Top 10 Things You Should Know Before Choosing A Plastic Surgeon

Dr. Michael Burgdorf

NUMBER 1:  IS THE DOCTOR A PLASTIC SURGEON OR A COSMETIC SURGEON?

One of the very first things you should consider is whether a surgeon is a skilled plastic surgeon or only a cosmetic surgeon. While all plastic surgeons are cosmetic surgeons, not all cosmetic surgeons are plastic surgeons.

Many doctors brand themselves as cosmetic surgeons, which covers up the fact that they lack the education and expertise of a fully trained plastic surgeon. Cosmetic surgery is highly unregulated. Cosmetic surgeons can be physicians in any specialty, including non-surgical specialties. In some cases, their cosmetic surgery training could have taken place in as little as a single weekend!

On the other hand, a plastic surgeon is a doctor who has devoted his or her training and practice to the field of plastic surgery with special emphasis on cosmetic surgery. Plastic surgeons are trained specifically in cosmetic and reconstructive surgery of the face and body – or in some cases, only in facial plastic surgery.

Dr. Michael Burgdorf is a fully accredited plastic surgeon with extensive training in the areas of plastic, cosmetic, reconstructive, and hand surgery. In addition, he continually seeks additional training in order to remain on the leading edge of cosmetic surgery.

NUMBER 2:  HAS THE DOCTOR BEEN BOARD CERTIFIED IN PLASTIC SURGERY?

Once you’ve confirmed that your doctor is a plastic surgeon and not only a cosmetic surgeon, the next step is to ask whether he or she has been board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS). The ABPS is the only organization recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties for certifying surgeons to perform cosmetic surgery and plastic surgery procedures.

In order to become board certified by the ABPS, a plastic surgeon must undergo extremely rigorous training and testing. This includes a minimum of 5 years of residency training in all areas of surgery, two of which must be devoted exclusively to plastic surgery. After residency training, the surgeon must then pass a comprehensive, 400-question written exam. This is followed by an oral exam, during which a panel of experienced expert surgeons cross-examine the candidate to confirm that he or she will practice plastic surgery in an appropriate, safe and ethical manner.

Dr. Michael Burgdorf is a fully accredited, ABPS-certified plastic surgeon. You can feel confident about his extensive training and comprehensive skills in providing you with the best possible care. To learn more about Dr. Burgdorf’s board certification, feel free to call Music City Plastic Surgery at 615.567.5716.

NUMBER 3:  HOW MUCH PRIOR EXPERIENCE DOES THE DOCTOR HAVE WITH THE PROCEDURE YOU WANT?

The next step in researching your board-certified plastic surgeon is to ensure that he or she has dealt with issues similar to and at least as complex as your own. For example, you wouldn’t want to visit a surgeon for help with your hands if that surgeon focuses almost exclusively on facial procedures!

One easy way to ascertain your potential surgeon’s areas of expertise is to research a practice’s website. On the surgeon’s website, look for galleries that show previous patients’ results. Try to find patients with similar characteristics to yourself, and consider what those patients’ outcomes look like. Be leery of websites that only show one or two patient outcomes, and ask yourself why they don’t have more outcomes to share.

As you will see when you browse the website galleries for Music City Plastic Surgery, Dr. Michael Burgdorf is trained in and has performed numerous procedures on all areas of the body and does not limit his expertise to just one area. Be sure to check out our Mommy Makeover gallery, which demonstrates Dr. Burgdorf’s experience in complex multi-procedure surgeries. If you don’t see gallery images on his website that demonstrate the particular procedure that interests you, then reach out to Music City Plastic Surgery at 615.567.5716 – the images on our website represent only a fraction of Dr. Burgdorf’s highly satisfied patients!

NUMBER 4:  DOES THE DOCTOR PRIORITIZE PATIENT EDUCATION OVER SCHEDULING EFFICIENCY?

Some plastic surgeons model their practices on the revolving door technique: get patients in and out as quickly as possible to maximize profits. You should never feel like a number when you’re speaking with your plastic surgeon.

During your initial consultation, pay attention to the amount of time your potential surgeon is willing to spend talking to you. Consider how open the surgeon is to answering all of your questions thoroughly. You should feel welcome to ask anything during your consultation, including the details of a surgeon’s training and experience and what the surgery will cost. If you end up feeling rushed during your consultation, or if you don’t like the surgeon’s answers to your questions, then it may be time to interview someone else.

Dr. Burgdorf believes that his consultation and connection with you is just as important as the time he spends doing your procedure. He takes great pride in educating his patients thoroughly on all aspects of their potential procedures. He will help you to understand exactly what your potential procedure will entire, and he will address any questions or concerns you may have.

NUMBER 5:  WILL THE DOCTOR TAKE THE TIME TO CUSTOMIZE A SOLUTION FOR YOUR INDIVIDUAL NEEDS?

You are one of a kind, and you deserve a plastic surgery solution just as unique. This is another area where some plastic surgeons’ revolving-door methods can be extremely detrimental to your getting a positive outcome.

When you speak with a potential plastic surgeon, don’t just consider the surgeon’s answers to your questions; also pay attention to the types of questions he or she asks you. Your plastic surgeon should pay attention to your unique personality, desires, and dislikes, and these should all be factored into the surgeon’s recommendations to you. If a surgeon starts making recommendations before he or she has gotten to know you, then chances are you’re being pushed into a cookie-cutter model that can result in unnatural or unsatisfactory results.

At Music City Plastic Surgery, Dr. Burgdorf wants to get to know you during your initial consultation just as much as you want to learn about him. He will listen attentively to your questions, do his utmost to answer them thoroughly, and then he will take the time to ask you about yourself – where you come from, what’s bothering you, and what you’d like to change. If you are consulting for a breast augmentation, he will take the time to let you try on a variety of sizes in order to experience your outcome before making a commitment.

Regardless of your needs and your reasons for visiting Music City Plastic Surgery, Dr. Burgdorf will help you to visualize your unique plastic surgery outcome to ensure that you will be happy with your final results.

ock on facial aging but prefer to avoid facelift surgery, then Music City Plastic Surgery provides a variety of alternative nonsurgical options, including Botox or Dysport muscle relaxants, dermal fillers, fat transfer treatments, chemical peels, and a variety of medical-grade at-home treatment options. If you are considering facelift or rhinoplasty, then some of the non-surgical treatments we offer can also help to enhance or maintain the aesthetic benefits of your surgery.

You can also experience an unparalleled day spa experience at our Music City Med Spa, where our licensed esthetician provides the five-star service and expert treatment you would expect at an upscale spa, in addition to her unique ability to utilize products and procedures only available from a physician’s office.

To learn more about our Music City Med Spa and other non-invasive treatment options, call Music City Plastic Surgery at 615-567-5716.

NUMBER 6:  WILL THE DOCTOR TREAT YOU WITH COMPASSION AND UNDERSTANDING?

Plastic surgery involves far more than your physical alteration; it is an extraordinarily emotional journey for many patients as well. At Music City Plastic Surgery, Dr. Burgdorf has encountered numerous patients who found themselves surprised by their emotional fluctuations before, during, and after their procedures. For this reason, you should ensure that the plastic surgeon you choose will treat you with compassion and understanding throughout your transformation. Your surgeon should provide guidance, telling you what to expect not just physically but also emotionally throughout your treatment. You should feel comfortable approaching your surgeon any time you need reassurance.

Dr. Michael Burgdorf cares deeply that every single one of his patients feels comfortable and safe throughout his or her entire transformative process. Dr. Burgdorf will never rush you through any decision at Music City Plastic Surgery, and he will support you and cheer you on when you do decide to proceed with treatment. Dr. Burgdorf also understands that some procedure requests may cause embarrassment, and he does his utmost to put you at ease from the very beginning. You and your body deserve respect, and one way that Dr. Burgdorf provides you with respect is through his remarkable ability to support all his patients emotionally.

NUMBER 7:  CAN THE PLASTIC SURGEON PROVIDE YOU WITH PATIENT TESTIMONIALS THAT DEMONSTRATE SUBTLE AND AESTHETIC RESULTS?

A plastic surgeon should be able to provide you with patient testimonials that include both text and photos. A textual testimonial lets you hear about the experience with a particular doctor in the patient’s own words rather than through descriptions simply provided by the surgery practice. The photographic testimonials add an important factor by letting you see with your own eyes what a patient’s results actually look like. You should make sure that a potential plastic surgeon isn’t sharing results that look unnatural or obvious.

In addition, ask the plastic surgeon’s office if you can speak with former patients of the doctor you’re considering. Be leery of surgeons who won’t allow this – ask yourself if they are trying to hide something. By taking the opportunity to speak with former patients, you will be able to ask particular questions that matter to you, and you’ll likely get the unabridged version of the overall plastic surgery experience with that particular doctor.

At Music City Plastic Surgery, Dr. Burgdorf strives for subtle and aesthetic results in every patient, and we are pleased to say that Dr. Burgdorf’s patients give him and his staff very high marks. After all, there is no stronger compliment than a personal referral from a satisfied patient. We love it when former patients take the opportunity to share their Music City Plastic Surgery experience with someone new. If you would like to speak with a former patient who had a similar procedure as the one that interests you, give us a call at 615.567.5716.

NUMBER 8:  DOES THE PLASTIC SURGERY PRACTICE OFFER ADDITIONAL, NON-INVASIVE OPTIONS?

Not all plastic surgery involves a scalpel, especially when it comes to facial treatments. During your initial consultation, ask what non-invasive options are offered at the plastic surgery practice and whether they would be helpful for you. If the plastic surgeon doesn’t have alternative, non-surgical procedures, then consider getting a second opinion to ensure you’re being fully educated on all your options.

If you’re looking to turn back the clock on facial aging but prefer to avoid facelift surgery, then Music City Plastic Surgery provides a variety of alternative nonsurgical options, including Botox or Dysport muscle relaxants, dermal fillers, fat transfer treatments, chemical peels, and a variety of medical-grade at-home treatment options. If you are considering facelift or rhinoplasty, then some of the non-surgical treatments we offer can also help to enhance or maintain the aesthetic benefits of your surgery.

You can also experience an unparalleled day spa experience at our Music City Med Spa, where our licensed esthetician provides the five-star service and expert treatment you would expect at an upscale spa, in addition to her unique ability to utilize products and procedures only available from a physician’s office.

To learn more about our Music City Med Spa and other non-invasive treatment options, call Music City Plastic Surgery at 615-567-5716.

NUMBER 9:  DOES THE SURGERY PRACTICE PROVIDE CONCIERGE SERVICE FOR OUT-OF-TOWN PATIENTS OR PATIENTS WHO WANT TO CONVALESCE AWAY FROM HOME?

Maybe you’re looking at a surgeon who is some distance from where you live. Perhaps you simply want a chance to rehabilitate away from the chaos of your own home. Either way, preparing for surgery can be time-consuming enough without having to worry about transportation and accommodation plans. When your plastic surgeon’s office is willing to take care of those extra details for you, it can make the difference between a relaxed plastic surgery experience and a stressful one.

At Music City Plastic Surgery, we are pleased to offer concierge services to all our patients. If you choose to take advantage of our concierge package, you will enjoy a two-night stay at the Courtyard Marriott of Green Hills, which is conveniently located directly across the street from Music City Plastic Surgery. In addition, we provide a limousine to let you ride in style to and from the hospital on the day of your procedure. You can learn more about our concierge service when you call to schedule your initial consultation with Dr. Michael Burgdorf.

NUMBER 10:  IS THE DOCTOR AWARD-WINNING?

Once you’ve ascertained whether your potential plastic surgeon is board certified, you should then ask whether the surgeon has won any additional awards for his or her work. Awards are a great way to tell the difference between a status quo surgeon and one who constantly strives to excel and improve.

Dr. Michael Burgdorf has won numerous awards throughout his surgical career, including the I. Mims Gage Teaching Award and the Humanism and Excellence in Teaching Award during his surgical residency at Tulane in New Orleans. After Hurricane Katrina, he finished his residency at the University of Mississipi in Jackson, where he was awarded the position of Administrative Chief Resident of Education.

More recently, Dr. Burgdorf was proudly awarded the 2014 national Doctor’s Choice Award for Plastic Surgery. He was also named one of Tennessee’s Top Ten Plastic Surgeons of 2014, and for years now, the nationally recognized medical website Vitals.com has recognized him every year with two separate awards: their highly coveted Patient’s Choice Award and their Most Compassionate Doctors award (which is based on a nationwide review of doctors).