Cosmetic surgery is a specialty concerned with improving the aesthetic appearance of a patient through various surgical procedures. Because these operations can be extremely complex and have a significant impact on your self-esteem, it's important to choose a cosmetic surgeon wisely. One of the first criteria to examine is the surgeon's credentials. If a doctor claims to be a specialist in cosmetic surgery or in a certain procedure, ask what training he or she received in that area of expertise. Medical school graduates who pass the state boards can legally title themselves a 'specialist,' even though they may not have residency training in that specialty. Being certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery is generally a good sign. This indicates that a doctor has completed rigorous training and hands-on experience in plastic surgery. In addition, ask how many years the surgeon has been in practice. Beyond this, it's also vital to evaluate before-and-after examples of a doctor's work. Though two given doctors may both be skilled, one may produce results that are more to your liking. During your consultation, assess whether the doctor appears courteous, attentive, and willing to answer your questions. You should trust and feel comfortable with the person you choose.