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How Do I Find the Best Doctor for a Neck/face/lift?

The more I read the more confused I get. When I inquire I get asked question like "what's your zip code". I don't give a rip where he's located. I'll fly to any State. I only have one face and I don't want any " Ooop's. I know it'important to be board certified but there is a lot more to having great skill.*I want great skill*. Please, Please Please tell me where to find the right doctor. Thumper 630 in Illinois

Doctor Answers (19)

Finding the Best Plastic Surgeon

+5

When choosing a plastic surgeon it is imperative to select a surgeon who is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. Often, plastic surgeons who perform a great deal of aesthetic or cosmetic surgery will also be members of ASAPS. A plastic surgeon who is a member of ASAPS is an indication that a surgeon has significant interest in aesthetic plastic surgery.  When evaluating a surgeons training, look for completion of a plastic surgery fellowship. A fellowship is an elite qualification that only a small percentage of surgeons performing cosmetic plastic surgery can claim. , a surgeon who has had an additional fellowship of training has completed focused and intense specialized training in a particular area of interest

Be careful about investigating board certification. Some doctors today are promoting themselves as being double board certified, triple board certified and even quadruple board certified.

Thousands of physicians with no residency training in plastic surgery and without certification from the American Board of Plastic Surgery (the only Board recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties that certifies plastic surgeons) promote themselves as `cosmetic surgeons' and `plastic surgeons'. Some are primary care physicians, some are emergency room doctors; some have never completed a residency training program in any specialty and are not eligible to take any specialty board exam. Many take `weekend courses' on liposuction, or breast augmentation, or facelifts, then return to their practice and begin promoting that procedure and performing it on patients.

The minimum amount of training in plastic surgery that will allow a physician to be eligible for certification by the American Board of Plastic Surgery is five years, and many board-certified plastic surgeons, myself included, have several additional years of training in general surgery and plastic surgery. There are a number of reasons for such a significant training requirement. Chief among them are the following: one does not acquire sophistication in diagnosis and treatment planning, superior surgical skill, and the capacity to minimize the possibility of complications and unfavorable outcomes by taking weekend courses. It requires years of training experience under the direction of talented mentors. It requires devotion to the art and practice of plastic surgery.

Be careful in evaluating physicians whose `Board Certification' is by a `Board' which is not recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS), and who belong to an `Academy' that does not require residency training in plastic surgery. Some will claim that they are `double-' or even `triple-board certified', when only one (and occasionally none) of those `boards' are recognized by the ABMS. Visit the ABMS website to see which specialties have ABMS recognition.

It takes just a few mouse clicks to verify a surgeon's credentials online. Make sure that the surgeon or surgeons that you are considering are certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and are active members of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS). ASPS members are also eligible for membership in the exclusive American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (ASAPS), the premier professional association of board-certified plastic surgeons with a specialty practice in cosmetic surgery


Selecting a plastic surgeon should always start with board certification by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, but it doesn't end there.

Choosing Your Surgeon
There is endless information about plastic surgery available online, some of it helpful, some of it hogwash. Many patients learn about treatment options and narrow their search for a plastic surgeon with the help of their computer. And then they make one or two or more appointments, and on the basis of these encounters decide on a surgeon. Some patients already have a particular plastic surgeon in mind, based on the recommendation of satisfied patients or the surgeon's reputation.
Regardless of how you decide who you see, ask yourself the following questions after your consultation appointment(s):
Is this surgeon qualified to perform the surgery I am considering?

Do I like this person? Will I enjoy seeing them over the course of my surgery and recovery?

Was my complete medical history taken and examined in detail?

Did this physician truly listen to me as I explained my thoughts about the improvement I am seeking?

Does this physician share my aesthetic sensibility? Do they understand me and are they able to provide exactly what I am looking for?

Was I provided with a thorough understanding of all options available (both surgical and non-surgical)?

Was I shown photographic examples of surgical outcomes that give me confidence?

Was the office staff professional, friendly and accommodating?

Was I pressured in any way to proceed with surgery?

Does this surgeon perform aesthetic surgery exclusively or is aesthetic surgery a small percentage of the pratice?

