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How Do You Choose A Cosmetic Surgeon?

Thursday, March 22, 2012 - 14:33

Contributing Author: Guy Slowik FRCS

Choosing the right cosmetic surgeon is one of the most important steps in your decision to have a face lift. Here are some ways to go about your search.

  • Look for a physician who specializes in cosmetic surgery.
  • Research the doctor's qualifications and his or her surgical experience. Ask about training and educational background - the medical school attended, how many years in practice, etc. Many hospitals have this information available to the public through a physician referral service.
  • Ask about which hospital the physician is affiliated with. This means where he or she admits patients, and the level of affiliation (attending physician, courtesy physician, visiting physician). Hospitals also monitor physician qualifications, and your cosmetic surgeon should have privileges for face lift surgery.
  • Ask if the physician has completed a fellowship in a specialty related to cosmetic surgery, and if the doctor is board certified in plastic surgery.
  • Ask friends or family members if they have had certain procedures done. Remember, though, that each person's circumstances and procedures will be different.
  • Call the doctor's office and ask about the practice and the physician, office hours, insurance accepted, the type of facility it is, where face lifts are usually performed, and the staff. (For example, ask if there is a full-time anesthetist on staff if procedures are done onsite.)
  • Ask questions that are "procedure specific." For example, ask how many face lifts the doctor performs each year.

Contact your local medical society or your local hospitals for names of board certified or board eligible plastic surgeons. After obtaining these names, check each doctor's credentials. You can do this by contacting the local or state medical society or the American Society of Plastic Surgeons at 1-800-766-4955.

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