Most people tend to worry about the cost of plastic surgery. And while it is indeed important to find plastic surgeons that you can afford, it is not the most crucial part. What’s more important, and one that people tend to miss, is the safety aspect.

The worst that can happen if you don’t find the most affordable plastic surgeon is that you’ll overpay. But if you fail to consider safety, you may very well put your life at risk. So stop worrying about the price and focus more on ensuring that your plastic surgery is safe. If you don’t know where to start, here are a few tips:

Make sure the surgeon you are eyeing is board certified – being certified is a good indication that the surgeon knows what he is doing and has both the expertise and the willingness to constantly hone his skills and update his knowledge in order to keep up with industry standards. A great starting point is searching for surgeons who are certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, but you can also find certifications for the appropriate specialty group for the procedure you are planning to get.

Look for references – sometimes the best source of information on whether a surgeon provides safe procedures are his or her former patients. So ask the people that you can trust for recommendations. Maybe you can ask your friends, your relatives, or even your own physician if he or she has colleagues to recommend. You can also go out of your way and use the Internet to find people who have had plastic surgery and ask for their recommendations.

Check the surgeon’s website – a plastic surgeon’s website is easily one of the most useful repositories of information, as it will contain a biography of the surgeon, his credentials, his mission and vision, and maybe even a list of former clients. A well-maintained and informative website is usually a good sign, while a website that is lacking in information and very thin on content can be a red flag. As always, don’t take anything at face value and do some research just to check if the things you find on a surgeon’s website is true.

Check if the surgeon has hospital privileges – It is also a good idea to check if the surgeon you are considering has the right to use the facilities and equipment of a given hospital. Most surgeons would elect to perform the procedure at their own clinics or surgical centers, but it is always a good idea to have hospital privileges because it is an indication that peers and a hospital committee have vetted the surgeon. Always prioritize surgerons who have hospital privileges, even if you are just planning on getting the procedure in a Rancho Mirage surgery center.

Talk to the surgeon – last but not the least, you should go ahead and talk to a prospective surgeon. A really good surgeon will be able to convince you of his capabilities and will be able to put your mind at ease when it comes to safety – it’s part of their job and definitely part of their skillset. Dr Sofonio is one example of a great plastic surgeon in Rancho Mirage who prioritizes the safety of his patients, and will always be ready to answer questions and address concerns.