How To Find The Best Facial Plastic Surgeon in New York
People are often confused when it comes to having a different surgical procedure in a different part of the body. They are skeptical, for example on the nose job, on where or who they should go to, and what to do. It is important to make clear the distinction between a general plastic surgeon who operates all over the body and a facial plastic surgeon who operates only on the nose, face and neck areas, sort of like specialists within a specialty. Many people undergo a facelift or a nose job procedure with surgeons who do not do surgery on the face on a daily basis and are not specifically specialized in that specific region of the body, oftentimes resulting in dissatisfaction in both cosmetic and functional outcome. It is the same as in the field of orthopedics where you have specialists in the knee or shoulder or back. It is also similar to a general medical doctor versus a lung specialist or heart specialist.
Dr. Sam Rizk, a New York based double board certified facial plastic surgeon advises on some useful information about the difference between a facial plastic surgeon and a general plastic surgeon, what they do, type of board certification and training, and what they specialize in.
These are the main comparisons between the two:
Training: Both facial plastic surgeon (FPS) and Plastic Surgeon (PS) do a 4 year study in a college and another 4 years after college in a medical school.
Residency: Facial Plastic Surgeons do 1 or 2 years in general surgery after graduating from medical school. They then train for another 4 years in Head and Neck surgery residency (ENT) and facial plastic surgery, then spend an extra fellowship year in facial plastic and reconstructive surgery. For a facial plastic surgeon to become double board certified, they have to take an oral and written exam in facial plastic surgery and submit a caseload of over 100 cases to be reviewed over a 2 year period before they get this certification. This is in addition to taking the oral and written exam in Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery, which is a separate board exam they have to take.
Board Certification: A facial Plastic Surgeon who finished 1 or 2 years of general surgery, a 4 year residency in Otolarygology - Head and Neck Surgery, and a fellowship in facial plastic surgery needs to first complete the oral and written certification examination in head and neck surgery to be eligible to take the facial plastic surgery examination. He/She also needs to submit 100 cases of facial plastic surgery over a 2 year period for review. An examination in facial plastic and reconstructive surgery is required which includes an oral and written examination. The double board certification is in Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery (AB0) and in Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (www.abfprs.org). On the other hand, a general plastic surgeon becomes a member of the American Board of Plastic Surgery after they complete 3-5 years in general surgery and then 2 years in general plastic surgery and then taking an oral and written examination in general plastic surgery. Realize that general plastic surgery residency encompasses breast, body, hand, face and neck whereas facial plastic surgery residency and fellowship is spent only on the face, nose and neck.
Specialization: Facial Plastic Surgeons were extensively trained to be a specialist in the face, nose and neck regions, including both function, and appearance with extensive understanding of the anatomy of this region while general plastic surgeons are more knowledgeable in everything below the neck due to their qualifications as mentioned above. Therefore, we can determine from the education and training background that the Facial Plastic Surgeon has a more specific training in order to deal with the face, neck, and nose. For example, you would not want to go to a Facial plastic surgeon for a breast augmentation because it is not his/her area of expertise. On the other hand, it might not be a good idea to have a General plastic surgeon perform your facelift or rhinoplasty surgery. This concept of a specialist within a specialty is very important to consider when you go for consultation and a patient can understand this prior to visiting the doctor by looking at his/her website and seeing if they do breast/body work or just Noses and Facelifts and also by looking at their board certification on their websites, whether in Facial Plastic Surgery or General Plastic Surgery.