Choosing a Cosmetic Surgeon
It is imperative when choosing a cosmetic surgeon to consider the following issues. Cosmetic surgery is a major decision and careful thought should be given to choosing a provider. Any reputable cosmetic surgeon will welcome your questions and want you to be completely comfortable with his or her qualifications.
- What are the surgeon’s credentials?
Don’t hesitate to verify a physician’s medical license, certifications and professional society memberships and ask what the requirements are to be a member or to be board certified in that specialty.
- What is the surgeon’s experience?
Ask about the surgeon’s medical education and training specific to cosmetic surgery and the procedure which you are considering. How many procedures of this kind has the doctor done and how often does he or she perform them?
- Ask for referrals from friends.
Keep in mind that physicians specialize in different areas of cosmetic surgery and most are not experts in every area. The surgeon who did a fantastic facelift on a friend may not be the most experienced to perform breast augmentation.
- Before-and-after photographs can give you some indication of a surgeon’s ability, although you must realize that they cannot guarantee the result you will achieve.
Each patient is different and the surgeon can help determine what kind of results you should expect.
- Look at your options.
Don’t be afraid to consult with more than one cosmetic surgeon to discuss your desired outcome. There may be more than one technique available with varying risks, benefits, recovery time and results.
- Make sure you are comfortable with the personal rapport between you and your surgeon.
In addition, you should feel at ease with the staff, as much of your communication will be with them. You should always feel that your concerns are being addressed. Do not be satisfied with an incomplete answer from anyone.
- What “red-flags” should I look for?
- A doctor who is impatient and rushes you to make a decision on your surgery and/or an environment that is unsterile.
- A doctor who is willing to combine several major surgeries into one operation. While this may save on anesthesia and surgical facility fees, safety must be the primary concern. Not only is surgery traumatic on your body, but the surgeon and staff tire out as well. Discuss the timing of surgery with your physician and inquire about the safest method of achieving your desired results.
- A doctor that refuses to answer questions or provide you with requested information.
False Messages Misinform Patients
Consumers considering cosmetic surgery are almost universally unaware of the difference between “cosmetic” surgery and “plastic” surgery. For this reason, they are easily misled to believe board certification in plastic surgery evidences a physician’s competence to perform cosmetic surgery. It does not. Importantly, with an expanding number of consumers anxious to undergo cosmetic surgery and a highly competitive pool of physicians, it is imperative consumers have access to accurate information. It is equally imperative consumers have the freedom to choose among competitors and that the number of qualified providers is not artificially restricted. Unfortunately, the public almost universally equates cosmetic and plastic surgery as one and the same. Consumers’ misapprehension in this regard has them relying on incomplete and false information when choosing a physician to perform their cosmetic procedure.
Understand the Difference Between Cosmetic Surgery and Plastic Surgery
Cosmetic surgery is a subspecialty that uniquely restricts itself to the enhancement of appearance through surgical and medical techniques. It is specifically concerned with maintaining normal appearance, restoring it, or enhancing it toward some aesthetic ideal. Cosmetic surgery is a multi-disciplinary and comprehensive approach directed to all areas of the head, neck and body. Cosmetic surgery is practiced by surgeons from a variety of disciplines including board-certified oral & maxillofacial surgeons, dermatologists, general surgeons, ophthalmologists, otolaryngologists, and plastic surgeons alike. All of these disciplines have contributed to the vital growth of cosmetic surgery. Cosmetic surgery is primarily learned during a surgeon’s post residency through ongoing continuing education, training, and experience. Unlike cosmetic surgery, plastic surgery deals with the repair, reconstruction or replacement of physical defects of form or function involving the skin and underlying musculoskeletal system. While board certification by the American Board of Plastic Surgery may evidence a physician competent in “plastic surgery,” it does not evidence competency in “cosmetic surgery” nor does it demonstrate more “cosmetic surgery” education, training or experience than that of a board-certified oral & maxillofacial surgeon, dermatologist, general surgeon, otolaryngologist or ophthalmologist.
The Surgeons at The Institute of Facial and Oral Surgery
Both Dr. Moose and Dr. Patel chose to pursue the artistic science of facial and cosmetic surgery in the ‘European tradition,’ where specialization in facial surgery requires both a medical and dental degree.
Dr. Moose attended medical school at the University of Southern California. He received his D.D.S. degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He completed his General Surgery and residency training in Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery, with honors, at the University of Southern California Medical Center. After residency training, Dr. Moose went on to complete one of a select few facial cosmetic surgery fellowship programs in the United States to meet the accreditation standards by the American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery. These prestigious fellowships offer exposure to world-renowned cosmetic and reconstructive surgeons and assure extensive training in all aspects of facial cosmetic surgery.
Dr. Patel graduated from the University of Southern California School of Medicine with honors. He then completed an internship year in General Surgery, and completed a full residency in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery at the University of Southern California. After residency, Dr. Patel completed a Cosmetic Surgery Fellowship accredited by the American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery. This fellowship allowed Dr. Patel to train exclusively and intensely in cosmetic surgery where he performed over 600 cosmetic procedures.
Together, Dr. Moose and Dr. Patel’s unique background and training allow them to integrate ideas and techniques from various surgical disciplines giving them a particularly keen insight into cosmetic and reconstructive surgery. Rest assured, when you put your trust in the surgeons at the Institute of Facial and Oral Surgery, you are in the best of hands.