surgery, and they’re dedicated to holding all of their member surgeons (myself included) to the highest standards as well as educating patients throughout the country. Their website includes comprehensive information about the many plastic surgeries, from breast augmentation to the face lift, as well as a series of specific tools designed to help you plan your procedure—just look for their Planning Toolkit.
The American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) · www.plasticsurgery.org
ASPS certainly has a similar name to ASAPS, and they carry a similar level of reliability as well. While their website doesn’t offer quite as much detail about the various cosmetic surgery procedures as the ASAPS website does, they still provide another exceptional resource for finding treatment options and answers to your common questions.
My two websites: JohnLeRoyMD.com and AtlantaFacelift.com
While plastic surgery is all based on science, the surgery itself is as much of an art form as it is a science. In fact, the way I often explain it is that science tells us the limitations of what we can safely do, while the aesthetics of surgery is an art performed on an individualized basis. This means that no two surgeries are exactly alike and that some surgeons may have different opinions than others. I have dedicated my websites to providing information that I have found to be true throughout my advanced training and more than twenty years of experience.
The United States National Institute of Health · www.medlineplus.gov
The National Institute of Health is a highly reliable source. However, some of their published information is directed toward doctors, so it can be very difficult for anyone without a specialized medical education to accurately understand. MedLine Plus is a resource they created to make trustworthy information accessible to the public. They offer information about numerous areas of medicine, including plastic surgery patient information.
Trying to navigate all the plastic surgery information you find online can leave you caught in a web of opinions, half-truths, and outdated or misinterpreted content. While I don’t discourage patients from educating themselves, it’s important to be very picky about your sources, especially when it comes to your health. The list above is by no means a comprehensive one, but it can serve as a quick guide to get you started. During your search, it’s also crucial to keep in mind that no two patients or surgeries are exactly alike, so ultimately, your most reliable source of information is a well-educated and experienced plastic surgeon who is familiar with your unique case after a pre-surgical consultation. To take this step, schedule a consultation with me, Dr. John L. LeRoy. Or, for more helpful tips before and after plastic surgery, join me on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.