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Why Recommendations and Experience are important while choosing a Surgeon for Cosmetic Surgery

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The proficiency and experience of the surgeon in handling the procedure are important factors to consider if you are planning cosmetic surgery. A recent study confirms that people do give a lot of priority to these factors.  According to the study published in the Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, official publication of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, cosmetic surgery patients, value surgeon experience and personal recommendation most highly when choosing a cosmetic surgeon.

The study noted surgeon experience as the number one factor which influenced patient choice. Recommendations from satisfied patients or referrals come next. Surgeons involved in the study noted, “It seems that the greater the experience the more confident patients are for a better result”.

An innovative market research technique called conjoint analysis was used to assess the factors affecting choice of surgeon. The participants were a group of 150 Dutch patients who expressed an interest in cosmetic plastic surgery. The main highlights of the study are as follows:

  • Patients were presented with 18 different scenarios in order to rank their preferences and to understand which characteristics were important to them. These included cost, travel time, surgeon experience, clinic size, method of referral and online (website) presentation.
  • 36 percent voted for the length of the surgeon’s experience. It was also found that surgeons with at least 10 years of experience were chosen over less-experienced surgeons.
  • Personal recommendations were the next strongest factor with 21.5% patients supporting it. Recommendations include those from a general practitioner, followed by referral by a friend or family member.
  • People were less likely to rely on referrals by TV, radio, magazine, and internet forums. In fact, it was found that these could have a negative impact.
  • 14 percent of the participants considered travel time as an importance factor, with most preferring travel times of less than one hour.
  • The cost of the procedure came next in importance, with a 13 percent interest.

Experts point out that the findings of this study have important implications as far as plastic surgeons in private cosmetic surgery practice are concerned. They need to be proactive in developing their marketing strategy and make an effort to understand patient preferences. This study also indicates that people are cautious when choosing their surgeon which is a good sign as far as the safety and effectiveness of the procedure is concerned.

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