New York, NY – The American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (AAFPRS) – the world’s largest association of facial plastic and reconstructive surgeons – urges patients to make informed decisions when it comes to undergoing facial plastic surgery procedures.
“Recent reports of cosmetic surgeries gone awry and wrongful deaths proves that the choice for undergoing facial cosmetic surgery should be taken seriously,” says AAFPRS President Dr. Shan Baker. “Whether undergoing a surgical operation, such as a face lift, or a non-surgical procedure like Botox injections, patients need to be mindful that these are all medical procedures that should be performed by the hands of a well-trained, qualified, and experienced facial plastic surgeon.”
Below are some tips from the AAFPRS for making an educated choice when selecting a surgeon:
- Understand Board Certifications: Look for a surgeon board certified by boards affiliated with the American Board of Medical Specialists (ABMS). Many AAFPRS members are certified by the American Board of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery – a board recognized by the ABMS, which certifies surgeons in facial plastic surgery. However, in addition to specialized training in facial plastic surgery, many Academy members undertake another year of fellowship in facial plastic surgery, which is in addition to their six years of residency training to gain further certification by the American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.
- Ask for Referrals: When choosing a surgeon, start with word-of-mouth referrals. Ask friends who have undergone facial plastic surgery, consult a trusted family physician or call a respected hospital in the community and ask for the names of board certified facial plastic surgeons.
- Verify Credentials. While referrals may be helpful, it’s still important to validate the training, skills and experience of the surgeon. Make sure the surgeon is a reputable member of an organization of surgeons who specialize in facial plastic surgery and has privileges to perform procedures at a local hospital or ambulatory center. The Directory of Medical Specialists, available in public libraries, can be used to check a surgeon’s credentials. Also, there are several phone numbers for reference, such as: AAFPRS Facial Plastic Surgery Information Service (1-800-332-FACE or www.facemd.org): provides a list of AAFPRS surgeons by region who are board certified to perform facial plastic and reconstructive surgery. Federation of State Medical Boards (1-817-868-4000 or www.fsmb.org): to verify a doctor’s medical license and check for disciplinary action. American Board of Medical Specialties (1-866-275-2267 or www.abms.org): to confirm a doctor’s certification in a recognized medical specialty.
- Consult/Interview: Once a list of surgeons is narrowed down, visit the surgeons for initial consultation (may require a consultation fee). Be prepared with questions and write down the surgeon’s answers. Ensure that the surgeon has documented education, training and experience in performing the procedures and has completed a formalized training program. Also, ask to speak with patients who have already undergone surgery and ask to see before-and-after photographs.
Note to editors:
For more information on the AAFPRS or to speak with Dr. Shan Baker, please feel free to call Kerri Mazzoni at Magnet Communications, 212/367-6923.
The AAFPRS is the world’s largest association of facial plastic and reconstructive surgeons with more than 2,600 members – whose cosmetic reconstructive surgery focuses on the face, head and neck. Academy fellows are board-certified and subscribe to a code of ethics. In addition, the AAFPRS provides consumers with free information and brochures and a list of qualified facial plastic surgeons in their area by calling 1-800-332-FACE or by visiting the AAFPRS Web site, www.FACEMD.org.