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Choosing A Cosmetic Surgeon

Why is Certification So Important?And Other Questions to Consider When Choosing a Cosmetic Plastic Surgeon In Toronto Canada.

Cosmetic facial plastic surgery is a fast-growing industry with new products, procedures and practitioners joining the mix every day. The decision to undergo a surgical procedure or even some of the less invasive cosmetic treatments is not one to be made until you are well informed on the procedure and well acquainted with the credentials of the surgeon you have chosen.


We all know education is very important, but assessing the quality can be difficult for the layperson and education alone is not everything. Board certification in the United States or certification by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons in Canada, is widely considered the premier standard in deciding which surgeons to consider when you are planning for a cosmetic facial plastic surgical procedure.


Until Recently in Ontario any physician could call themselves a surgeon. Currently the College of Physicians and Surgeons allows only Royal College Certified Surgeons to use the title Surgeon. Only general plastic surgeons, Otolaryngologists Head and Neck Surgeons – Facial Plastic Surgeons and Ophthalmologists who specialize in eye plastic surgery can use the title plastic surgeon. It is also important to realize that not all certified plastic surgeons practice cosmetic surgery. Neither do all plastic surgeons consider themselves subspecialist in cosmetic facial plastic surgery.


Facial plastic surgeons usually spend from five to six years in Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery residency after receiving their doctor’s degree from medical school. During this training these surgeons focus only on reconstructive, ablative and cosmetic facial plastic surgery of the face and neck. Plastic Surgeons in Ontario typically spend a similar amount of time training but their focus includes plastic surgery of the entire body. Both surgical specialties produce excellent surgeons with overlapping and different skill sets.


To learn more about Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery click here.


In Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, the surgeon studies, anatomy and physiology, relating to the surgical treatment of the diseases of the face, and head and neck. The focus of this training in Head and Neck surgery- Facial Plastic Surgery is not only on appearance, but also functionality. This is extremely important when dealing with structures of the face and neck where form and function are intimately related. Only after completing this thorough and rigorous training, can surgeons be examined for certification by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada for competency in Facial Plastic Surgery within the surgical specialty of Otolaryngology Head and Neck surgery.


In addition to this RCPSC board certification, some surgeons choose to also apply to the American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery for additional certification. Surgeons seeking this board certification must pass a two-day written and oral examination and also have at least 100 of their own facial plastic surgery cases over a two-year period reviewed by their peers. The American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery is the only certification process in North America which requires members to be examined exclusively on cosmetic and reconstructive plastic surgery of the face and neck.


It is highly recommended that you choose a surgeon who holds certification in the specific area of expertise for your particular procedure. These credentials help ensure that the surgeon has adequate training and experience.


But how can you be sure of the aesthetic sense of a cosmetic surgeon?


First of all, you should feel comfortable asking your surgeon about the number of given procedures he or she has performed in the last year. A surgeon with good experience in a particular procedure should perform this procedure frequently. For competency in complex facial cosmetic surgical procedures such as rhinoplasty a surgeon should have performed 100s of this procedure. You want the surgeon to have significant experience in the procedure you are interested in having to be more likely to realize best results. Most surgeons specialize in a few procedures which they enjoy doing and become highly skilled at. For instance a plastic surgeons may be extremely good at breast augmentation but do few rhinoplasty or face lift procedures. It is crucial to ask your surgeon if this is procedure that they do often and feel comfortable taking on.


An experienced surgeon should also be able to show you many good before and after photos of his or her actual patients who have undergone the procedure you are hoping to have done. Before and after photos will let you see the true aesthetic quality of the surgeon’s work and assess whether it fits with your desired cosmetic surgical goals.


The surgeons you consider should be affiliated with and perform surgeries in an accredited hospital or surgical facility to best ensure your safety and comfort before, during and after your procedure. In Ontario Hospitals will only provide credentials to surgeons to perform procedures that they are trained in.


Lastly, in choosing a cosmetic surgeon, you should follow your instincts. The surgical consultation process should be a comfortable, two-way exchange of information and should establish a certain level of trust and rapport with the surgeon and his staff. Ask questions until you are satisfied with the answers and if something doesn’t feel right, keep searching until you find the right surgeon for you.


To read more about cosmetic plastic surgery in Toronto, Ontario, Canada click here.


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