Kian Samimi, MD, FACS, Ph. D. is a board-certified Plastic Surgeon who has published and lectured on various areas of plastic surgery and is well-recognized among his peers for his contributions to plastic surgery. He is a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons and a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons. He is also fully trained in general surgery. Dr. Samimi was the chief of the division of plastic surgery at the University of Arizona prior to relocating his practice to San Diego. He uses this experience gained in treating complex problems to provide every patient the best care possible.

Choosing the Right Surgeon

As one of the first American medical teams since 1974, Dr. Samimi traveled with two other plastic surgeons to Vietnam in 1997. They performed several hundred procedures on children with acquired and birth defects.

Dr. Samimi In The Media

Dr. Samimi has been featured in many television news reports and articles. Please click here to view a selection of these and learn more Dr. Samimi, his patients and the surgeries he performs.

Client Testimonials

Learn more about RevivaMed and Dr. Samimi by watching this video about one of his patient’s experience with her surgery.

Story of Healing

As one of the first American medical teams since 1974, Dr. Samimi traveled with two other plastic surgeons to Vietnam in 1997. They performed several hundred procedures on children with acquired and birth defects. Their travel was recorded in the documentary “A Story of Healing”, which was awarded an Oscar in the 1998 Academy Awards. This documentary has been broadcast on television stations throughout the United States. Click here to watch “A Story of Healing”.

Curriculum Vitae

Education

  • School: Comenius Gymnasium, Duesseldorf, Germany 1982.
  • Undergraduate School: University of California, San Diego 1982 – 1983
  • School: Heinrich-Heine-Universitaet, Duesseldorf, Germany 7 / 1983 – 4 /
  • 1989 Degree: Medical Doctor 4/20/1989

Doctoral Thesis

  • Behandlung von Verbrennungen im Kindesalter mit Fissan Trockengel. (Treatment of Pediatric Burns with Fissan)
  • Advisor: Privat-Dozent Dr. med. Klaus Witzel
  • Heinrich-Heine-Universitaet, Duesseldorf, Germany
  • Degree: Ph.D. 7 / 1998

Residency Training

General Surgery Residency
University of Illinois at Chicago
7/1989 – 6/1995

General Surgery Chief Resident
7/1994 – 6/1995

Plastic Surgery Residency
University of Utah
7/1995 – 6/1997

Plastic Surgery Administrative Chief Resident
University of Utah
1/1997- 6/1997

Certification

American Board of Surgery – 2/10/1997 – 7/1/2007

American Board of Plastic Surgery – 3/20/1998 – 12/31/2019

ECFMG – 10/3/1989

FLEX – 1989

Medical Licenses

California, issued 1/22/1992

Germany / European Community, issued 1989

Arizona, issued 7/25/1997, expired 12/31/2010

Illinois, issued 07/15/1989, expired 07/31/1996

Utah, issued 12/13/1995, expired 01/31/1998

Employment

Assistant Professor of Clinical Surgery
Department of Surgery
Section of Plastic Surgery
University of Arizona
7/1997 – 7/2006

Chief, Section of Plastic Surgery
Department of Surgery
University of Arizona
7/1999 – 7/2006

Private Practice
San Diego, California
7/2006 – present

Awards

Graduated High School with award for best student in class;
Comenius Gymnasium, Duesseldorf, Germany

Dean’s recognition for excellent performance during clinical rotations; Heinrich-Heine- Universitaet, Duesseldorf, Germany

Participated in Documentary “A Story of Healing”, which received an Academy Award for best short documentary in 1998

Appointments & Hospital Privileges

Clinical Associate Professor of Surgery
Department of Surgery, University of Arziona
Tucson, Arizona
10 / 2006 – present

Clinical Associate Professor of Surgery
Department of Surgery, University of California
San Diego, California
1/ 2008 – present

Educational Director
“Plastic Surgery Grand Rounds”; Tucson, Arizona,
9 / 2004 – 7 / 2006

Director, Wound Therapy Program; Cornerstone Hospital; Tucson, Arizona.
1999 – 2006

Member, Medical Executive Committee, Cornerstone Hospital; Tucson, Arizona
1999 – 2006

