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Choosing Your Surgeon

Several important factors should be considered when choosing a surgeon, including the doctor’s personality, recommendations from friends, physician training and board certification, and experience.

Personality: It is important to develop a good relationship with your surgeon so that communication is easy and trust can be developed. You should feel that you are in good hands. Bedside manner is important.

Referral from Friends: Many prospective patients find confidence if they have a close friend or other trusted individual who has already undergone a successful procedure by a certain doctor. This is often a good first step in making a decision. In fact, most of our patients are referred to us by friends who were very satisfied with their results. However, not all patients know someone who has had surgery.

Training and Certification: In years past, only plastic surgeons performed skin cancer surgery. However, in recent years doctors from many different specialties are more commonly performing these procedures. Only a surgeon who has been certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery has received the most extensive training in plastic and reconstructive surgery. There are many boards, and it is easy for patients to become confused or assume that when a doctor says they are “board certified,” it all means the same thing. BE CAREFUL! Learn more about the significance of board certification here.

Experience: Finally, consider the physician's experience—the most important factor in making a decision. As with all professions, expertise is directly proportional to experience, meaning the total number of procedures performed. Medical literature illustrates that biggest predictor of success in surgery is volume, in other words, the number of times that a doctor has performed a procedure.

If the doctor is recommending a specific procedure, how many has he performed? Also, how often does he do this procedure? While board certifications and training are important, a surgeon's experience with the procedure itself is more important. Don't hesitate to ask pointed questions about recommended procedures.

For more information about our skin cancer surgery procedure, please contact us online or call us at We look forward to helping you look your best.


Consultations for skin cancer are relatively quick. A simple examination of the skin under magnification can determine the need for surgery. Areas that have already been biopsied are easily identified.

Be prepared to discuss:

  • Your type of skin cancer
  • Medical conditions, drug allergies and medical treatments
  • Use of current medications, vitamins, herbal supplements, alcohol, tobacco and drugs
  • Previous surgeries
  • The likely outcomes of your treatment and any risks or potential complications

We may also:

  • Evaluate your general health status and any other pre-existing health conditions or risk factors
  • Examine your skin
  • Take photographs for your medical record
  • Discuss your options and recommend a course of treatment


  • Are you certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery?
  • Were you specially trained in the field of plastic surgery?
  • Do you have hospital privileges to perform this procedure? If so, at which hospitals?
  • Is the office-based surgical facility accredited by a nationally or state recognized accrediting agency?
  • How many procedures of this type have you performed?
  • Am I a good candidate for this procedure?
  • What will be expected of me to get the best results?
  • Where and how will you perform my procedure?
  • What shape, size, and incision site are recommended for me?
  • How long of a recovery period can I expect?
  • What are the risks and complications associated with my procedure?
  • What happens if the biopsy shows that not all the skin cancer has been removed?
  • How are complications handled?
  • What are my options if I am dissatisfied with the outcome of my skin cancer surgery?
  • Do you have before-and-after photos I can look at for each procedure and what results are reasonable for me?


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