Choosing a Surgeon for Your Facelift
Choosing a Cosmetic Plastic Surgeon
Choosing a Plastic Surgeon for your Facelift
Choosing the right plastic surgeon to perform your facelift surgery is one of the most important decisions you will make. FaceForum has assembled a variety of resources to assist you in your search.
This section of FaceForum begins with a brief introduction into the factors which one should consider as one selects a cosmetic plastic surgeon to perform one's facelift surgery.
Top Tips for Choosing a Plastic Surgeon to Perform Your Facelift Surgery:
- Verify that the surgeon is board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. - You can check to see if your facelift surgeon is board certified in plastic surgery by using the American Board of Medical Specialties website at www.abms.org or by calling them toll free at 1 (866) ASK-ABMS.
- Check the status of the surgeon's medical license. - FaceForum has assembled medical license verification information from all fifty U.S. states and the District of Columbia to assist you. Each state has its own information page on our website. You can find the links by scrolling down this page.
- Check for disciplinary actions and malpractice judgments. Many of the state websites have information on disciplinary actions. A few have information on malpractice judgments. If your state doesn't list malpractice judgments on its website, you may be able to obtain that information from the clerk of courts for the county in which the doctor practices. Keep in mind that a malpractice lawsuit is different from a malpractice judgment. An accepted rule of thumb is that three malpractice judgments in a period of five to ten years indicates a warning sign.
- Ask about malpractice insurance. - Should something go wrong, you want to make sure that your surgeon has current insurance coverage.
- Verify the doctor's credentials and training. - While some of the state websites (links below) give you this information, not all do. Ask your doctor's office for information on the surgeon's training and education. For most plastic surgeons, you can also get this info from either the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) or the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS). Roughly 97% of all board certified plastic surgeons are ASPS members. The ASPS website is at www.plasticsurgery.org.
- Ask the surgeon how often he or she performs facelift and what his or her the complication rates are. - Be skeptical if no one knows the answers or if you are told that a particular physician has never had any complications.
- Check whether or not the surgeon has hospital privileges. - You want to know this even if you are not having surgery in the hospital. Why? In the rare event that something happens during surgery, you may have to be admitted to the hospital for care. Ask the doctor's office about hospital privileges. Call the hospital to verify.
- Ask for references. - Ask for before and after photos. If you feel comfortable talking to other patients on whom the plastic surgeon performed facelift, do so.
- Ask your doctor. - What kind of opinion does your family doctor or primary care physician have of your plastic surgeon?
- Ask about anesthesia. - Make sure that your anesthesia is being administered by a properly certified registered nurse anesthetist or an physician anesthesiologist. Extra Tip: Many state websites have anesthesiologist and nurse anesthetist certification information.
- Check the accreditation of the surgical facility. - States require hospitals to be certified. Most states do not require that out-patient (ambulatory) surgical facilities or office-based surgical facilities be certified. Luckily, there are national accrediting organizations which inspect and certify them. They are the American Association for Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgery Facilities (AAAASF), the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC) and the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO). You can look up AAAASF facilities at http://www.aaaasf.org/Facilities/. You can search for AAAHC facilities at: http://www.aaahc.org/accreditation/search.shtml. JCAHO accreditation lookups can be performed at: http://www.qualitycheck.org/consumer/searchQCR.aspx.
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