If you plan to have a facelift, you’ll want a highly qualified surgeon to perform the procedure. How do you find the best surgeon who is right for you? Here are important factors to keep in mind. Top Things to Look For Find a surgeon who: Is board certified in plastic surgery; facial plastic surgery; cosmetic surgery; oral and maxillofacial surgery; or ear, nose and throat (ENT) surgery and who specializes in facelifts Has experience treating patients like you Accepts your insurance, if applicable You are comfortable talking with and who fully answers your questions Here are five steps to finding the best surgeon to perform your facelift. 1. Ask Around Start by creating a list of potential surgeons. Ask your family, friends, and other healthcare providers for recommendations. If you’re starting without any referrals, or you’re looking for more options, search Healthgrades.com for surgeons who perform facelifts. In addition to the specialties listed above, some specially trained dermatologists perform facelifts as well. Healthgrades.com shows patient satisfaction ratings, which give you insight into how your own experience might be with the doctor. Patients rate the doctor and the doctor’s medical practice, and say if they would recommend the doctor to family and friends. 2. Research Credentials and Experience Take time to research the doctors’ credentials and experience. Look for a doctor who is board certified in one of the specialties listed above and performs facelifts on a regular basis. The more experience a doctor has performing facelifts, the better prepared the doctor is to anticipate and prevent complications. Also, confirm the doctor is in good standing with state and federal agencies and he or she has no history of malpractice claims or disciplinary actions. You’ll find all this information on Healthgrades.com. 3. Examine Hospital Performance Surgical procedures often require a team of highly skilled and experienced healthcare providers. For this reason, you should also consider the overall quality of care at the hospital or facility where the doctor practices. Find out where the doctors on your list can treat patients. Your facelift may or may not take place in a hospital. If it does, research those hospitals on Healthgrades.com. Ideally you should find a hospital in your area that performs better than expected (5 stars) in surgical procedures. Then find a doctor who can admit and treat patients at this hospital. Avoid hospitals with lower than expected (1 star) results. If a particular hospital falls short in quality, determine if the surgeon also operates at a different facility. Otherwise, find a surgeon who treats patients at a hospital likely to offer you the best possible outcome. 4. Interview the Surgeon As you narrow down your list of surgeons, call each surgeon’s office and ask for a consult appointment to meet and interview the doctor. Ask yourself: Am I comfortable talking with the doctor? Does he or she respect my opinions and answer my questions in a way I can understand? Here are some questions to ask the doctor: Do you typically treat patients like me? How many facelifts have you performed? What results do you usually see? Do you have before and after photos of your facelift patients I can see? How frequently do you encounter complications from the surgery? What do you do to avoid complications or correct them if they occur? 5. Determine Your Costs Know your total cost before deciding on a surgeon. Insurance plans typically don’t cover cosmetic procedures, including facelifts. However, if your facelift is part of a medically necessary facial reconstruction, insurance may cover the procedure. Contact your insurance company to find out about your coverage and if the surgeon participates in your plan. Then, talk with your surgeon about the total costs, including the surgeons’ fees, facility fees, and anesthesia fees. Many surgeons will work with you to develop a payment plan that meets your needs. But keep in mind, your satisfaction with the results is as important as the cost. Don’t automatically go with the most affordable surgeon. You still need to consider the doctor’s experience and expertise.