Attending, CRS (Children’s Clinic), Tucson, Arizona
2004 – 2006

Attending, University Medical Center; Tucson, Arizona.
7/1997 – 7/2006

Attending, Veterans Administration Medical Center; Tucson, Arizona.
1999 – 2004

Attending, Tucson Medical Center; Tucson, Arizona
2005 – 2006

Attending, Scripps Memorial Hospital; La Jolla, California
2006 – present

Attending, Rady’s Childrens Hospital; San Diego, California
2007 – present

Attending, Rancho Springs Medical Center, Murrieta, California
2006 – present

Attending, Inland Valley Medical Center, Wildomar, California
2006 – present

Director, Wound Care Program, Vibra Hospital, San Diego, California
7/2007 – present

State: Consultant, Arizona Medical Board
7/2004 – present

Consultant, California Medical Board
8/2006 – present

National: Member. Warren H. Cole Society
1997 – Present

Fellow, American College of Surgeons
1998 – Present

Member, American College of Surgeons, Arizona Chapter
1997 – 2006

Member, American Society of Plastic Surgery
1998 – Present

Reviewer, Archives of Internal Medicine
1999 – Present

Visiting Professorship

Laser gang tattoo removal project, University of Utah, 1996-1997

Interplast trip to An Giang and Long Thap Provinces, Vietnam, 1/1997

Medical Translator, Advanced Language Institute

Departmental Committees

Member, Research Committee
University of Arizona
1998 –1999

Member, Peer Review Committee
University of Arizona
1998-1999

Monographs

Die Behandlung von Verbrennungen im Kindesalter mit Fissan Trockengel. (Treatment of Pediatric Burns with Fissan Powder)
Samimi KJ, Witzel CL; Düsseldorf University Press, 1998

Other Committees

Internal: Member, Finance Committee
University Physicians’ Healthcare
2004 – 2006

Member OR Committee
University Medical Center
2001 – 2006

Publications

Book Chapters: 
“Breast Augmentation & Disorders of the Augmented Breast”
(Chapter 23) in Lemcke D, Pattison J, Marshall LA, Cowley DS, eds: “Current Care of Women: Diagnosis & Treatment”; Lange Medical Books/McGraw-Hill, New York, May 2003

Web Publications: 
“Treatment of Keloid Scars”
Chapter in “Evidence at Hand”, pending publication

Additional Peer Reviewed Articles

Additional Peer Reviewed Articles:

“Vulvar Mass in a Toddler”
CSS Animation

Animate it
Behr FD, Samimi KJ, Ghory MJ, Bangert JL, Hansen RC
Pediatric Dermatology, Volume 18, Number 3, p 255-7, 2001

“Repair of Cloacal Exstrophy, Omphalocele, and Gastroschisis Using Porcine Small-Intestinal Submucosa or Cadaveric Skin Homograft”
Admire AA, Samimi KJ, Cosentino CM, Ghory MJ
Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Volume 112, Number 4, p1059 –63, September 2003

“Autosomal Dominant Inheritance Pattern for Trigger Thumb”
Shim VC, Samimi KJ, Admire AA, Heidenreich RA
Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Volume 109, Number 1, p 240-2, January 2002

“Massive Ventral Hernias: Role of Tissue Expansion in Abdominal Wall Restoration Following Abdominal Compartment Syndrome”
Admire AA, Samimi KJ, Dolich MO, Sisley AC
The American Surgeon, Volume 68, Number 5, p 491-6, May 2002

“Simplifying Breast Reconstruction”
Samimi KJ
Plastic Surgery Products, January 2004

Preperitoneal Prosthetic Buttress in the Treatment of Recurrence Following Laparoscopic Hernia Repair.
Samimi KJ, Nyhus LM; Contemporary Surgery, 48.5, May 1996

Media

“Tissue Expansion”
KUAT (PBS) report (Southern Arizona), 07/05/99

“Coping with breast loss”
Tucson Citizen, 11/20/01

“Flap reconstruction uses flesh from breast”
Tucson Citizen, 11/20/01

“Better Breast Reconstruction”
Ivanhoe Broadcasting (National Broadcast), 12/09/02

“Fixing the Skin”
Ivanhoe Broadcasting (National Broadcast), 01/03/03

“Safety of Silicone Breast Implants”
KOLD (CBS) Interview, (Southern Arizona), 04/18/05

“Plastic Surgery without Surgery”
KUAT (PBS) report (Southern Arizona), 06/15/05

“Plastic Surgery Goes Mini”
Life after 50 magazine (Southern California, 04/01/07

