To find a qualified facial plastic surgeon that is right for you, you may want to consult your family doctor, dermatologist, local aesthetician, or even your hairdresser. The best referrals are from a satisfied patient, a physician or someone you trust in the aesthetic industry.
There are certain critical facts about the doctor and practice, such as how often they perform the procedure in question and if they are qualified to perform those procedures in a hospital setting, that you should be aware of before undergoing any surgical treatment. Additionally, there are a number of credentials that a doctor must have to perform facial plastic surgery, and there are a number of specialties within the field. Knowing which one (or ones) your doctor specializes in will help you to make an educated decision. For help finding a facial plastic surgeon in your area, or for more information on facial plastic surgery, you can contact the American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (ABFPRS), the regulatory board which qualifies facial plastic surgeons. The American Board of Otolaryngology also includes extensive training in facial plastic and reconstructive surgery, and is officially recognized to qualify facial plastic surgeons by the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS).
Diplomats of the ABFPRS have to meet high standards through a rigorous program of training, examination, and certification. The ABFPRS is equivalent to the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) in every state that has standards for such equivalence. To be certified by the American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (ABFPRS), a surgeon must:
- Have completed a residency program approved by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education or the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada in one of the two medical specialties containing identifiable training in facial plastic and reconstructive surgery: otolaryngology/head-and-neck surgery or plastic surgery.
- Have earned prior certification by the American Board of Otolaryngology, the American Board of Plastic Surgery or the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada in otolaryngology/head-and-neck surgery or plastic surgery.
- Have been in practice a minimum of two years.
- Have 100 operative reports accepted by a peer-review committee.
- Successfully pass an 8-hour written and oral examination.
- Hold the appropriate licensure and adhere to the ABFPRS Code of Ethics.
The American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (AAFPRS) is the world’s largest specialty association that represents facial plastic and reconstructive surgeons throughout the world. The AAFPRS is a National Medical Specialty Society recognized by the American Medical Association (AMA). AAFPRS members are board certified surgeons whose focus is surgery of the face, head, and neck. AAFPRS members subscribe to a strict code of ethics.
Trust Your Face to a Facial Plastic Surgeon
Just because a doctor did an excellent job on one part of your body, does not necessarily mean they are the right doctor for another. Don’t be afraid to ask your doctor what their specific area specialty is and what percentage of their practice is devoted to plastic surgery of the face. Your doctor may be a superb surgeon for non-facial surgical procedures, such as breast augmentation, liposuction, and hand surgery, but this does not qualify him or her as a facial surgeon.
Facial plastic surgeons, such as Dr. Bassichis, focus their practice exclusively on the face, head and neck, and are certified by the American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. As well, Dr. Bassichis’ background in otolaryngology gives him extensive and in-depth knowledge of the face and its underlying structures.
Once you find a doctor whose credentials you are satisfied with, you should personally meet with them to see if you feel comfortable. The doctor should be able to explain procedures to your understanding, and instill confidence in you. You should inquire about their status within the community, hospital and/or special academic societies. It is important to ask what the doctor’s area of expertise is and to understand their specific training and background. For patients seeking facial plastic surgery, you will want to know if the doctor specializes in the face. Lastly, ask to see examples of the doctor’s work. An informed patient is a happy patient.