What is Acceptable Background to Do Facelift Surgery?

A doctor certified by the board of opthomology & otolaryngology is doing the Quick lift facial surgery. Is this an acceptable background for facial surgery?

Doctor Answers 15

Do your research for facelift doctors

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Ophthalmology and Otolaryngology are 2 different specialties. The background of your surgeon is only one of the important questions to ask before your facelift. In general, most facelifts today are performed by board certified plastic surgeons and board certified facial plastic surgeons.

But there are surgeons within each of these 2 specialties who rarely (or not at all) perform facelifts, because their interests are elsewhere. Less frequently, otolaryngologists/ head & neck surgeon without facial plastic surgery specialty training, ophtholmologists/ oculoplastic surgeons, dermatologists, and oral maxillo facial surgeons perform facelifts.

"Who is best qualified" is a common question leading to differing opinions mixed with a little "turf talk". Well-qualified surgeons learnt facelift surgery during their residency and fellowship training, AND perform a good number of these procedures in their current practice.

Best of luck!

Worcester Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 50 reviews

Facelifts: Facial Plastic Surgons and Plastic Surgeons

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When I answer this question, I think of who I would send my Mother to. I would only send her to a Board Certified, Fellowship trained Facial Plastic Surgeon or a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon with a special interest in Facelift Surgery. It makes sense to see a surgeon who specializes in faces and these are the only two groups who match that criteria.

A little explanation is necessary regarding an issue frequently brought up: The American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) and Facial Plastic Surgery. When it comes to using the ABMS as the defining compass in determining who should be performing Facelifts, Rhinoplasty, Belpharoplasty, etc., the answer by state legislatures and the American Public has been "No".

Facial Plastic Surgery is a sub-specialty of Otolaryngology devoted exclusively toward cosmetic and reconstructive challenges in the face and neck. The lack of inclusion in ABMS of the American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (ABFPRS) is purely political and not qualitative. In other words, there are no grounds based on training, education, or board certification which would exclude the ABFPRS from ABMS. Because of this excellence in training and the rigorous nature of the certification process the ABFPRS is considered ABMS board equivalent in Florida, Texas, California, New York , and every State that requires disclosure of ABMS or ABMS equivalent board certification. Facial Plastic Surgery is recognized by and represented in the AMA subspecialty House of Delegates and in numerous state medical societies.

A number of years ago, a political compromise was attempted between Plastic Surgery and Facial Plastic Surgery to form a new ABMS specialty described as "Plastic Surgery of the Head and Neck". This was not politically possible, so we now have two very capable groups of surgeons who perform Facelifts: Facial Plastic Surgeons and Plastic Surgeons.

Stephen Prendiville, MD
Fort Myers Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 103 reviews

Unlikely your doctor certified in both ophthalmology and otolaryngology

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Dear nhcent:

It is unlikely that your doctor is board certified in both ophthalmology and otolaryngology.

First, be aware that no residency program provides sufficient training in facelifting. This includes ophthalmology, otolaryngology, general plastic surgery, or dermatology.

There are individuals in each of these specialities who have gone on to do additional training to develop special expertise in performing a face lift. These training programs include informal preceptorship with experienced surgeons and more formal programs like fellowships in cosmetic and aesthetic surgery, facial plastic surgery, dermatology surgery, and oculofacial surgery under the authority of various specialty organizations.

Should an ophthalmologist be performing a facelift? The answer is no if their sole training is their ophthalmology residency. Currently, no ophthalmology residency offers adequate training for an ophthalmologist to be proficient in this specialized procedure. However, if the ophthalmologist has gone on and done a two year fellowship approved by the American Society of Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, then yes they have appropriate training. Current fellowship numbers indicate that oculofacial surgeons are performing more face lifts in their two year fellowship than otolarygologists in a respective facial plastic surgery fellowship. It is important to recognize however, that individuals and individual programs vary. Credentials alone are not sufficient.

