Whether you're thinking about liposuction, breast augmentation or another plastic surgery procedure, choosing a plastic surgeon with the right combination of artistic flair plus extensive experience can be challenging. When you do choose the best plastic surgeon for your procedure, it could be the key to achieving a pleasing new look.

Check Plastic Surgeon's Credentials and...

It's a good idea to call the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (toll-free at 1-888-4-PLASTIC, or 1-888-475-2784) to get a list of surgeons in your area who perform a certain procedure and are certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery.

Plastic surgeons certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery have graduated from an accredited medical school, completed at least five additional years of residency (typically three years of general surgery and two years of plastic surgery), practiced plastic surgery for at least two more years, and passed comprehensive exams.

If you don't want to take the professional group's word for it, friends and other doctors might be able to recommend talented plastic surgeons. Interviewing several "finalists" and some of their previous patients can also help you feel comfortable with your choice.

Generally, the more experience a doctor has performing the surgery you're interested in, the better. That's particularly true if it's a new, technically complex, or especially risky procedure.