$60,000 is a lot of money for a facelift. Yes, you are considering a procedure to permanetly change your face. So cleatly, you want the best. But the highest price may not be the best. On the other hand, you can be certain that the lowest rice surgeon will not be the best.
The following are a few things that can distinguish some surgeons from others
1) Graduating from a top tier medical school at the top of their class.
2) Membership in Alpha Omega Alpha. THis is the medical honors society. Alpha Omega Alpha is to medicine what Phi Beta Kappa is to letters
3) Formal surgical training from prestigious medical universities. The minimum number of years of surgical training for plastic surgeons to be bord certified in five years. Some physicians have as many as ten years of formal surgical training. There simply is no substitute for stelar academic and practical surgical training.
4) Very experienced surgeons with meticulous surgical technique and natural looking outcomes will have photgraphic evidence of their work. Patients should be able to view many photos of the surgery of interest, photgraphed from three different perspectives all with similar lighting, distance from the camera and cropping
The elite experience extends beyond the surgeon to the facility, and the surgical team. You should be able to see the surgical theater and know who else will be in the OR with you during surgery. The Joint Commission (JCAHO) is an organization that provides certification to hospital OR's. The Joint Commission and AAAASF are two of the organizations that can provide certification to surgical suites. Some plastic surgeons elect to have their surgery centers dually certified.
The anesthesia experience is critical to a safe and comfortable surgical experience. A board certified anesthesiologist can administer general or MAC anesthesia. My preference is to have a board-certified anesthesiologist at the bedside of my patients for the duration of surgery.
Plastic surgeons who cater to high profile individuals who place a high value on privacy will have a private first floor entrance and exit so patients never need to be in a public lobby or elevator for pre-operative or post operative visits.