I’m going to venture into dangerous territory, because I obviously have a website. And when a person with a website writes about good and bad sites, she sets herself up for all manner of criticism. But one of the most potentially helpful resources for helping you sort through the issues pertaining to plastic surgery are the surgeons’ own websites.
True, you can always talk with others who have had that labiaplasty or vaginoplasty, and you might be able to find someone who is willing to recommend her surgeon. However, it’s still helpful to spend an hour or two online doing research regarding prospective surgeons. So as you review these sites, what should you look for?
First, consider the marketplace in your particular area. Do you live in a large urban area or back “in the sticks”? In a larger city, there’s likely to be more competition, more surgeons from whom to choose. In a smaller city, you either settle for whoever is local or you commit to going outside your city for your procedure. Knowing this tells you how far out you should search on the Web. If you know you’re going to have to look for surgeons beyond your city, then you have to Google nearby cities along with your own city.
Once you’re on the surgeon’s website, notice the site’s general quality. Maybe it’s just me, but I wouldn’t trust a doctor whose site is full of spelling errors. Even more importantly, I wouldn’t trust one who had no reference to her background on her site.
A good site should make it easy to contact her. If you have to study the site for half an hour to figure out how to reach the surgeon, then she probably isn’t too anxious to help you.
I’m also a big believer in having learning tools on the website. This is especially true with a subject such as plastic surgery, because so few people really know much about the various procedures. Offering informative tools on the website not only help you along with your quest to find out more about plastic surgery, but it also shows that the surgeon herself is striving to be helpful.
Audio-visual resources are also really helpful. Some surgeons offer before and after photos. Some even offer informative videos to explain more about their procedures. Again, this shows that your surgeon wants to help you now as much as possible about your desired procedure.
And finally, while this is not essential, I’m also a big fan of sites that offer a way to interact with their readers (For instance, a blog such as this this invites comments from the readers). Because both online and in the office, a good plastic surgeon is one who is willing to talk freely and candidly with her patients.