“Sunprotective Clothing”
KUSI (NBC) San Diego, California, 07/04/07

National

“Femoral Nerve Entrapment Neuropathy.”
American Society of Plastic Surgeons Senior Resident’s Conference, Sacramento, California
04/97

“Management of the Mangled Extremity.”
Western Trauma Conference
Tucson, Arizona
08/97

“Repair of Cloacal Exstrophy, Omphalocele and Gastroschisis Using Porcine Small Intestinal Submucosa Graft or a Cadaveric Homograft.”
American Society of Plastic Surgeons Annual Meeting
Orlando, Florida
11/04/01

“Management of Angiosarcoma of the Nose.”
American Society Of Plastic Surgeons “Aesthetic Facial Reconstruction in Children and Adults”
Phoenix, Arizona
02/23/03

“Reconstruction of Giant Hairy Nevus of Nose”
American Society of Plastic Surgeons “Aesthetic Facial Reconstruction in Children and Adults”
Tucson, Arizona
02/24/2005

“Insulin-like rowth Factor II production in an Adrenocortical Carcinoma.”
Annual meeting of the Warren H. Cole Society
Chicago, Illinois
06/94

“Breast Reconstruction”
University of Arizona Cancer Center “Women’s Cancer Conference.”
Tucson, Arizona
1/27/2006

“Wound VAC Therapy: More than just Suction”
KCI Wound Care Symposium

Los Angeles, California – 06/14/2009

Las Vegas, Nevada – 08/22/2009

Riverside, California – 09/17/209

Long Beach, California – 10/25/2009

Phoenix, Arizona – 11/12/2009

Local

“Marjolin’s Ulcer”
General Surgery Grand Rounds
University of Arizona College of Medicine; Tucson, Arizona
4/1997

Upper Extremity Trauma
General Surgery Grand Rounds
University of Arizona College of Medicine; Tucson, Arizona
8/1997

Facial Fractures: Diagnosis and Treatment.
Trauma Conference
Tucson Medical Center; Tucson, Arizona
9/1997

Common Hand Emergencies.
Emergency Medicine Grand Rounds
University of Arizona College of Medicine; Tucson, Arizona
3/24/1998

Cleft Lip and Palate.
Pediatric Grand Rounds
University of Arizona College of Medicine; Tucson, Arizona
4/1998

Wound Therapy: From Hippocrates to Pare – A progression of wound care.
Invited speaker, Summit Hospital Grand Rounds
Tucson, Arizona
5/20/99

Hand Infections
Emergency Medicine Grand Rounds
University of Arizona College of Medicine; Tucson, Arizona
3/28/00

Common Pediatric Hand Problems
Pediatric Grand Rounds
University of Arizona College of Medicine; Tucson, Arizona
4/18/00

Management of Massive Facial Trauma
General Surgery Grand Rounds
University of Arizona College of Medicine; Tucson, Arizona
5/3/00

Breast Reconstruction
General Surgery Grand Rounds
University of Arizona College of Medicine; Tucson, Arizona
3/28/01

“Wound Care and Plastic Surgery”
Presented at Surgery Grand Rounds
University of Arizona College of Medicine; Tucson, Arizona
4/17/02

“Management of Complex Wounds”
Invited speaker
KCI Wound Care Symposium; Tucson, Arizona
10/29/02

“Breast Reconstruction, Reduction and Augmentation: Current Techniques”
Invited speaker
AORN conference; Tucson, Arizona
09/13/03

“Cost and Therapeutic Benefits of Wound V.A.C. Therapy”
Invited Speaker
KCI Wound Care Symposium; San Diego, California
04/12/07

Case Presentations
Wound Care Forum Scripps Memorial Hospital
La Jolla, California
11/02/2009

“All Roads Lead to Rome: Accelerating Wound Healing Through Early Wound VAC Application”
Invited Speaker
KCI Wound Care Symposium; San Diego, California
04/25/2010

Didactic Courses

Common Hand Problems.
Core curriculum lecture for 3rd year medical students.
University of Arizona College of Medicine, Tucson, Arizona;

Reconstructive Aspects of Plastic Surgery.
Core curriculum lecture for 3rd year medical students.
University of Arizona College of Medicine, Tucson, Arizona.