 

Listen to what your heart and your gut tell you when you are evaluating your consultation experience. Only move forward if you can do so with confidence about the experience you expect to have in a given plastic surgery practice, and about your ultimate outcome as a surgical patient.
Your experience with the consultation process is a good indication of what you are likely to receive as a surgical patient in any practice. If the process is well-organized and enjoyable, the staff is respectful and efficient, and the physician takes adequate time to understand your individual needs and communicates effectively, then you have a very high likelihood of being treated in a similar fashion if you become a surgical patient of that practice. If the process is disorganized or rushed, if the staff is discourteous or unprofessional, or if the physician does not give you confidence that your needs will be met, then don't expect things to get any better once you are a surgical patient.

You must be absolutely certain that your plastic surgeon's aesthetic sensibility matches your aesthetic goals. I have a very particular aesthetic vision, and I do not pretend to be the plastic surgeon for everybody. I strive to produce surgical results that are natural-appearing, results that do not advertise a trip to the operating room. For example, I do not perform breast augmentation for patients that are seeking an overly large and distinctly `done' breast appearance. And I have a particular distaste for cheek implants, as I think they rarely produce natural-appearing cheek contours, and instead prefer to enhance facial volume by means of structural fat grafting. Make sure that your plastic surgeon's philosophy and preferred approaches are consistent with the goals that you have in mind.
Adequate communication is obviously invaluable, and you should be able to communicate clearly and easily not only with your doctor, but also with your doctor's staff. Over the course of preparing for and recovering from aesthetic surgery, your doctor's staff will have an important and active role. Make sure that your interaction with the staff gives you confidence that you will receive the care and attention that you expect, and deserve, postoperatively.

Verify that major surgical procedures are performed in an accredited surgery center and that anesthesia care is provided by board-certified M.D. anesthesiologists. If you are most comfortable with overnight observation after surgery with the bedside care of an R.N., verify that this is available to you. Look up your surgeon on your state's Medical Board website to verify that they are in good standing and have no public record of sanction or limitation of their license to practice.

Be confident enough to ask some `difficult' questions. Feel empowered to ask any physician questions like: What are your complication and reoperation rates for this procedure? Has a cosmetic surgery that you performed ever resulted in a lawsuit? Have you had any serious complications and unplanned hospitalizations after cosmetic surgery? Have you ever been disciplined by a state medical board? I am never offended by these kinds of questions, and no competent and qualified surgeon should be. In my opinion it is actually the savvy prospective cosmetic surgery patient who does this kind of `due diligence'.

Web reference: http://michaellawmd.com

Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 31 reviews

Illinois Facelift

+3

To be honest, the best way to find a great surgeon is by word of mouth, either by people that you know who have had surgery with a specific doctor, or comments you read online, etc.  Advertising tells you nothing - any surgeon can advertise that the were voted the best surgeon of the century, etc., but the trick is that most of those types of things are paid accomplishements if you will.  Pay for advertising in a certain magazine, and more likely than not, they will name you as a top doctor for that area, etc.  You definetly want to go to a board certified plastic surgeon, not a facial plastic surgeon, or a "cosmetic surgeon."  It is easy to check - just go to the American Board of Plastic Surgery ( abplsurg.org) and look up their name. They are the only real board certifying organziation for plastic surgery.  You also want to go on a few consults and really get a feel for not only the doctor's skill, but also how well you interact with them.  This is someone that you are going to be dealing with on a long term basis, and seeing pretty often.  You want to be comfortable with that person as much as possible.  I hope this helps.

Barrington Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Finding a facelift surgeon

+2

They should be Board Certified in Plastic Surgery or Facial Plastic Surgery and should have facelifting as a specialty interest of theirs and they should have 20 years of post-training experience.  They should have what look like amazing photos to your eye showing consistently what you want for yourself.  Facelifting is an art form so the same patient operated on by two different surgeons will have a different result.

What I personally look for in photos to evaluate results is the following: a completely rejuvenated look with no operated on look, a smooth jawline with no jowls, a nice angular neck with the fat gone and the muscles tightened, and cheek volume restored after re-elevating the jowls.

Good luck in your search! 

Seattle Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

How to Find the Best Plastic Surgeon for a Neck lift and Face lift

+1

The most critical decision to be made in achieving the best facelift plastic surgical result is picking the most experienced and talented, that is the best, plastic surgeon possible. Too often, patients choose a physician based on a catchy ad, the brand name of a technique, the basis of one or two before and after photos, or their web site’s search engine ranking. These criteria will not find the most experienced and talented plastic surgeon.

