Is It Wise to Have a Mini-facelift from a Doctor Who is Board Certified in a Specialty Other Than Plastic Surgery?

Doctor Answers 21

Specialists for facelifts

It is my opinion that your best result will be obtained by a surgeon certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. A facelift is a very involved procedure and it takes an expert surgeon to perfom one correctly and artistically. Minilifts are not alike. They are totally dependent on who is performing them.

Minifacelifts are in many respects more difficult than conventional facelifts. You have essentially all of the incisions of a facelift, but much less undermining. The tension used to close the incision is often considerable. So the scars are wider. There is inadequate remodeling of the deep tissues, so jowls remain unaltered in the long term, and the neck lift result fades fast.

Many paractitioners who offer only minilifts also have, unfortunately, much less training and experience. The combination of inferior training and an inferior technique may account for the extremely low satisfaction, in my opinion, of patients on the LifeStyle Lift Boards (40% only are satisfied on

I also suggest you interview several surgeons before undertaking your procedure. By being on RealSelf, chances are you are a sophisticated consumer, and you probably know by now how to evaluate your consultations.

Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 177 reviews

Please be careful

Please be careful before you let anyone operate on your face. Plastic surgeons are trained specifically in facelifts. Additionally, some plastic surgeons also do extra training specifically in aesthetic plastic surgery of the face. ENT surgeons also train in facial surgery and their speciality has extra training as well for facial plastic surgery. Besides that, no speciality is trained in facelifts. However, that does not mean that other specialities do not perform facelifts - there is no regulation saying who can and cannot do facelifts. Since mini-facelifts may be performed in the office setting under local anesthesia or minimal sedation, almost any doctor's office has the tools to perform the surgery - but, not necessarily the skills or support. So, it is very important that you discuss with your surgeon exactly what their training is and what certifications they have. Additionally, you should ask to look at photographs of patients that they personally have operated on and ask to speak to some of their former patients.

I hope this is helpful.

David Shafer, MD
Shafer Plastic Surgery
New York City

David Shafer, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 75 reviews

Type of physician for facial rejuvenation surgery

Regardless of the whether you considering a mini facelift, traditional facelift, or any other form of facial rejuvenation surgery, the key word is surgery.

The correct person for your surgery is a board certified plastic surgeon with experience in procedure you desire to have.

Especially in California, I commonly see advertisements for board certified cosmetic surgery specialists with over 20 years of experience performing all kind of procedures, including liposuction, SmartLipo, mini tummy tucks, mini facelift and other procedures.  Dermatologists, gynecologists, family doctors, internal medicine doctors, radiologists, pathologists regardless all their board certification are not surgeons with experience in this area.

Curious of who they are, I investigated further, and I found two internal medicine doctors and one family practice doctor working together at different locations. For layperson, who have heard about importance of board certification, it is very difficult to differentiate the cosmetic surgeon from the plastic surgeon.. Nevertheless, the difference is very significant.

When choosing a qualified surgeon for your procedure, make sure that your surgeon is board certified by American Board of Plastic Surgery and the surgery is performed at the licensed, or certified facility.


Boris Volshteyn M.D., M.S.

Boris Volshteyn, MD, MS
East Brunswick Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Look for Quality in Your Surgeon

Why not choose a surgeon with the most rigorous training and specialized qualifications for your facial surgery?

Paul C. Zwiebel, MD
Denver Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

Desired Board Certification for a Mini Lift Surgeon

I would make sure that your chosen plastic surgeon has board certification in one of the 'core' surgical specialties. For instance, they should be certified by either the American Board of Facial Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery or the American Board of Plastic Surgery. A mini facelift surgery is still considered real surgery with real results and real risks. I would be very hesitant about someone outside of these board certifications offering to do this type of surgery.

John M. Hilinski, MD
San Diego Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 40 reviews

Who is Qualified to Perform a Minifacelift?

A mini facelift is not different than a facelift.  To get an excellent and satisfying result, the surgeon needs to be experienced, well-trained, and artistic.  The first criteria used is board certification.  The surgeon should be board certified either by the American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery or the American Board of Plastic Surgery.  This is step 1.  Next, you need to look experience and artistry.  This is when you ask how many facelifts the surgeon performs each week.  You want a surgeon that is performing these operations on a regular basis.  Viewing many before and after examples from the surgeon will give you a sense about how natural and effective the procedure is in their hands.  

I hope this helps. 

Dr. Karam

Amir M. Karam, MD
San Diego Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 114 reviews

Minilifts: Facial Plastic Surgeons or Plastic Surgeons

When having surgery on your face, it makes sense to see a Surgeon who specializes in facial surgery.  My recommendation is that you see a Board certified, fellowship trained Facial Plastic Surgeon or Plastic Surgeon.

Stephen Prendiville, MD
Fort Myers Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 93 reviews

Trust Your Face to a Board Certified Facial Plastic Surgeon

There are several core specialities that have training in facial surgery.  Facial Plastic Surgeons, Otolaryngologists, Dermatologists, Opthamologists, Cosmetic Surgeons and General Plastic Surgeons all have training in aesthetic facial surgery and are Board Certified to perform these procedures.  It is not uncommon for a General Plastic Surgeon to have little to no facial training after completion of their training.  My recommendation who be to seek out a surgeon who is Board Certified in one or several of the above specialties who performs a lot of facial rejuvenation.  If you are in doubt, "Trust Your Face to a Board Certified Facial Plastic Surgeon".  Look at several before and after pictures.  Good Luck.

Gregory Pippin, MD
Metairie Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Who Should Perform a Facelift?

Plastic surgeons and facial plastic surgeons both have training in plastic surgery on the face.  Since there is a wide range of skill and training within both of these fields, the better question would be, which surgeon is best trained for performing a facelift on me?  Try and locate someone who has been trained adequately in the latest facelifting techniques and has experience and performs the procedure often and at a high level.

Anil R. Shah, MD
Chicago Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 162 reviews

Go to a physician board-certified in Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery

Board certification is a rigorous process that examines a physician with extensive written and oral examinations to insure that they are competent in every way to practice that particular area of practice. It insures that particular physicians are highly qualified to help you in that area of expertise. You will get the best results when you go to a board certified physician in that particular speciality and you will avoid complications.

Consulting a Board Certified Facial Plastic Surgeon would be something that I recommend. We specialize in the face and are highly qualified to help you with this.

Thank you.

Philip Young, MD
Bellevue Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 84 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.