How to Choose the Right Cosmetic Surgeon for YOU

The relationship between a cosmetic surgeon and their patient needs to be one of absolute trust and openness. When you come to a cosmetic surgeon, you are putting your appearance in their hands. That’s no small leap of faith. Can you think of anyone else in your life you would trust with your appearance like that? When you are looking for the perfect cosmetic surgeon for you, there are steps you should take and questions you should ask. Here are a few of the questions that we immediately address with any prospective patients who come into Azul looking for the best in facial cosmetic surgery.

Board certification

Board certification is one of the best ways that you know that you aren’t just dealing with a fly-by-night operation or a surgeon who only dabbles in cosmetic surgery. Dr. Flaharty completed a 2-year accredited fellowship in ophthalmic and facial plastic reconstructive surgery, followed by a second fellowship in facial cosmetic surgery. The latter fellowship, which is accredited by the American Academy of Cosmetic Surgeons, gave him the opportunity to refine his skills in the technical aspects of facial cosmetic surgery.

Examples of actual patients

Before-and-after photos can be an effective way of gauging the skills and ability of a prospective plastic surgeon. The problem is that, when you ask some plastic surgeons about what you can expect from their services, they may show you promotional photos rather than those of actual patients. These promotional before-and-after photos are often provided by the manufacturing companies, and they’re only going to show the “best case” results, often with professional makeup and lighting to make sure everything is perfect. They’re like ads in a magazine. When you ask to see before-and-after images, make sure you specify that you want examples of the surgeon’s own work, showing patients that he or she actually performed surgery on.

If you like, take a look through our before and after photo gallery right here.

Surgical Center Environment

Operating in fully accredited surgical center, and with anesthesiologists on site provides the highest level of comfort and safety for the patient. If a cosmetic surgeon lacks hospital privileges, this could be a red flag to look elsewhere. Dr. Flaharty operates at Saint Marks Surgical Center, a fully accredited, full-service surgery center staffed with board-certified anesthesiologists.

Procedures offered

Sometimes people view cosmetic surgery clinics like fast food restaurants — thinking that the “menu” will basically the same at all of them. This is far from accurate. Many cosmetic surgery clinics have specialties, each offering a different array of procedures.

For example, at Azul, we focus on facial cosmetic treatments. This includes face and neck lifts, brow lifts, chin and cheek enhancement and more. If you’re looking for eyelid surgery or other eye-related cosmetic procedures, you’ll be interested in Dr. Flaharty’s background and training in ophthalmology.

We don’t offer body procedures (like breast enhancement or abdominal liposuction). If you are looking to have those procedures done, you want to visit with surgeons who specialize in those areas.

Listening skills

We  believe that the most important step of any plastic surgery is the initial consultation. That’s why we offer free consultations to all prospective patients who come into Azul. Knowledge is power, and many people come into cosmetic surgery clinics with only a partial understanding (or misunderstanding!) of the cosmetic procedures they may want performed.

We view a consultation as a chance to talk in-depth with you — breaking down the entire procedure (with all of the advantages and risks), discussing whether it’s right for you and if you’re ready, answering all of the questions you may have, and even recommending different procedures or skincare products that might just be better to help you achieve your desired results. If you feel like your plastic surgeon isn’t listening, then you want to look elsewhere!

Here is the bottom line: you’re the boss here. It’s your appearance, your body and your life, and it’s our job to listen to you, to explain your options, to recommend what we believe would be your best path forward, and then to help you reach your goals.

Do you really “click”?

Sometimes, no matter how qualified the surgeon or respectable the practice, you simply might not mesh well. If you meet with a doctor and something just doesn’t feel right, then that person simply might not be the right cosmetic surgeon for you. Your relationship with your surgeon needs to feel absolutely perfect.

If you would like to book a free consultation with Dr. Flaharty, or book an appointment for a surgical, non-surgical, or medical beauty spa procedure, you can give us a call at (239) 415-7576, or visit our website at to see everything we offer. If you do choose to go with Dr. Flaharty as your cosmetic surgeon, we promise we will do everything we can to give you the harmonious facial rejuvenation that you’ve been hoping for, and to help you discover your true beauty!

Posted in: Procedures

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