Plastic Surgeon Vs Otolaryngologist: Who is Better Qualified?

A plastic surgeon who works on the whole body or an Otolaryngologist (ear,nose,throat) doctor who focuses on the nose? With my surgery I am looking to do revision rhino and chin. As well as buccal fat removal. Who is better qualified?

Doctor Answers 9

Plastic Surgeon or ENT

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I would not fall into the trap of selecting a doctor based solely on whether they are an Ear-Nose-and-Throat (ENT) or Plastic Surgeon (In my opinion, the "General" in front of Plastic Surgeon has been added by those surgeons who want to distinguish themselves as being more "specialized" or maybe "better qualified" than the "general" plastic surgeon).  Plastic surgeons are surgical artists who have a complete and detailed knowledge of the anatomy, function and aging process in major human aesthetic structures - especially the Nose, Eyes and Face.   Aesthetic surgery on the nose, eyes and face have been an integral part of the plastic surgeon's training for almost 100 years now. While the American Board of Facial Plastic Surgery (not a member of the American Board of Medical Specialties) has only been around since the 1980's, it's members have made major contributions to facial aesthetic surgery.  

I would choose a plastic surgeon who is certified by a board included in the American Board of Medical Specialists group.  There are a lot of so-called "Boards" that a doctor can join simply by submitting an application and fee so be careful.  The American Board of Plastic Surgery and the American Board of Otolaryngology are both members of the American Board of Medical Specialties and both of these boards have Subspecialty Certificates in "Facial Plastic Surgery".   I would then look at the plastic surgeon's before and after photos, look at his experience and schedule a consultation.

Newport Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 50 reviews

Otolaryngologist or Plastic Surgeon

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As a Board Certified Facial Plastic Surgeon and a Board Certified Otolaryngologist, my recommendation is to seek a surgeon who specializes in one area such as the face versus performing surgery on many different areas.  With the greatest respect to my colleagues, I always refer my patients to general plastic surgeons if they are seeking to improve areas besides the face as I am aware many of  those types of surgery are outside of  my expertise and want my patients to have the best possible result with any improvement they are seeking.  I would not recommend using a surgeon who does not perform facial plastic surgery on a regular basis to do a rhinoplasty revision and a chin augmentation.  I would also advise you to use caution in removing your buccal fat pads.  As you age and possibly loose some of your natural fat you may find that you start to have a hollow area in the cheek area or have a "gaunt" appearance. 

You indicate this is a rhinoplasty revision so you certainly want to find a surgeon who specializes in noses and will tell you if he or she can achieve the result you are seeking.  To find a qualified surgeon in your area, I recommend visiting the website of the American Academy of Facial Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery ( 

Arnold Zweig, MD (retired)
Atlanta Facial Plastic Surgeon

Choosing a PS

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The surgeon's experience, reviews, and results are far more important that anything else.  With rhinoplasty the more they do and the longer they have been doing it TYPICALLY makes them better

Sam Naficy, MD, FACS
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 231 reviews

Rhinoplasty choice

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A  board certified Plastic Surgeon who concentrates on the nose would be  form my perspective the best choice. Further plastic surgeons who specialize in cosmetic surgery are members of the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. Numerous specialties and even individuals with minimal  training and experience perform various types of cosmetic surgery. The comment that one should chose someone who has trained as an Otolaryngologist  I personally found a bit odd . Does placement of ear tubes , examination of ones voice box ( larynx ) or removal of tonsils  makes you an expert in Rhinoplasty?

Plastic Surgeon or Otolaryngologist

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Both a plastic surgeon and an otolaryngologist are qualified to do this type of surgery. The better question to ask is how many rhinoplasties and chin implants has your plastic surgeon or otolaryngologist performed. Many plastic surgeons concentrate on breasts, tummy tucks, and liposuction, while otolaryngologists specialize in tonsils, adenoids, and ear tubes. Look for a facial plastic surgeon whose original background is ear, nose, and throat, who is board certified in both specialties. Find a surgeon who has performed thousands of rhinoplasty surgeries, chin augmentations, and is someone you feel comfortable with. Also make sure that you have a board certified anesthesiologist in attendance and the surgery is performed in a Medicare certified ambulatory surgery center.

William Portuese, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 157 reviews

Plastic Surgeon vs Otolaryngologist for Rhinoplasty

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Pick a plastic surgeon, facial plastic surgeon, or otolaryngologist (ENT) who specializes in rhinoplasty surgery; this is arguably the most challenging procedure we do. There are excellent, experienced surgeons trained in all of the mentioned disciplines. Anybody who does not recognize this, has an inapproprite bias towards his/her specialty. Ask about experience and see results. 

Richard W. Fleming, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 43 reviews


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Aaaah...let the turf wars begin!

Only joking!  I am a board certified plastic surgeon, but any board certified plastic surgeon or ENT surgeon who does good work (look at before and after photos) and that you LIKE (remember, after surgery, you are stuck with this surgeon for a while!) is qualified to do your surgery.

Best of luck.

Michael A. Jazayeri, MD
Santa Ana Plastic Surgeon

Plastic surgeon or ENT

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I think that you have to find a surgeon who does great work, has a good bedside manner, is available, and the staff is available.  ENT or Plastic for a rhino is OK.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Choose your revision rhinoplasty surgeon carefully.

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Since you've had rhinoplasty surgery and are not satisfied, you should consult several board-certified rhinoplasty specialists. You should check credentials, and view many favorable photos of patients with similar concerns before proceeding. A good place to start is to check for a list of local facial plastic surgeons.

I hope you find this helpful.

Eric M. Joseph, MD
West Orange Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 435 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.