During a Facelift, does the plastic surgeon do all the cutting, fat removal and stitching or is there a PA involved with the FL?

Doctor Answers 35


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Thank you for your question. I preform the entire procedure. Fortunately I do not consider plastic surgery work but are. It's my passion and I enjoy preforming cosmetic surgery. I feel honored and fortunate enough to be a plastic surgeon.  

There are other surgeons who do have PA's who preform parts of their surgery as you mentioned in your question. 

It's very important you ask your surgeon who will be preforming all the parts of  your surgery. I hope you find this helpful.  

Tampa Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 65 reviews


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Most reputable surgeons do all the work themselves.  There is little room for error to achieve very natural results and unlike a trauma surgery,  a well done facelift require finesse and extreme attention to detail with regard to the soft tissue.
I would ask your doctor these questions and how often he/she performs facelifting surgery.  It is not something one can consistently delivery outstanding results by performing occasionally.

Edwin F. Williams, III, MD
Latham Facial Plastic Surgeon

Plastic Surgeons Role in Facelift Procedure

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This is an excellent question. Often there are residents, fellows, physician assistants and nurse first assistants involved in surgery, often at academic medical centers, but they have varying roles. Sometimes they just assist by holding retractors; sometimes they assist with the closure. It is best to ask your surgeon this question and he or she should give you an honest answer.

John A. Perrotti, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon

Assistants in the operating room during a facelift

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When patients come  to see a plastic surgeon for a facelift, they usually expect for that surgeon to perform the entire procedure.  In my practice, I perform the entire procedure from the start to end.  Nevertheless, it is possible that some surgeons will utilize nurses to help them place some sutures, etc.  Do not be shy to ask those type of questions of your surgeon.

Boris M. Ackerman, MD
Newport Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 62 reviews

Does the Plastic Surgeon Do All the Sewing?

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In my practice, I am the only one who sews and operates on my patients. Quality control is extremely important and this is the only way I can ensure the best possible result.

Does the plastic surgeon do all the cutting

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As with all cosmetic surgeries, it really depends on the plastic surgeon and his or her practice. In my practice I do not utilize a physician assistant. In other practices there is the possibility that a physician assistant or a plastic surgery resident may help out with the procedure. If you have any concerns about this speak your plastic surgeon. In general, assistants are highly trained and capable of performing some of the more routine portions of the procedure.

Facelift techniques

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Thank you for your question.
Most surgeons prefer to do all aspects of the surgery themselves.
Some train residents and fellows who do some work, others have a PA.
it is reasonable to ask this question of your surgeon prior to making your decision.
Best wishes.

Greg Chernoff, MD
Indianapolis Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

Help during a facelift

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I do all of my own cutting and suturing during a facelift.  However, you need to ask your surgeon specifically what he/she does in this case.


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Thank you for your question.  It really depends on who is doing the surgery and where it is being done.  In our practice, the surgeon is doing all the cutting and surgery. We definitely do need assistants to help with the case, as surgery is not a one person job.  Assistants help retract and help pass instruments as the surgery is being performed as well.  Best to speak to a board certified plastic surgeon about your concerns.  All the best,

Keshav Magge, MD
Bethesda Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 59 reviews


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Every plastic surgeon I know does the entire procedure.  Performing a facelift is as much an art as a science. The skill and expertise involved requires years of experience.   There is no way a PA would be able to develop this expertise.   Hope this helps.

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