My Background

Dr. Larry Nichter
I have been a practicing facelift plastic surgeon for more than 25 years, having trained scores of plastic surgeons as a tenured professor of plastic surgery at USC, and I have had a private practice in Orange County since 1993. Speaking from all this experience, here is my advice and the criteria I would use to find the best plastic surgeon in Orange County, Los Angeles, California, or anywhere in the United States. These are the criteria I would use to select a plastic surgeon for my friends, my family, or myself.

First, I want to stress some general observations I have found to be true over the years.

Caveat Emptor: Buyer Beware
The longer a surgeon trains at his craft, the finer his skills and the better his judgment become. Board certification in Plastic Surgery (see below) is a bare minimum. Board certification in an additional surgical field recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties, or for that matter “triple-board certified,” attests to a doctor’s advanced training and skill and judgment. It also means that they have attained Chief Resident Status in more than one field during their training which means they essentially ran a large departmental service and had senior decision-making and independent operating responsibilities. It is this step that is most maturing for a surgeon.

The institution where the surgeon trained is also important. More renowned schools usually attract the best faculty.

You can use the internet to research the background of a prospective plastic surgeon quickly. Please do this prior to making an appointment. “Just because you wear a baseball cap it doesn’t mean you are a good ball player.” The same applies to anyone wearing a white coat—it doesn’t make you a plastic surgeon, much less a great one.

Caveat Emptor in Latin means “Buyer Beware.” In most states, including California, any physician with a medical school diploma and state license is viewed as a doctor and a surgeon—even without any formal surgical training. In some cases even doctors who have completed only the minimal requirements (medical school, licensing examination, and a one-year internship that need not include surgical training) are touting themselves as “cosmetic surgical experts.” They make these claims of expertise despite the fact that they are only formally trained as family practitioners, OB/Gyns, emergency physicians, dermatologists, or ear-nose-throat specialists. Even physician assistants and nurses have made such claims.

7-Step Process for Finding the Best Plastic Surgeon
The following are my screening guidelines and criteria for picking the best plastic/cosmetic surgeon.

1. Board Certified Plastic Surgeon by the American Board of Plastic Surgery
The American Board of Plastic Surgery is the only certifying board in Plastic Surgery that is a member of the American Board of Medical Specialties. Use these links to look up a prospective surgeon’s status.

To become a plastic surgeon certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery requires a minimum of five years of surgical training with a minimum of two years of training specifically in plastic surgery. Then the applicant must also pass a comprehensive written board exam. If successful, the candidate must present his/her clinical cases for critical review by board examiners (I was one such board examiner) and if accepted will take a series of oral examinations.

Since the 1990s, the American Board of Plastic Surgery Certification is only valid for ten years. To retain your board certified status, a plastic surgeon must complete a Maintenance of Certification including written testing and case review. This means that all who pass are trained and experienced in all plastic surgery procedures including facial procedures, breast, and body; essentially all cosmetic and reconstructive procedures.

If a Plastic Surgeon is additionally board certified by another surgical specialty recognized the American Board of Medical Specialties, then this also marks additional expertise and training at the highest level. The American Board of Facial Plastic Surgery (ABFRS) is not a licensing body nor an educational institution and the certificates it issues are not legal licenses to practice facial plastic and reconstructive surgery. The ABFRS is not recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties (although it does note additional specialty training/interest in facial aesthetic surgery).

Likewise, beware of physicians armed only with certification from other non-ABMS recognized boards or special society memberships other than those I have recommended (eg. “Cosmetic Surgery Board,” “Lipoplasty Society of North America,” etc.).

2. Fellow of the American College of Surgeons: FACS
The American College of Surgeons is dedicated to improving the care of the patient and to safeguarding standards of care in an optimal and ethical practice environment. Members of the American College of Surgeons are referred to as “Fellows.” The letters FACS (Fellow, American College of Surgeons) after a surgeon’s name mean that the surgeon’s education and training, professional qualifications, surgical competence, and ethical conduct have passed a rigorous evaluation, and have been found to be consistent with the high standards established and demanded by the College.

