What Is the Life of a Plastic Surgeon?

Plastic surgeons conduct plastic and cosmetic surgeries on patients.

Whether it is giving someone a nip or tuck in private areas or correcting physical deformities, plastic surgeons can have a rewarding career path. However, this is not a career for a person who does not enjoy school. First, you must receive a bachelor's degree, including pre-med studies, and pass the Medical College Admissions Test to attend medical school. You then spend four years in medical school and become licensed to practice medicine in your state. You must then go on to spend five to seven years in residency training in plastic surgery.

Examine Patients

Plastic surgeons first examine patients to find out their medical histories. Depending on the surgery, plastic surgeons answer patients' questions regarding the procedure and any side effects. Also, plastic surgeons ask patients questions about the reasons they want to have a particular surgery when they are requesting cosmetic procedures. They also perform preliminary medical procedures, such as blood and urine tests, to make sure that patients are in good health before conducting surgery.

Perform Plastic and Cosmetic Surgery on Patients

Plastic surgeons can transform someone's life through reconstructive and plastic surgery. Surgery is done on specialized areas, such as reconstructive treatment involving surgery on the head or neck. Reconstructive surgery also includes treating hand and limb problems that may occur from carpal tunnel syndrome. Plastic surgery consists of making cosmetic changes, such as a chin lift or breast augmentation. While patients are under anesthesia, plastic surgeons use various medical instruments to correct physical deformities as well as enhance or diminish parts of the body. Since plastic surgeons face many challenges conducting surgery, they must have excellent manual dexterity skills, especially for working with sharp tools.

Prescribe Medications and Treatment Plans

After surgery, patients may be in a lot of pain and have side effects recovering from cosmetic procedures. Plastic surgeons also prescribe medications to help patients deal with the pain. They also may recommend treatment plans to help patients deal with their post-surgery body changes. Depending on the type of surgery, plastic surgeons provide patients with tips for eating properly and taking care of their hygiene.

Conduct Follow-Up Visits

Plastic surgeons meet with patients after surgery to remove bandages and check wounds. They also ask questions to patients about their life and any problems encountered after surgery, such as bleeding or pain following the procedure. If there are any problems or infections as a result of the surgery, plastic surgeons suggest treatments to help their patients.

2016 Salary Information for Physicians and Surgeons

Physicians and surgeons earned a median annual salary of $204,950 in 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. On the low end, physicians and surgeons earned a 25th percentile salary of $131,980, meaning 75 percent earned more than this amount. The 75th percentile salary is $261,170, meaning 25 percent earn more. In 2016, 713,800 people were employed in the U.S. as physicians and surgeons.

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