Finally, also be aware that a Quicklift is a proprietary version of an S-lift. These are small incision type facelifts. Inherently, there is nothing wrong with this type of surgery, if it is right for you. However, some of the small incision facelifts get done in cookie cutter fashion meaning that your facelift may or may not be ideal for your particular face. There is no substitute for finding a very experienced facelift surgeon whose work you have had an opportunity to review and are personally comfortable with. Ultimately there is no substitute for confidence in the surgeon you have choosen.

Kenneth D. Steinsapir, MD
Beverly Hills Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

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Opthomology and ENT? unlikely

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these two fine board certifications are indicative of highly trained surgeons who are comfortable with complex surgeries in the upper and midf face.  the red flag here is that it would be very unlikely that a doctor would hold these two board certifications.  the second red flag is the "quick lift", very catchy and smells gimmicky to me. I suggest you do your homework carefully and if this physician is ABMS board certified in these two specialties then I will stand corrected.

Rafael C. Cabrera, MD
Boca Raton Plastic Surgeon

When considering having a facelift, choose your surgeon wisely

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In today's economy, more and more doctors from outside specialties are dabbling in cosmetic surgery. There are now dentists and ophthalmologists and dermatologists doing facelifts. There are made up terms like oculo-facial and dermatologic surgery. These all sound sexy but they are made up marketing terms. The only 2 specialists who you should even consider are board certified facial plastic surgeons or board certified plastic surgeons.  

These 2 specialties spend their entire residencies operating on the face and fixing cancer defects and repairing and reconstructing faces after car crashes. These are the only 2 specialties who are fully trained to deal with complex facial issues and complications that can occur.

Dentists and opthalmologists and dermatologists all do residency in their respective fields and they all are important specialties but their facial surgery experience is minimal to non existent. You wouldn't go to your dentist or dermatologist to have your appendix removed even if they took a weekend course on the subject. Why would you have them do your facial surgery that will show for everyone to see?

Jason B. Diamond, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
3.8 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

Best Background For Facelift Surgery

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As a minimum qualification for a surgeon working on your face, he or she should be Board Certified in either Facial Plastic Surgery or Plastic Surgery.  You should chose a surgeon based on his experience with facelifting, knowledge of facial anatomy, and training/background.

Anil R. Shah, MD
Chicago Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 172 reviews

Qualifications for Facelift Surgery

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A physician certified by the American Board of Otolaryngology with additional training in facial plastic surgery or a board certified plastic surgeon are acceptable credentials for facelift surgery.

Dr. ES

Qualification for performing Facelifts

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While everyone knows they should see an Orthopedic surgeon for bone and joint issues, a Gynecologist for women's health and a Pediatrician for childhood disease, many are still needlessly confused as to who best see for cosmetic Plastic surgery.

The ONLY ABMS board which certifies doctors in Plastic Surgery of the face and body is the American Board of Plastic Surgery. To get a full listing of all its surgeons you can consult www.PlasticSurgery.org the website of The American Society of Plastic Surgeons. When it comes to performing Facelift, you will also find excellent surgeons who were trained in Ear Nose and Throat (ENT) surgery and subsequently trained in facial plastic surgery.

Just as you would not see a skin doctor for women's health or a gynecologist for bone and joint issues, I would NOT trust my family or friends cosmetic surgery to doctors trained in other fields regardless of which other "boards" they were certified by.

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon

Qualified to do a facelift

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When you are looking for a surgeon to perform your facial plastic surgery, you should only be consulting with surgeons who are Board Certified Facial Plastic Surgeons. Most facial plastic surgeons are also board certified as an Otolaryngologist.

You can visit the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (aafprs.org) to locate a facial plastic surgeon in your area. My advice is consult with a minimum of 3 surgeons, ask to see before and after pictures of their actual patients, and speak with one or two patients who had the same type of surgery you are considering.

Arnold Zweig, MD (retired)
Atlanta Facial Plastic Surgeon

Who should do a facelift??

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The ONLY 2 specialties who should do facelifts are Board Certified Plastic Surgeons (Plastic Surgeons) and Board Certified Facial Plastic Surgeons (Otolaryngologists, ENT's).

That's it - not ophthalmologists (eye doctors), dermatologists (skin doctors), or dentists (amazing isn't it that there are dentists who want to do facelifts!).

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.