Good training and experience are mandatory, but true surgical skill requires intelligence, honesty, reflection, critical self-evaluation, manual dexterity, and, or course, a life-long commitment to excellence.
Such requirements are harder for the potential patient to measure but should not be overlooked.
While most plastic surgeons are simply average if not less than average at what they do (after all, average means "in the middle" and so not every Board-certified surgeon can be among the best), a true "super-specialist" is unlikely to lack skill.
If a surgeon limits his or her practice to a single area of the body but performs mediocre work, word-of-mouth will put the doctor out of business in no time at all.
An unhurried personal consultation can help a patient get a better feel for these less tangible but crucial qualities that define the true skill level of any surgeon.