To find a qualified facial plastic surgeon that is right for you, you may want to consult your family doctor, 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 & Reconstructive Surgeons (ABFPRS) or the American Academy of Facial Plastic & Reconstructive Surgeons (AAFPRS). 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).
The American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery is the world’s largest specialty association that represents over 2,700 facial plastic and reconstructive surgeons throughout the world. The AAFPRS is a National Medical Specialty Society of the American Medical Association (AMA), and holds an official seat in both the AMA House of Delegates and the American College of Surgeons board of governors. AAFPRS members are board certified surgeons whose focus is surgery of the face, head, and neck. AAFPRS members subscribe to a code of ethics.
Specialization in medicine has been one of the major enhancements in patient care over the last generation. AAFPRS members not only have a precise focus in patient care but they also have had more comprehensive training in facial surgery than any other medical specialty.
All AAFPRS members are board certified by a specialty board recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties. A majority are certified by the American Board of Otolaryngology, which includes facial plastic surgery. Others are certified in plastic surgery, ophthalmology, and dermatology. A growing number of members are board certified by the American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. Dr. Donath is honored to be among the few to have achieved this distinction of being double board certified in facial plastic surgery.
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.
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.