1. Ask for referrals from friends, family, co-workers and your other docs.
A personal reference from an existing patient will give you the most accurate assessment of a Facial Plastic Surgeon’s skill, personality and “fit.” Further, people who know you best have the greatest insight into the type of surgeon that you will like working with. Choosing a surgeon is definitely a two way street and should involve a good personality fit between you and your Facial Plastic & Reconstructive Surgeon.
2. Leverage the value of the internet and online reviews.
If you are uncomfortable asking for recommendations or don’t know whom to ask, check in with “Dr. Google.” A search for your procedure of interest such as “Denver Nose Job” or “Colorado Facelift” is a great place to start your research. This will generate a list of surgeons to start with. You should be able to rapidly narrow your search with the following criteria.
3. Verify that your surgeon of interest is board-certified.
You are looking for a facial surgery specialist that is certified by the American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and the American Board of Otolaryngology and Head & Neck Surgery. Being a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons is a bonus and represents further confirmation that your surgeon’s training and current practice are top notch.
4. Ensure that your surgeon maintains local hospital privileges and that they are in good standing.
Although hospital privileges are often not required for a Facial Plastic & Reconstructive Surgeon to perform surgery, they represent another step in the credentialing process. To obtain hospital admitting privileges, the hospital credentialing committee must review the surgeon’s training, surgical case mix and expertise, malpractice history and any history of sanctions by the medical board. Surgeons that have a questionable history will be denied hospital admitting privileges.
5. Research online reviews.
A quick Google search for “Dr. Stephen Weber Reviews” will turn up the top review sites for doctors. These include RealSelf, Vitals, Healthgrades, Yelp among others. You should find a very strong trend toward very happy patients and positive reviews. You’re also looking for reviews that suggest your surgeon of choice is not only highly skilled but also caring and compassionate. The occasional negative review is unavoidable in a buy surgical practice but a trend toward many negative reviews is unacceptable.
6. Do your “due diligence.”
The next step in your journey is to schedule a consultation and discuss your concerns with your surgeon of choice and their patient care coordinator (PCC). These appointments typically last one hour and should provide plenty of opportunity to not only he beard but to listed to a detailed explanation of what options are available to you and which will work best to achieve your goals. Your surgeon’s PCC should be just as comfortable with describing the procedures as their surgeon. It’s critical that you not only have a great surgeon but a great team caring for you.
7. Determine how frequently your surgeon performs your specific procedure.
You want a hyper-focused specialist to perform your procedure, not a “jack of all trades.” Ensure that your surgeon performs your procedure on a weekly basis and has performed your procedure at least 50-100 times, preferably several hundred times.
8. Critically analyze before and after photo galleries.
Review before and after photos provided by your Facial Plastic Surgeon that demonstrate results that you find beautiful AND natural. If you have questions about a specific result or feel that the result itself is too subtle or too “surgical,” ask your surgeon or PCC. An experienced surgeon should have a variety of surgical results on display ranging from incredibly subtle “finesse” cases to more complete, dramatic results.
9. Reach out.
If possible, speak with several of your surgeon’s recent patients to ensure that the office is able to actually deliver the exceptional service that they promise.
10. Pay attention to your “gut.”
Lastly … take your time to complete your research. Many of our patients perform their research prior to the consultation and are ready to book a procedure immediately after meeting our team. Make sure that you trust and communicate well with your surgeon, their PCC and the office staff.
I hope that this helps kick start your personal Facial Plastic Surgery journey. I would love the opportunity to help you along the way. If you have questions, please contact us by phone or email at your convenience. We look forward to meeting you soon!