If you have made the decision to finally get some work done on your face to help improve your appearance or reduce the toll of aging, then you are ready to start looking for the best surgeon to do the work.  While many people choose a surgeon based on a friend’s recommendation, others use the internet or yellow pages to find a doctor based on location, price or one of many other factors.  But for something as important as your face, it is wise to do some research and make sure that you choose the right doctor.   Here are some tips to help you in your search:

1)  Is the surgeon board-certified?  Check their credentials to make sure that the physician is certified by The American Board of Plastic Surgery.  Or for surgeons that specialize in facial plastic surgery, being a member of the American Board of Otolaryngology for Head and Neck Surgery is considered top notch.

2)  Does the doctor belong to other professional associations and have additional affiliations? A well-qualified surgeon will generally list their professional alliances on their website and provide a list of accreditations.  Look for a doctor that is on hospital boards, involved in clinical trials, is an instructor in their field and other evidence that they are staying current in their profession.  Beware of any surgeon that does not readily provide a CV or Resume with their certifications.

3)  Is the surgical facility accredited?   It is important the not only is the surgeon well-qualified but that the surgery is being performed either in an accredited hospital or health care facility.  Many plastic surgeons are certified by the AAAHC (Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care) which means that the organization has committed to providing high-quality care and measures up to the Accreditation Association’s high standards.

4)   What is the surgeon’s specialty or area of expertise?  Like many physicians, each has certain strengths and specialties.  Plastic surgery can cover a wide range of procedures so if you are looking to get a nose job, it may not be a fit to hire a surgeon that primarily does breast enhancement surgery.  If you are getting work on your face, best to look for a facial plastic surgeon.

5) What is their length of experience and how many similar operations have they performed?  How long the doctor has been in practice is important to know.  Also ask about the procedure that you are considering.  You want to find a surgeon that has many years of experience performing the operation you are contemplating because it is better to have an expert working on your face.

6)   Do you have a referral from another doctor or from someone that has had work done by the surgeon you are considering?  If you have narrowed your list of potential plastic surgeons based on the qualifications above, then it is often helpful to have a referral from your primary care physician or a friend that has undergone the same procedure to make the final decision.

Once you have narrowed the list to a handful of surgeons, you may also want to schedule an appointment or consultation with each to discuss the procedure that you are planning to undergo.  You can then get a better feel for how the doctor would approach your treatment.  According to Dr. Michael Jasin, a facial plastic surgeon in Tampa, there are so many new procedures and non-surgical alternatives available today that you should spend the time during a consult to learn about all the options. For example, if you are considering a nose job to straighten out your nose, the doctor could recommend traditional rhinoplasty or a non-surgical nose-job depending on many different factors.  You can get more information about costs, recovery time and other considerations while having a chance to interview the surgeon in person to determine if they are the one you trust to work on your face.

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