Which Facial Surgeon?

What to look for in a Facial Cosmetic Surgeon

Facial surgery has traditionally been performed by Otolaryngologists, Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons and Plastic & Reconstructive Surgeons and they provide facial trauma services for your local hospital.  These specialties also perform reconstructive surgery resulting from trauma, birth defects or cancer.  There is no one “best” educational route to becoming a facial surgeon.  Many of these specialties resident programs offer cosmetic surgery training or a post-graduate fellowship training in cosmetic surgery.  What is important is the experience in their specific residency or any fellowships related to cosmetic surgery and many of these residencies, including Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery, do not perform facial cosmetic surgery procedures, yet are immediately given faithful respect that they are qualified in facial cosmetic surgery.  These three specialties have laid the foundation for facial cosmetic surgery but many other specialists can perform cosmetic procedures such as a Dermatologists and Opthamologists and have equally contributed to the advancement of the surgical techniques that we currently use today.

The techniques and instrumentation used in facial cosmetic surgery today arise from broadly overlapping disciplines in which many different specialties have contributed in their particular expertise.  For example, Dermatologists have made many strides in skin rejuvenation, hair transplantation and liposuction.  Likewise, Ophthalmic Surgeons have contributed to eye enhancement surgery; Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons have developed new techniques for correcting deformities of the jaw and mouth, and Otolaryngologist/head and neck surgeons have made great contributions to facial plastic and cosmetic surgery.  Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons have then taken the foundations and improved the techniques to help lay the framework of current understanding in cosmetic surgery techniques.

Unfortunately, cosmetic surgery has become a fierce competition for patients with certain specialties believing they possess the skills and knowledge to perform facial cosmetic surgery better than the other.  This has become apparent with certain specialties who advertise that their discipline is the only one qualified to perform such procedures, unfortunately this is a misrepresentation of the facts at the expense of the patient.  This turf battle was played out in California where the Department of Consumer Affairs under the Direction of Governor Schwarzenegger completed an extensive look into the training of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons and concluded “We found that Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons have sufficient education, training and experience to perform elective facial cosmetic procedures.  While there may be some variation in the offerings of training programs, recent graduates of residency or postgraduate fellowship programs have completed comprehensive programs of study that provide them with a solid foundation to perform cosmetic procedures and the clinical skills to obtain documentation of their skills.  Practitioners who are already providing elective facial cosmetic surgery surgical procedures have proven their clinical competence to perform the procedures” and “it appears that the written and oral examinations for Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon’s (board) certification and other related certification examinations are comprehensive and cover a wide range of topics applicable to facial cosmetic surgical procedures.”

It is imperative when choosing a cosmetic surgeon to consider the following issues. Cosmetic surgery is a major decision and careful thought should be given to choosing a provider. Any reputable cosmetic surgeon will welcome your questions and want you to be completely comfortable with his or her qualifications.

Is the surgeon board certified in his/her specialty?

While there are very competent surgeons that are not board certified in their specialties, these certifications are extremely high achievements and require years of training and the completion of demanding written and oral exams that designate the best surgeons in the field.

What is the surgeon’s experience?

Do not simply ask how long the surgeon has been practicing. Instead, ask how many times and how frequently they have performed the specific cosmetic surgical procedure that you will need.

Who will be performing the surgery?

Some surgeons employ others to perform certain aspects of cosmetic surgery, such as Botox or dermal fillers. Dr. Johnson performs 100% of all the cosmetic surgery services he offers in his Clermont, FL practice.

 Ask for referrals from friends.

Keep in mind that surgeons specialize in different areas of cosmetic surgery and most are not experts in every area. The surgeon who did a fantastic facelift on a friend may not be the most experienced to perform breast augmentation or rhinoplasty.

Before-and-after photographs.

Photos can give you some indication of a surgeon’s ability, although you must realize that they cannot guarantee the result you will achieve. Each patient is different and the surgeon can help determine what kind of results you should expect.

Look at your options.

Don’t be afraid to consult with more than one cosmetic surgeon to discuss your desired outcome. There may be more than one technique available with varying risks, benefits, recovery time and results.

Ask where your surgery will be performed.

Cosmetic surgery is performed in various facilities such as hospitals, surgical centers and office settings. Advanced Faces provides facial cosmetic surgeries to the people throughout Clermont, Leesburg, Windemere, and the greater Orlando area in facilities that have been accredited by the Accreditation Association of Ambulatory Healthcare (AAAHC) or the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO).

Are you comfortable with the surgeon?  

To receive the best possible outcome for your reconstructive facial surgery, it is imperative that you feel comfortable asking questions and making your goals for surgery as clear as possible.

Can your surgeon be reached for questions before and after the surgery?

At Advanced Faces, you will be given Dr. Johnson’s personal cell phone to be reached after your surgery at any time during the day or night. Before the surgery, he is available for phone consults or reevaluation to answer any questions. This is a big commitment for the patient and he/she needs to know that Dr. Johnson is equally committed to him or her.

Common “Red Flags” to Watch For:

  • Surgeons that are highly critical of other surgeons; this is usually a sign of insecurity or financial motivation.
  • A doctor who is impatient and pressures you to quickly make a decision regarding your surgery.
  • An environment that is unsterile.
  • A doctor who is willing to combine several major surgeries into one operation. While this may save on anesthesia and surgical facility fees, safety must be the primary concern. Not only is surgery traumatic on your body, but the surgeon and staff tire out as well.
  • A doctor that refuses to answer questions or provide you with requested information.

We cannot stress enough how important it is for you to thoroughly get to know your cosmetic surgeon before beginning any treatments. At Advanced Faces, we are an open book, and invite you to ask any questions that you might have.

If you are in need of a facial cosmetic procedure, or oral and maxillofacial surgery in Clermont, Windemere, Leesburg or any surrounding Orlando areas, and would like to get to know Dr. Johnson, please contact us by calling 352.242.0627.