In today’s world, looking your best is not just a personal issue. The youth and vitality of your physical appearance can completely change your professional life as well. Having “something done” is far from unusual among family, friends, and co-workers. What is unusual are reliable referrals and questions answered in an informative manner when you need them most.
1. How does one begin a comprehensive search for a well-qualified Facial Plastic Surgeon?
You should always research the qualifications of your physicians whenever possible. In the case of elective plastic surgery, in particular, you need to sure that your surgeon has the appropriate board certifications and correct medical training to perform your procedure. This means that not only is your surgeon “Board Certified” but that their documented certification is specifically linked to the exacting field of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.
2. What exactly are medical boards and which ones should I be aware of?
Unfortunately, many physicians present themselves as cosmetic surgeons, however, they do not have the proper certification or correct training for such delicate surgery. Also, qualified Facial Plastic Surgeons may belong to one or several different medical boards. For the prospective patient, this can be more than a bit confusing.
Five medical boards specialize in the field of Facial Surgery. Each of these boards are members of the American Board of Medical Specialties, often just known by the abbreviation ABMS. These boards include:
. The American Board of Plastic Surgery
. The American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery
. The American Board of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery
. The American Board of Dermatology
. The American Board of Ophthalmology
3. What does it mean to be “Board Certified” and what makes my surgeon uniquely qualified?
First, a Board Certified Facial Plastic Surgeon must complete five years of an Otolaryngology or Head and Neck surgical residency. Here the surgeon will primarily perform surgical procedures on the head, neck, eyelids, nose and other areas of the face. This includes reconstructive surgical procedures for the purpose of cancer surgery or after recovery from cancer surgery to further normalize a patient’s appearance.
Also on the learning docket are procedures more commonly referred to as “Cosmetic Surgery.” These surgeries include Face Lifts, Eyelid Lifts, and Rhinoplasty. To receive their Board Certification, these surgeons additionally complete a Fellowship year of specialized training sponsored by the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. During this Fellowship, Facial Plastic Surgeons have a chance to learn and practice new Facial Plastic and Reconstructive surgical techniques.
4. After checking for Board Certification, what else should I learn about a Facial Plastic Surgeon?
Your Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon must be affiliated with one or more accredited hospitals. Depending upon the surgery, some Facial Plastic Surgeons perform outpatient surgical procedures in operating suites in their offices or outpatient medical centers. However in the case of a complicated surgical procedure, serious medical situation or sudden emergency, you definitely want your physician by your side in a fully accredited hospital where your needs will be met.
Be aware that when a doctor has practicing privileges at an accredited hospital, it means that this medical practitioner has allowed their credentials and background to be investigated by a research team. This includes extensive interviews and professional referrals from other respected physicians in their field. Unfortunately, many “Cosmetic Surgeons” are allowed to perform surgical procedures in their own offices, but not at local hospitals. The dangerous complications implied by this common scenario is something you want to avoid at all costs.
5. Where can I see examples of your Before-and-After work with patients?
You’ll want to take to the Internet for this homework assignment to browse the web pages of this physician and their medical group. The full extent of their services should be explored and explained in understandable language online. As well, there are likely to be detailed Before and After photographs of their patients. These descriptive photographs allow you to physically comprehend how a surgical procedure appears after the healing process has been completed. An experienced Facial and Plastic Surgeon will not only see their avocation as a medical one but as an art form to transform the looks and lives of their patients.
On this Facial and Plastic Surgery website, there should be a variable plethora of information to assist current and prospective patients. Sometimes this takes the form of online Chat options to have Question and Answer sessions with a staff member in real-time. It could also take the form of a “Frequently Asked Questions” or FAQ web page that may very well provide the answers you’re searching for. Most importantly, there needs to be a full set of Contact options such as phone numbers during active office hours and after hours for times when situations arise.
A physician’s website often contains a method of directly contacting the office staff online to make an appointment or request consultations. This is a crucial step before you commit to having any surgical procedure. You need to see the physician for an office visit and take any required lab tests to determine if you are a good candidate for this type of surgery. You should spend time with the surgeon to go over the particular procedure in full detail. This includes being advised in-person of any and all risks that surgery may hold.