IN THIS ISSUE
Minimize revision surgery: How well do you know your surgeon?
The most important decision you will make regarding facial plastic surgery is who you will trust to perform the procedure. Unfortunately, facial plastic surgeons are seeing an increase in revision surgery due to patients seeking cheaper procedures from marginally qualified physicians. The additional costs to correct the sub-optimal results, along with the emotional stress and frustration, make the bargain a bust. Find out what credentials are important so you can minimize your risk for revision surgery.
What does board certified mean?
Facial plastic surgeons may be certified by the American Board of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery or the American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, among other boards. This means that the facial plastic surgeon has completed the following:
- An approved residency after medical school in one of two surgical specialties focusing on facial plastic surgery (otolaryngology – head and neck surgery or plastic surgery)
- A two-day examination
- At least two years of clinical experience, including operative reports of a minimum of 100 facial plastic surgery cases.
Although board certification is not the only indicator of competence in a surgeon, it is a benchmark of excellence, indicating that a surgeon has received extensive training in the subspecialty and has passed rigorous written and oral examinations. Be sure to ask regarding certification and training.
Getting to know you
Get to know your surgeon, the practice, and those that will be participating in your care. This will help you feel more comfortable and assured in your decision to have surgery. Making a consultation appointment is the first step. Ask questions about your facial features, the procedure(s), options, and concerns—capitalizing on expert opinion—and check out the practice. Are you comfortable in the office? Do you see signs of a busy practice with satisfied patients? Is the staff friendly, professional, and helpful? Is the doctor easy to talk to and generous with his time to answer your questions?
Your facial plastic surgeon will take this opportunity to get to know you as well. He will want to know about your motivations and expectations for a procedure. Your physician will evaluate your face and discuss the options, the risks, the costs, and the alternatives. You should walk away from the appointment feeling informed, not pressured. You should become more comfortable with your doctor and be able to make an educated decision about a cosmetic or reconstructive procedure.
Overall, you are looking for a surgeon who frequently and successfully performs the procedure you want. Your facial plastic surgeon will be pleased to discuss the training that has prepared him to perform the procedure. By carefully considering a facial plastic surgeon’s credentials, training, experience, and practice, you will be able to ensure that you are receiving the highest quality of surgery and care.