To be a member you have to:

be board certified in a surgical specialty recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties
be in practice in one location for a number of years, with a background check, nomination, and interviews which verify that you are an ethical and safe surgeon among other criteria.
Hint: Look for the “FACS” (or “FRCS,” see below) after the “MD” in a doctor’s title or in his/her Curriculum Vitae to see if he/she is a “real surgeon.”

Note for patients in Canada: The equivalent of FACS in Canada is the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, FRCS.

3. Member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS)
The American Society of Plastic Surgeons is the largest organization of plastic surgeons in the United States and one of the largest in the world. ASPS members are uniquely qualified because of the society’s membership requirements:

Members of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons must be Board Certified by The American Board of Plastic Surgery complete at least 5 years of surgical training with a minimum of 2 years of training specifically in plastic surgery. The more years of Plastic Surgical Training the better – this includes fellowships in a plastic surgical field.
American Society of Plastic Surgeons members are required to adhere to a strict code of ethics and must fulfill rigorous Continuing Medical Education (CME) requirements including patient safety issues.
Lastly, ASPS members are required to operate at accredited surgical facilities certified by one of the following USA organizations: American Association for Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgical Facilities, Inc., Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care, Inc., or the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Health Care Organizations.
Beware of physicians without this membership but belonging only to similar-sounding societies as their claim to excellence eg. “American Society of Cosmetic Surgery,” “Lipoplasty Society of North America,” etc.

4. Member of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS)
This is the most elite society in the United States and perhaps the world for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. To be a member means that your career is focused in cosmetic surgery at the highest level. Among the requirements for invitation and election to ASAPS membership, a plastic surgeon must:

Be certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (or in plastic surgery by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada);
Be in at least the third year of active practice following board certification;
Participate in accredited Continuing Medical Education (CME) to stay current with developments in the field of cosmetic plastic surgery and patient safety;
Document the performance of a significant number and variety of cosmetic surgical cases to demonstrate wide experience;
Be sponsored by two ASAPS-member plastic surgeons to help ensure that the applicant’s professional reputation meets the high standards required by ASAPS;
Adhere to current ethical standards for professional conduct as outlined in the Code of Ethics observed by all ASAPS-member surgeons;
Operate in accredited surgical facilities; and
Be elected by at least 80% of the Active Membership.
Find an ASPS member online.

5. Hospital privileges to perform the same type of surgery
Hospitals often examine qualifications of doctors applying for hospital staff privileges and restrict privileges to only surgeons best trained and qualified to do certain procedures. For example, in order for surgeons to be granted plastic surgery privileges in most hospitals in Orange County, California, that surgeon must have completed plastic surgery residency training and must be board-eligible or -certified in plastic surgery to be allowed to perform plastic surgical operations in that hospital.

Non-surgeons and other physicians that are not plastic surgeons circumvent this process by performing surgery in their offices or in outpatient surgery centers where the credentialing process is less rigorous or nonexistent. In these settings non-plastic surgeons perform procedures in which they have no formal residency training.

I am not warning against use of outpatient surgery centers or in-office procedures. I am only recommending that you check that your physician has hospital privileges for these same procedures.

6. Surgical Experience in the procedure you are having
Few patients ask how long doctors have been doing a certain procedure or how many they have performed. When you consult with a plastic surgeon:

Ask to see typical “before and after” photos;
discuss the details of the procedure in a manner that is clear to you;
review benefits and potential complications;
get full answers to your questions.
7. Evidence of Excellence, Experience and Commitment to the field of Plastic Surgery
Here are some additional criteria to look for in your plastic surgeon.

Surgical Board Certification in more than one field
Plastic Surgical Fellowships in addition to Plastic Surgical Residency.
Number of years practicing.
Peer Review Honors in their own board certification from groups such as Best Doctors, Top Doctors, Super Doctors.
Current or Prior position denoting excellence in the field or high regard by their peers such as:
Prior or present Professor or Faculty affiliation with a University Plastic surgical program (the higher the rank the better)
Chairman of a Department of plastic surgery at a regional hospital
Honors from surgical societies of which they are members such as Board Examiner, etc.
Published Plastic Surgical papers in peer review journals are also a good sign that they are committed to being on top of their field.
Feel Comfortable with your choice
It is very important that after you have done this screening and met with your potential surgeon that you feel confident in your choice.

