Is It Unwise to Choose a Facial Plastic Surgeon with Only 3 Years Experience?

I'm wanting to get a rhinoplasty but have no facial plastic surgeons in my town. Closest one is almost 3 hours away and is double board certified by the American board of facial & reconstructive surgery, and by the American board of otolaryngology. However he is fairly new/young guy and only has 3 years experience. Is that enough? The reviews I've read on him have all been awesome but he only has a few rhinoplasty before and afters on his website. I'm assuming that's because he's so new. Advice?

Doctor Answers 12

Is It Unwise to Choose a Facial Plastic Surgeon with Only 3 Years Experience?

 IMHO, it's best to choose your plastic and cosmetic surgeon by his or her ability to understand and follow the proper aesthetics of facial beauty for the creation of a naturally more attractive face....technical skill alone is simply not enough.

Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 25 reviews

Is it unwise to choose a facial plastic surgeon with only 3 years experience?

Hello! Thank you for your question.  Cost will vary among plastic surgeons as well as with geographic location and what procedures exactly they will be providing to you.  Certainly, researching a board certified plastic surgeon well-versed in the procedure(s) you desire is recommended - checking the American Board of Plastic Surgery is a great start. Consult with two or more surgeons who you are happy with their postoperative photographs and those who you, most importantly, feel comfortable and confident with. Use the opportunity to ask questions as well as visit with staff and investigate the accredited facilities they work out of.  I believe fellowship-training, beyond the core plastic surgery residency to be important, as that surgeon has gone above and beyond to seek additional training specific to that area of interest and chosen to gain additional expertise in that area.   

Experience should not be measured solely by the age of the surgeon or how many years s/he has been in practice.  Checking the education and training is more valuable - a Board Certified MD plastic surgeon who was accepted to and completed an integrated plastic surgery residency, in today's day and age, are excellent choices. Those are the top students who have superior training at top institutes.  Plastic Surgery is NOT a is a residency. Those surgeons who have actually successfully completed additional fellowship training beyond the plastic surgery residency are also passionate about that area and will likely have the most recent, innovative, and up to date techniques. These are usually the younger surgeons, who are still readily willing and competent to continue to strive for the newest material and remain up to date on literature and conferences. 

You must decide for yourself who you are most comfortable with and confident with who will meet your goals and expectations. Cost may differ just on expertise and the aforementioned additional training ad what that additional expertise training has afforded to his/her patients.  Hope that this helps!  Best  wishes!

Lewis Albert Andres, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Is It Unwise to Choose a Facial Plastic Surgeon with Only 3 Years Experience?

No, not at all. Just because you have been in practice 30 years does not make you a great surgeon. Many of the younger surgeons are very well trained and may have better skills then others. I would make sure that they have done many of the surgeries that you are seeking.

Kurtis Martin, MD
Cincinnati Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 74 reviews

Choosing the right rhinoplasty surgeon for your nose

In this situation you have done a lot of the things patients should do that is check results, look at photographs and talk with the surgeon. Sometimes you can get an idea by how complex your nose is and what changes you want to make. If you are not seeking a drastically different nose or it appears relatively simple, then your nose would be considered less complicated even to a surgeon with less rhinoplasties under his belt. Also, I often tell my patients to have at least two or more consultations with me prior to doing a rhinoplasty to make sure that we are all on the same page as far at the approach, expectations and risks of the procedure. Good luck.

Scott Trimas, MD
Jacksonville Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Choosing a Rhinoplasty Surgeon With 3 Years Experience is Not Necessarily a Bad Idea

A rhinoplasty is the most difficult of all the facial plastic surgery procedures. Because of this, experience is very important. During my residency training one of my professors told me that I wouldn't really understand how to do a rhinoplasty until I had done at least 500. At the time this didn't make sense to me, but when I hit that 500 range, things started making sense to me that hadn't made sense to me before (and because of this my rhinoplasty results got better). With that being said, an excellently trained facial plastic surgeon could be close to that number 3 years into his practice if he has been very busy. Find out how many he has done. Ask to look at a lot of before and after photos from his rhinoplasty procedures. Ask to talk to some of his patients. Don't rush the process and don't limit yourself geographically. If you are comfortable with him after thoroughly investigating, then go forward. If you are not completely comfortable, then expand your geographic area. Driving even 5 or 6 hours on 4 or 5 occasions is well worth a great nose forever. Good luck.

Michael R. Menachof, MD
Greenwood Village Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

How experienced your rhinoplasty surgeon should be

Besides know how many years your surgeon has been practicing you'd probably also want to know how many rhinoplasty surgeries he has done. Being in practice for 10 years does not help much if you only do 5 rhinoplasty procedures a year, for example.

If you're still not comfortable with the amount of experience I'd suggest consulting with an additional surgeon or two. This would be beneficial even if you have to drive a little further to see them.

Thomas A. Lamperti, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 21 reviews

Experience Needed For Rhinoplasty


Based on your previous posts and your current one, it seems that you are not 100% of the surgeons you have met and consulted with; this is pretty normal and you do not have to make a decision if you are not ready and it is your right to consult with additional surgeons to make sure that you are making a well-informed decision.

An experience is not measured by the years of practice necessarily but by the number of successful surgeries performed, the level of developed skills a surgeon has and the ability to provide commendable results steadily.

That being said, please remember that commendable results require an exceptionally skilled surgeon to perform the surgery and settling for anything less than that increases the chances of additional corrective surgeries dramatically.


I hope this helps and please feel free to check the website below.
Thank you for your inquiry.
The best of luck to you.

Dr. Sajjadian

Ali Sajjadian, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 197 reviews

Experience IS important in rhinoplasty!

Like many of my colleagues, I believe that even a double-boarded rhinoplasty surgeon needs experience before s/he knows all of the nuances of complex rhinoplasty cases. Now that I'm one of those graying, experienced plastic surgeons who has done hundreds of rhinoplasties, I can stroke my chin like the learned "expert" I am and "tut, tut" about those "young, inexperienced beginner surgeons!"

Yet, each of us was once in our third year of practice; how do you think we got all that experience?

My father was a very wise man, experienced in his craft, and quite humble. He was often called an "expert" by many of his patients and peers, and his reply was always "Don't call me an expert--X is an unknown quantity, and spurt is a drip under pressure." He never stopped learning; he never took anything he did for his patients for granted, and he always strived to do his best and to always learn how to do better next time.

It seems to me that if your 3-year facial plastic guy fits those criteria, then perhaps you will do just fine. But if there is any hint of bravado, BS, or hubris, keep looking. And one of those experienced guys who fits the criteria my dad aspired to might just be your surgeon. Best wishes! Dr. Tholen

Richard H. Tholen, MD, FACS
Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 255 reviews

Experience with Rhinoplasty

Your surgeon is well trained and board certified. However, in previous posts you said you did not like either surgeon you saw. Maybe you should get more consultations.

Richard W. Fleming, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

Experience counts

With rhinoplasty in particular, experience and a steady volume of rhinoplasty is paramount. In general, you are better off having rhinoplasty by a surgeon who performs > 100 rhinoplasty procedures per year and has been doing so for > 10 years.  Some straightforward rhinoplasty procedures can be done quite well by a novice surgeon, but a complex one may not be.

Sam Naficy, MD, FACS
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 221 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.