In choosing a plastic surgeon, your first goal is to develop a list of good candidates.  Where do you find them?  Some sources are better than others.

Friends:  If you know someone who’s had a procedure like the one you’re considering, talk to him or her about it.  But don’t decide on a surgeon based on one friend’s experience.  Every patient is unique, and so is every surgery; your results might be quite different from your friend’s.

Doctors:  Doctors now work for hospitals and big groups, thus are obligated to refer patients within their system.  They are no longer considered a source of objective opinion.

Nurses:  If you know an operating room nurse- or if you know someone who knows one- you can probably get a well informed opinion on surgeons he or she has worked with.

Your Next Step:  Checking Credentials

One you’ve complied a list of several doctors, you can start checkin their credentials.  While good credentials can’t guarantee you a successful outcome, they can significantly increase the odds.

Training:  More important than where you surgeon went to school s the type of training he or she received.  Has the surgeon completed an accredited residency program specifically in plastic surgery?  Such a program includes two or three years of intensive training in the full spectrum of reconstructive and cosmetic procedures.  While your plastic surgeon may choose to concentrate on a limited number of procedures, this comprehensive background gives a solid foundation to his or her skills.

Board Certification:  Patients are encouraged to consider a doctor certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS).  By choosing a plastic surgeon who is certified by the ABPS, a patient can be assured that the doctor has graduated from an accredited medial school and completed at least six years of additional residency training – usually three years of general surgery or its equivalent) and two years of plastic surgery.  To be certified by the ABPS, a doctor myst also practice plastic surgery for two years and pass comprehensive written and oral exams.

Society Memberships:  The best aesthetic surgeons are members of the exclusive American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery.  The best of them hold the certificate of advanced education in aesthetic surgery.  Dr. Cherny is the only plastic surgeon is Des Moines who has this.

Experience:  Although there’s no magic number (of years of procedures) that defines “experience”, you should feel comfortable that the surgeon you choose is well versed and up-to-date in the procedure frequently or only occasionally, and when they last performed that procedure.

Finally:  The Consultation / Interview

If you’ve narrowed your list down to two or three surgeons, you might want to visit them all for an initial consultation.  That way you can compare their personalities, their opinions on the type of surgery you should have, their fees, and the way they answer your questions and explain the risks involved.  Keep in mind, though, that you’ll probably have to pay for these consultations, whether or not you choose that surgeon,

Don’t be afraid to ask questions, no matter how trivial or how personal you think they’ll sound.  In fact, it’s a good idea to write down your questions beforehand.  You will not forget and of your questions and to make a note of the surgeon’s answers as well.  Here are a few general things to look for in the interview:

  • The surgeon should answer all your questions thoroughly, in language you can udnerstand.
  • He/She should ask about your motivations and expectations, discuss them with you, and solicit your reaction to his/her recommendations.
  • He/She should offer alternatives where appropriate, without pressuring you to consider unnecessary procedures.
  • He/She should welcome questions about professional qualifications, experience, costs and payment polices.
  • He/She should make clear not only the risks of surgery but the possible variations in outcome.  If the surgeon shows you photographs of other patients, or uses computer imaging to show you possible results, it should be clear that there is no guarantee that your results will match these.
  • He/She should make sure the final decision is yours.

Choosing the makeover procedure you want to have, is the easy part.


Entrusting your skin to the best plastic surgeon, not only comes down to choosing the most qualified, but also the most experienced and adept skin artist.


Dr. Cherny has been practicing & creating beautiful plastic surgery works of art for nearly 25 hears, and has come to be known as the “Michelangelo of Skin”.


Not only is Dr. Cherny a highly esteemed surgeon, his experience and artistic talent is recognized by these prestigious medical organizations.  He is a Fellow of American College of Surgeons, a Member of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, and a Member of the American Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons.  Click the logos below to familiarize yourself.


FACS_logo     MASAPS     american_plastic_surgeons


Dr. Cherny has been voted “Des Moines Best Plastic Surgeon”, and is considered one of “America’s Top Surgeons” because of his unparalleled quality of work, and patient satisfaction.