Choosing A Surgeon
There are many factors which should be considered when choosing a facial plastic surgeon for your next surgery. The following topics explain key factors to consider when choosing a facial plastic surgeon.
Make sure you choose a surgeon who is board certified. Many surgeons advertise “Board Certified” in ads, never specifying the specific board that they are certified by. When choosing a surgeon to perform facial plastic surgery, choose a surgeon board certified in facial plastic surgery or plastic surgery. Training in either of these specialties ensures that your surgeon has had the appropriate surgical experience and has passed rigorous testing in order to attain satisfactory certification board certification in their field. Board certified facial plastic surgeons and plastic surgeons are required to keep up their skills on a yearly basis by attending educational conferences in their respective specialty.
Contacting the local state medical board will help you find out if the surgeon has had any disciplinary actions against them. Such actions can include malpractice, as well as suspension or loss of their medical license. Lastly, make sure the surgeon is licensed to practice medicine within the state.
When choosing a surgeon for your procedure it is imperative to ensure that your surgeon has hospital privileges. Having hospital privileges means that the surgeon can perform that type of procedure in the hospital setting. Hospital privileges also allows the surgeon to admit and treat patients to the hospital in the case of an emergency. Hospitals have credentialing committees where panels of doctors screen other physicians to ensure physicians have the appropriate training to perform specific surgeries. Lack of hospital privileges is a red flag. If a physician does not have privileges, it is usually because the credentialing committee rules that their training and experience level is inadequate. This is also worrisome because even if the surgeon is doing the procedure at his or her office, hospital privileges mean the doctor can treat you in a hospital if complications arise.
Before and After Photos
It is very important to review a surgeons before/after photos of prior patients who have had the specific surgeries you are interested in. Photos will help you to assess the skill level of your surgeon. Photos will also allow you to get a better feel for your surgeon’s aesthetic eye. For instance, there are many variations in what makes a “good nose”. Many rhinoplasty surgeons have different aesthetics, therefore prospective patient will need to review photos of prior patients to ensure that their surgeon’s aesthetic goals match their goals as well.
Everyone likes a good deal, but the best advice one can give is to not make the price of your surgery the most influential factor. To put it best, never bargain shop when it comes to your face!
The establishment of a good surgeon/patient relationship is very important early on. You must be able to establish good repore with your surgeon. You should feel comfortable with them. You should be able to communicate with them freely, and be able to ask questions about your procedure. In turn, your surgeon should spend the time with you to answer your questions, review the procedure in depth, and provide any other information you might need to make you as comfortable as possible going into surgery. You should be confident in your surgeon’s ability without a shadow of a doubt, as this will give you the most comfort and security.
You want to go to a surgery center that has accreditation from one of the following: the American Association for Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgery Facilities (AAAASF), the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC) or the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO).
Does the physician specialize in the procedure you are having? Even though a surgeon is board certified, it is also important to investigate what their most popular procedures are. It is important to choose a plastic surgeon who performs your procedure of choice on a regular basis as opposed to once or twice a year. The facial anatomy is very complicated, therefore it is important to choose a surgeon who tremendous experience and confidence operating in this region. Facial plastic surgeons are very specialized, and solely perform cosmetic and reconstructive surgery in the head and neck region.