Complications are not common in cosmetic surgery, but if one did occur are you confident that this surgeon would take charge and handle just about any problem?

Do you feel that he listens to you and communicates well by answering your questions completely, doesn’t rush you in to a decision but rather makes you part of the decision-making process? You should truly feel that it is a combined effort.

Does the surgeon’s office run smoothly? Do the staff take good care of you? If you answered in the affirmative and have gotten this far in your screening guidelines then I think you have found your “Dr. Right.”

—Larry S. Nichter, MD, FACS

Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 31 reviews

Plastic surgeon

+1

How do you find the best plastic surgeon?  There is not any specific one. Most are very competent. The key is to find one that provides rejuvenation without distortion of the face and leaving a natural result.   I learned from one of the  masters who stressed this concept.  Working on the deep tissues to rejuvenate the face but re-orient the skin in a natural way to avoid the tell-tale signs of bad facelifts. Good Luck!

Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

Word of mouth and testimonials of friends will help you find the best facelift neck lift surgeon

+1

The best way to evaluate the skills of a surgeon is to see and evaluate that surgeons actual results.

You need to be cautious. Photos of beautiful facelift neck lift results can be purchased and "fake" testimonials can be posted on Plastic Surgery Websites.

Talking to people who have had a facelift neck lift by a particular surgeon is usually a reliable way to evaluate a surgeons skill.

Most surgoens who are very skilled will be happy to provide references who have had surgey by that doctor.

The most important factor is for you to have the courage to ask the difficult questions and demand answers that satisfy you. Too often patients are intimidated by the "white coat" of the doctor and do not ask the best questions.

In chapter 10 of my book "Save Your Face", entitled "Don't Let "Just Anyone" Touch Your Face" I list 10 tips on how to choose a Plastic Surgeon.

It is your face, protect it by demanding to see the surgeons actiual rsults and speaking to his/her patients

Web reference: http://saveyourface.com/index.html

Boston Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Facelift Surgeon

+1

There are many excellent Facelift Surgeons throughout the country.  I believe that "word of mouth" referral is critical because local Surgeons generate their reputations through great results.  Avoid the "branded infomercial lifts" and associated gimmickry because if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

My advice is to meet with a few Surgeons and ask yourself the following questions: 1) Did you feel comfortable with the Surgeon? 2) Did you like the results shown to you? 3) Did you like the office staff and facility, and did it seem professional? 4) Would you seen a family member there? 5) Were you being educated about surgical process or sold something? Don't rush your decision and make your mind up accordingly.

Fort Myers Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Finding the best Board Certified plastic surgeon for you...

+1

Optimally it would be great if you have a friend that has a great outcome that can give you a personal recommendation, however this is not always possible. Then I would suggest to start by looking at before and after pictures on surgeons websites. Pick at least three surgeons with results that you like and then schedule a consultation with each, but at the time of scheduling ask if the photos you looked at are actual patients of the doctor's. When you meet with the surgeon, ask to see more photos and if you can talk to a couple of his patients that have had the same procedures that you want.

If after seeing three surgeons and you still aren't sure, then see more. It is important that besides finding a surgeon with great results, that you find one that you can communicate with, someone who is taking the time to listen to your concerns and makes you feel comfortable.

San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Who is the best face lift surgeon?

+1

Dear patient, there are excellent face lift surgeons in most major cities. There is no single face lift surgeon who is the best. Please search for an experienced and board certified facial plastic surgeon who had done at least several hundred face lifts. The best way to find out is to have consult with several surgeons and review their face lift before and after pictures. Go with the one you feel comfortable. I perform nearly one thousand facial procedures a year and I am very skilled in what I do, but  is not fair to my respected colleagues to call myself the best in the field.

Orange County Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 70 reviews

Experience and great results important for facelift surgeon

+1

Great question.  Please understand that many surgeons are excellent for facelifts.  I average about 8-10 facleifts per week and have performed about 600-700 in the past 1 1/2 years.  Feel free to meet with several doctors and see pictures of results as well as speak with former patients.  It would also be a plus if you liked your doctor as well.

Good Luck

Bay Area Facial Plastic Surgeon
3.0 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.

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