Wound Healing.
Presented to General Surgery residents
University of Arizona College of Medicine, Tucson, Arizona.
8/10/98

Review of Burn Management.
Presented to General Surgery residents
University of Arizona College of Medicine, Tucson, Arizona
11/16/98

Basic Wound Repair and Treatment.
Presentation and lab for Emergency Room residents.
University of Arizona College of Medicine, Tucson, Arizona.
1/12/99

Hand Surgery Symposium for Medical Students.
Co-organizer and lecturer
University of Arizona, College of Medicine, Tucson, Arizona;
4/17/99

Plastic Surgery Didactic Session
Presented to Senior General Surgery Residents
University of Arizona College of Medicine; Tucson, Arizona
4/22/02

Plastic Surgery Didactic Session
Presented to Junior General Surgery Residents
University of Arizona College of Medicine; Tucson, Arizona
4/26/02

Outreach

Skin Care and Plastic Surgery.
Presentation at Allure Beauty School as part of Aesthetician’s core curriculum
Tucson, Arizona
9/24/97, 3/11/98 and 9/23/98.

Less is more: Design and Plastic Surgery.
Invited speaker at the American Society of Interior Designers.
Tucson, Arizona
10/9/98

“Breast Reconstruction: The next step forward”
Invited speaker
Friends of University Medical Center Luncheon
Tucson, Arizona
11/15/01

“Cosmetic and Plastic Surgery”
Invited speaker, Iranian Women’s Association
Tucson, Arizona
5/02/02

“Turning Back The Clock: Can We Do It With Plastic Surgery?”
Invited speaker
OASIS Senior Center
8/17/07

Grants

Educational Grant from Pfizer in support of:
Hand Surgery Symposium for Medical Students.
Educational Director; 4/17/99
$2000

Educational Grants in support of:
Plastic Surgery Grand Rounds, University of Arizona
Educational Director

Publications

Book Chapters“Breast Augmentation & Disorders of the Augmented Breast” (Chapter 23) in Lemcke D, Pattison J, Marshall LA, Cowley DS, eds: “Current Care of Women: Diagnosis & Treatment”; Lange Medical Books/McGraw-Hill, New York, May 2003 Articles
Articles“Simplifying Breast Reconstruction”; Plastic Surgery Products, January 2004
Articles“Autosomal Dominant Inheritance Pattern for Trigger Thumb”; Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Volume 109, Number 1, p 240-2, January 2002
Articles“Vulvar Mass in a Toddler” Pediatric Dermatology, Volume 18, Number 3, p 255-7, 2001
Articles“Repair of Cloacal Exstrophy, Omphalocele, and Gastroschisis Using Porcine Small-Intestinal Submucosa or Cadaveric Skin Homograft”; Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Volume 112, Number 4, p1059 –63, September 2003
Articles“Massive Ventral Hernias: Role of Tissue Expansion in Abdominal Wall Restoration Following Abdominal Compartment Syndrome”; The American Surgeon, Volume 68, Number 5, p 491-6, May 2002
ArticlesPreperitoneal Prosthetic Buttress in the Treatment of Recurrence Following Laparoscopic Hernia Repair.Samimi KJ, Nyhus LM; Contemporary Surgery, 48.5, May 1996
ArticlesDie Behandlung von Verbrennungen im Kindesalter mit Fissan Trockengel. (Treatment of Pediatric Burns with Fissan Powder); Samimi KJ, Witzel CL; Dusseldorf University Press, 1998
Media Reports“Tissue Expansion”; KUAT (NPR) report (Southern Arizona), 07/05/99
Media Reports“Coping with breast loss”; Tucson Citizen, 11/20/01
Media Reports“Flap reconstruction uses flesh from breast”; Tucson Citizen, 11/20/01
Media Reports“Better Breast Reconstruction”; Ivanhoe Broadcasting (National Broadcast), 12/09/02
Media Reports“Fixing the Skin”; Ivanhoe Broadcasting (National Broadcast), 01/03/03
Media Reports“Safety of Silicone Breast Implants”; KOLD (CBS) Interview, (Southern Arizona, 04/18/05)
National Presentations“Repair of Cloacal Exstrophy, Omphalocele and Gastroschisis Using Porcine Small Intestinal Submucosa Graft or a Cadaveric Homograft.”; Presented at American Society of Plastic Surgeons Annual Meeting; Orlando, Florida 11/04/01
Media Reports“Sunprotective Clothing” KUSI (NBC) San Diego, California, 07/04/07
Media Reports“Plastic Surgery Goes Mini” Life after 50 magazine (Southern California, 04/01/07)

In The Media

Safe Plastic Surgery

Dr. Samimi gives advice in a KUSI interview on Safe Plastic Surgery. Dr. Samimi has several tips for those considering plastic surgery. This live interview was aired on KUSI, a local San Diego TV station.


