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Surgery of any kind is something to be taken seriously. It’s true that many cosmetic surgeries have become so safe and so common that we are beginning to forget that in every surgery risk is still involved. In any surgical procedure, we have to take the responsibility to know our doctor and know their training, in order to ensure we are in the safest hands. When choosing your surgeon, be sure that they are certified by a board that is under the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS). One important question that patients should ask the surgeon is, “Do you have privilege to perform this procedure in both a hospital or outpatient surgical center (does not include office-based surgical suites)?” Board-certified surgeons will be able to answer, “yes.” These institutions check all of the surgeon’s qualifications and ensure the public that necessary training was obtained by the surgeon.

“Best time to get it right is the first time,” says Dr. Mehdi Mazaheri, referring to all plastic surgery procedures, big or small. His practice is well-respected in Scottsdale specializing in facial rejuvenation and breast and body contouring procedures. Many of the patients he sees for plastic surgery have come to him to repair or alter their previous surgery. After multiple reparative surgeries they end up paying far more than the money they thought they were saving by going to a less-qualified surgeon. “Being board- certified shows adequate and necessary training,” says Mazaheri, who himself has 14 years of surgical experience and is the chairman of Plastic Surgery at Scottsdale Healthcare, Osborn. And by board-certified, he is not referring to just any board?he explains that there are many unofficial boards that cause confusion when patients are searching for a surgeon. He is talking about ABMS-recognized Plastic Surgery boards (including Facial Plastic and Oculo-plastic surgeons), which is one of the most important things to look at when choosing your surgeon, as it shows that your doctor has completed all the official required training. “Taking the time to truly understand patient needs and providing them with optimal results really boosts their confidence. This is what I love best about what I do,” Mazaheri says.

Dr. Sumer Daiza, who specializes in breast and body procedures at the Plastic Surgery Center of Scottsdale has 12 years of medical and surgical training and urges potential patients to check the doctor’s references, and talk to them about what type of certification they have and to be sure it is recognized as one of the 24 member boards under the ABMS, which sets the standards for physicians and patient care. A double board-certified plastic surgeon, Daiza, and all surgeons with this certification, must adhere to a strict code of ethics and maintain continuing educational studies. Any doctor should feel comfortable answering all of your questions, as they are there to help and make the process of choosing your doctor easy and comfortable. “[Plastic and cosmetic surgery] can be really life-changing. I do this because of the impact I can make on somebody’s life,” Daiza says.

Dr. Larry C. Leverett of the Ahwatukee Center for Aesthetic and Reconstructive Plastic Surgery has 17 years of education, but still confirms that when it comes to surgery, “In everything you do, there is risk,” and urges patients considering surgery to “do your homework. Get online and look for board-certified surgeons. Of course this doesn’t guarantee a perfect job, but it does guarantee they have had the most adequate training and have gone through peer review testing.” Leverett also points out that to be board-certified, doctors must pass an ethics review, meaning that even if they are a great doctor technically, their character and bedside manner must also rank above par, which is another sign that you are in good hands.

This section is sponsored by board-certified plastic surgeons. Please, as with all medical procedures, do your research and ask many questions before making a final decision. There are numerous boards out there. Media that Deelivers interviewed members of the American Society of Plastic Surgery for this special advertising section.