Last updated: Dec 02, 2009
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Not every doctor is qualified to perform every procedure. Do you really want to turn your body over to someone who doesn't really know what they're doing? Here are five questions you should ask before you get a cosmetic tweak from a doctor working outside of her specialty.

How many times have you done this procedure?
Ideally, you should hear “hundreds” or “thousands,” not “dozens” or something vague like “more than I can count.” Also ask the doc how long shes been doing the procedure (less than a year means theres still a learning curve) and how many times a week she does it (too few times a week means shes less likely to have fresh product or offer you free touch-ups if you arent happy).

Do you own or rent your laser?
Renting may be a tip-off that the doctor isnt doing the procedure often enough to make owning worth it. Rented lasers arent always calibrated correctly, which could mean an increased chance of a burn. Also, not every laser is suitable for every skin type, so be wary of the physician who has only one. Ask about the number of fillers being offered, too.

What muscle causes the lid to droop?
If a doctor can tell you its the levator muscle, then he probably knows enough facial anatomy to avoid or fix this problem that can result from a poorly placed Botox injection.

How did you learn how to do this procedure?

If the answer is, “I took courses,” ask: Who taught them? How long did they last? Look for the MD who has completed multiple courses and takes continuing-ed classes in the field. If she trained with a top plastic surgeon, ask, “How did you find time for that?” She may let it slip that the training only took one afternoon.

Will you be the one doing the procedure?
It doesnt matter how many hours of training your gyno has in fillers if his assistant is the one shooting you up. If something goes wrong, you want to know that the med school grad is right there to manage the complications. Remember: Youre paying for the expertise of the best-trained person in that practice.