Selecting a surgeon is the most important decision you will make when pursuing facial cosmetic procedures. Whether you are looking for a non-invasive, ‘no downtime’ solution to rejuvenate your face, or a surgical procedure, the surgeon, their training, and their philosophy is paramount in shaping your final outcome and ultimately your satisfaction.
A good start to check out your cosmetic provider’s credentials is to ask what specialty training they completed and whether or not they are Royal College certified (Board Certified in the USA). There are 4 core specialties that have exposure in residency training to facial plastic and reconstructive surgery procedures:
- Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery
- Plastic Surgery
Being a fellow of the Royal College in any of these disciplines ensures your physician has met rigorous training criteria and has passed the oral and written exams. However, in many instances, residency exposure to facial cosmetic procedures is minimal or observational only.
An excellent follow-up question is whether or not your surgeon has accredited fellowship training in facial cosmetic surgery. Fellowships are 1-2 year focused training programs that physicians complete after residency. Completing a Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery fellowship allows the surgeon to focus all of their attention on cosmetic and reconstructive surgery of the face and neck. The American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery is responsible for accreditation of the 45 highly sought after and prestigious facial plastic and reconstructive surgery fellowships offered throughout Canada and the United States. In these accredited fellowships, surgeons learn hands on facial cosmetic surgery from the experts who have high volume practices with excellent outcomes. Graduating fellows from these fellowships must also pass a rigorous written and oral examination. Other non-accredited fellowships do exist, however, in these instances it is up to you as a potential client and patient to evaluate the legitimacy of this training.
Understanding your physician’s training will help you make the best decision when choosing a cosmetic provider. Remember that only surgeons have access to all of the cosmetic tools, from injectables and lasers to surgical procedures, and therefore only surgeons can offer you a complete and tailored solution for your cosmetic concerns. Training through the American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery guarantees that your surgeon has had at least 1-year of intense dedicated training focused solely on rejuvenation and reconstruction of the face and neck. Nobody knows your face better than a Board Certified Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon.