Choosing A Facial Cosmetic Surgeon
Choosing a highly quali fi ed, experienced facial plastic surgeon is the single most important thing you do to ensure that your surgery is a success. Do your homework to fi nd the right one. Ask for errals fr om your family doctor, fr iends, relatives, your hair stylist, and your cosmetologist; however, dont rely completely on even the warmest recommendation. Learn all you can about the surgeon you're considering. Call the doctor's office and ask questions.Visit the doctor's Web site. Ideally, you would interview everyone you're considering; however, note that most facial plastic surgeons charge a fee for a prospective patient consultation.
The most important qualifications for a facial plastic surgeon are rigorous training, ample experience, board certification, demonstrated excellence, and compatibility. How can you tell if you and a particular doctor are compatible? Trust your instincts, but also try to judge whether he or she will patiently answer all your questions, treat you as an equal, willingly show you patients' before-and-after pictures, and give you names of former patients to contact.
How Much Expe ri ence Is Enough?
Almost all the literature talks about choosing a qualified facial plastic surgeon. Sometimes we are urged to ask a surgeon how many years he or she has been doing surgery, or, for example, how many rhinoplasties the surgeon does each year. However, as prospective patients, most of us do not know what the right answer would be. If a surgeon tells you he or she does 20 rhinoplasties a year or 100, which answer indicates proficiency?
When choosing a doctor, experience counts. It takes a long time to build a reputation for excellence in cosmetic surgery.
- Dr.William Truswell
There are no hard and fast numbers to go by here; however, you want to make sure that your surgeon has been trained specifically for the procedure you are considering. Ideally, this highly trained surgeon has been in practice for several years and is performing facial plastic surgery on a regular basis. You're probably in good hands if the doctor is performing the procedure you're considering at least several dozen times a year.
Finally, check to see whether the doctor is certified by organizations such as the American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (ABFPRS) or the American Board of Plastic Surgery. Surgeons must meet rigorous standards in both training and experience to be members of these organizations. Other upstanding organizations - known as "societies," "academies," or "colleges" - are typically involved in educational conferences and other continuing education activities; however, the organizations that are "boards" are the ones involved in certifying surgeons. (The Resources section, toward the end of this book, tells you how to contact these and other helpful organizations.)
When you're in the hands of a well-qualified surgeon, you will almost certainly achieve good or excellent results with very little risk. Still, remember that many cosmetic procedures are relatively new and involve important facial muscles and nerves. Make sure your chosen doctor has performed your intended procedure a great many times and kept up with advances in the field.Also, be aware that in many states any licensed physician can perform cosmetic surgery and legally claim to be a facial plastic surgeon.
It is critical that you do enough research - read books, search the Web, and conduct phone and office interviews, for example - to choose the right facial plastic surgeon.