SECOND QUARTER 2000, VOLUME 14, NO 2

Trust your face to a specialist

IN THIS ISSUE

Trust your face to a specialist

Ethnic differences and facial plastic surgery

Ask the Surgeon / Health Tip / Whats New

Surgical scar revision can help minimize scars

Facial cosmetic procedures are more popular today than ever, and many different specialists are performing them. If you’re considering facial cosmetic surgery, it’s important to find a physician who specializes in facial plastic surgery, has extensive experience with the procedure(s) you are seeking, and with whom you feel at-ease.

Here are some tips for finding the facial plastic surgeon who is appropriate for you:

Get Referrals
One way to select a facial plastic surgeon is to ask friends who have had cosmetic surgery about their physician. Are they happy with the results? Would they return to her for another procedure? Your family doctor may also be able to recommend someone.

Another good referral source is the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. If you call the Academy’s toll-free number, 1-800-332-FACE, you will be given the names and telephone numbers of surgeons in your area who specialize in the procedure(s) you’re considering.

Check credentials.
Once you’ve gotten the names of several facial plastic surgeons, you’ll want to find out about their qualifications. Board certification, which indicates that a surgeon has training and competency in performing facial plastic surgery procedures, is a good starting point. Other things to consider are the hospital(s) where the doctor has operating privileges, and his overall training and specific experience performing the procedure(s) you’re seeking.

Many public libraries have copies of reference books such as The Directory of Medical Specialists, which lists physicians by specialty and identifies their credentials. Facial Plastic surgeons are found under the heading “Otolaryngology.”

Hospitals will also provide the names of surgeons who have privileges to perform the procedure(s) you want.

Have an initial consultation.

Meet with the surgeons that you’ve identified. Ask what procedures they recommend for you, their experience with those procedures, and the risks involved. Look at before-and-after photographs of their patients.

Ask yourself how comfortable you feel with each surgeon and how confident you are that he or she is the best professional for you.

Talk with former patients.
Finally, ask the surgeons you meet with to connect you with former patients who have had the same procedure you’re considering.

Following these steps will help you find the facial plastic surgeon who can best meet your needs.