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Whether you are considering cosmetic surgery for yourself or thinking about working in the industry, reading books on cosmetic surgery can help you make an educated decision and expand your knowledge about the different procedures cosmetic surgeons perform. With so many books available on the subject, choosing just a few of the best may seem like a daunting task. Narrow down the list by looking at which books the experts recommend, finding books that are written in a way you can understand, and making use of your local library.
Start by looking for books on cosmetic surgery that are written by experts in the field, such as plastic surgeons or dermatologists. Read the author biographies — usually located on the back cover — and look up the authors' credentials. Books written by those outside the field but with assistance from a professional can be a good choice. Be wary of books that don’t include a bibliography, footnotes, or some way of indicating sources, as it can be difficult to determine the validity of a book's research if these are lacking.
Choose books that are written in a manner that makes sense to you. If you have a medical degree or understand the terminology used in medical textbooks, those types of books can be a great resource, especially if they are written for someone in the cosmetic surgery profession. If you need a medical dictionary to read the first page, look for books on cosmetic surgery that are written for laypeople.
Check books out of your library whenever possible. This way, if you read five pages and decide that it isn’t the right book for you, you haven't lost any money. If you are using an e-reader, take advantage of the sample chapters that many online stores offer. If neither of these options is possible, read the first chapter and a few random pages throughout the book before purchasing to get a feel for the style and content. If you are considering a cosmetic procedure, ask your surgeon if the office makes any books available to patients.
Keep in mind that the industry is constantly evolving, and books on cosmetic surgery written even just a few years ago may be outdated. While records of treatment for facial injuries date back more than 4,000 years, modern cosmetic surgery only came about in 1827, when Dr. John Peter Mettauer performed the first cleft palate surgery. Since then, new innovations have cropped up nearly every year, sometimes even more frequently. Choosing a book written as recently as possible ensures a better chance of getting up-to-date information.
If you are still having difficulty choosing the best books on cosmetic surgery, contact your local plastic surgeon’s office. The doctor, or even the receptionist, should be able to help point you in the right direction. Perusing recommended reading lists on professional organizations’ websites can also help give you a better idea of what is available.