Choosing a Surgeon
Written by Dr. Julian De Silva
Choosing the right cosmetic surgeon is important to give you the result you are looking for. Cosmetic surgery of the face requires a balance between an understanding of the patients’ goals, meticulous attention to technique and a combination of artistry and experience. An individual facial features exist in balance with each other and the person’s body, for example a tall person requires a nose to be in both proportion and scale to the individual’s height. Dr. De Silva is an artist and has a complete appreciation for facial harmony and endeavors for Natural Looking Results.
Suggestions to help select your surgeon
- Surgeons Credentials: There are strict regulations regarding surgical practice in the UK that ensure that surgeons are trained and skilled in reconstructive surgery, predominately in the NHS. Surgeons who perform cosmetic surgery are usually a member of a number of Medical Organisations. Usually membership to these organisations is based on the surgeons initial training. Organisations include British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery(Reconstructive and Cosmetic Surgery in the entire body), British Society of Oculoplastic Surgeons (Reconstructive and Cosmetic Surgeons of the eyelids and mid-face) British Society of Otorhinolaryngologist Surgeons (Reconstructive and Cosmetic Surgeons in Ear, Nose and Throat), British Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (Dental Surgeons who have then completed Surgical training in head and neck reconstruction) and British Association of Dermatologists.
- What is the difference between a cosmetic and plastic surgeon: Most surgeons that practice in the UK are trained in the National Health Service (NHS) in reconstructive (functional) surgery, termed plastic surgery. Reconstructive surgery is the repair or restoration of tissues following injuries such as trauma, infection, inflammation or birth defects. Cosmetic surgery is different to reconstructive surgery as it is focused on appearance, patients are in good health and have made a choice to undergo surgery to improve themselves. Cosmetic surgery fellowship training exists in the USA in the form of 1-2 year specialized cosmetic fellowships.
- Choose a Surgeon Who Specializes in Facial Surgery: It is important to realize that not all Plastic surgeons, nor all Oculo-Facial Plastic surgeons, ENT surgeons or Oro-Maxillary surgeons routinely perform eyelid surgery, nose reshaping or facelifts in their practices. It is imperative to find a surgeon that specialises in the face. Surgeons who operate on the body and breast are specialised in these areas that is a surgery of centimeters. Operations on the face, specifically eyelid surgery, nose reshaping and facelift surgery is a surgery of millimeters that requires a greater attention and finesse.
- View the Surgeons Before & After Results: Most surgeons maintain a portfolio of examples of their results that compare before and after photos, and many qualified surgeons have a “Gallery” on their websites. You can tell about your potential results by looking at their previous work. Cosmetic surgery is a combination of both technique and artistry, your result is dependent on the individual surgeon who is completing the surgery.
- Ask to See Simulated Results: Your surgeon should be able to analyse your pre-operative photographs with you and be able to show you their intended results. Some physicians prefer to use tracing paper to overlay your photographs, while others may show your photos with computer morphing software.
- Practice what you Preach: Dr. De Silva only advises patients to have treatments that he would consider on himself, his family or friends. He believes in a philosophy also known as the Golden Rule that describes “One should treat others as one would like others to treat oneself.”
- Trust Your Instincts: Finding a surgeon who understands your goals, expectations, and desires. Communication is key and it is important you feel comfortable with your surgeon.
Schedule A Consultation
When you have satisfied yourself regarding the above criteria, the next step is to meet face-to-face with the surgeon you’re considering. Nothing can replace a face-to-face meeting with the surgeons themselves, the key to a good result is the artistry of the individual surgeon because no two faces are identical. Caution is advised in high street providers in which you are unable to meet the surgeon before the day of surgery as usually this means the is a mass market provider and the surgeon will not be available after the surgery. More than one surgeon may ‘meet’ the qualifications, and it is key you feel comfortable with your surgeon, agree with his style and that you communicate well together.
The following are some important indicators to consider when choosing a surgeon.
- Is your surgeon a specialist that treats the face?
- Can your surgeon show you many before and after pictures?
- How many cosmetic cases does your surgeon perform a year?
- Is your surgeon involved with teaching and training?
- Can you get in touch with your surgeon easily before the surgery, if not consider how difficult it may be after surgery?
- Does your surgeon specialise in another part of the body (e.g. hand or breast reconstruction) and dabble” in eyelid, nose reshaping or facelift surgery or is it one of the major parts of his or her practice?
- It is imperative to meet the surgeon in person before the day of surgery to discuss your specific needs and desires
- Do they operate in an accredited surgery center and hospital?
- Do they offer both local anaesthesia with sedation and general anaesthesia?
- Ensure that the surgeon is going to follow you up personally after the surgery?