Patient question:

Dr. Solomon, I am considering Facelift surgery. Please explain the difference between a Facial Plastic Surgeon like yourself and a Plastic Surgeon. I have seen one other Facial Plastic Surgeon and one Plastic Surgeon in Toronto and found both very competent.

Dr. Solomon’s Answer:
Thank you for the question. In Canada and the United States Cosmetic Facial Surgery is generally done by a few different specialty groups. These include Facial Plastic Surgeons, Plastic Surgeons, Maxillofacial Surgeons, Ophthalmologists, and dermatologists. Each group has there own skill set and training.
Facelift surgery in general is done by the two groups Facial Plastic Surgeons and Plastic Surgeons. Facial Plastic Surgeons are trained in Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery which is a minimum of five years surgical training after medical school. The training is specific to the face and neck region. Some Head and Neck surgeons then go on to specialize in Facial Plastic Surgery which has an additional board examination and often requires fellowship training or completion of hundreds of surgical cases to be eligible for board certification. Plastic Surgeons are surgeons who complete a five year surgical training program that focuses on soft tissue surgery all over the body. This typically includes operations on the hand, breast, and face.
There is obviously overlap in both specialties when it comes to facial surgery. In general certification in either of these specialties ensures the cosmetic surgeon has had significant training in facial surgery. It is important to know that not all facial plastic or plastic surgeons specialize in cosmetic surgery and may focus there practice on reconstructive surgery. As well Surgeons who perform cosmetic surgery may not specialize in all cosmetic surgery procedures. Therefore it is important to seek out a surgeon who performs a lot of the procedure you are interested in. Ultimately the outcome of the surgery has to do with the individual surgeons skill, artistry and experience.

Jul 31st 2007