Sun Damage Prevention

Dr. Samimi discusses different options to prevent sun damage. This aired live on KUSI Inside San Diego News talkshow. This news segment can be viewed here.


Tissue Expansion

This report, which aired on KUAT, covers Dr. Samimi’s experience in using tissue expansion to help restore the appearance of several patients. Please click on the picture below to watch.


Better Breast Reconstruction

This documentary shows a number of Dr. Samimi’s patients who underwent breast reconstruction and how it changed their lifes. This was broadcast throughout North America, including Southern California, on a number of different TV stations.


Fixing The Skin

To restore the appearance of a child afflicted with a birth defect, is one of the most challenging and rewarding aspects of being a plastic surgeon. This documentary shows two of Dr. Samimi’s young patients who underwent a series of operations. This report was produced by Ivanhoe Broadcasting and featured on TV stations throughout the United States.


Safety Of Silicone Breast Implants

Following the initial approval of silicone breast implants by the FDA, Dr. Samimi was interviewed about possible safety concerns with these new implants. As a long-time participant in the Mentor Silicone Implant Adjunct Study, he has had considerable experience in the use of silicone breast implants. This report was aired on CBS-affiliate KOLD in Arizona.


Plastic Surgery Without Surgery

Most recent advances in plastic surgery have been in non-surgical procedures such as Botox and soft tissue fillers. In this report, Dr. Samimi is interviewed about these new treatments and also shown performing these procedures. This was produced and broadcast by KUAT, a PBS-affiliate.


Oscar Ceremony

Following the 1998 Academy Awards, Dr. Samimi is interviewed by the CBS-affiliate for his role in the Oscar winning documentary “A Story of Healing”.


Body Contouring After Gastric Bypass

This news report features one of Dr. Samimi’s patients who had previously undergone a gastric bypass procedure and then had lost a significant amount of weight. It shows Dr. Samimi performing an abdominoplasty and thigh lift and was aired on the local NBC affiliate.

Biography

Biography – Dr. Kian Samimi


Biography

Dr. Samimi was born and raised in Duesseldorf, Germany. His first experiences in medicine were from visiting his father’s office, who was a well-respected pediatrician. Being raised in the fashion capital of Germany, Dr. Samimi started working as a fashion photographer during high school. This allowed him to develop an appreciation for human beauty early in his life.

Graduating in the top of his class, he entered medical school in Duesseldorf. He had the opportunity to work with some of Europe’s most well-known plastic surgeons during medical school and was fascinated by this field. It not only required a sound knowledge of medicine and surgical principles, but also a creative mind and appreciation of aesthetics. As his family had moved to the United States while he was in medical school, Dr. Samimi attended his clinical training in the United States.

He first completed training in general surgery at the University of Illinois in Chicago. Most of his time was spent at Cook County Hospital, teaching him not only surgical skills and decision-making, but also respect and compassion for people less fortunate.

His training in plastic surgery was at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. Here he trained under a group of very accomplished plastic surgeons, including Dr. Graham Lister. He acquired experience in all areas of plastic surgery.

He started his practice at the University of Arizona in Tucson. Two years later he became the Division Chief and headed the Division of Plastic Surgery for seven years. Other than his university and cosmetic practice, Dr. Samimi provided care at the VA hospital and children’s clinic.

His wife, Dr. Roya Kohani, and he decided to raise their children closer to their families and relocated their practices to San Diego in 2006. Dr. Samimi is now in private practice in San Diego and a Clinical Associate Professor of Surgery at UCSD and the University of Arizona. Dr. Samimi also has offices in the Gaslamp Quarter, La Jolla and Murrieta.

He is an attending physician at a number of hospitals, including Scripps Memorial Hospital, Rady’s Children Hospital, Vibra Hospital and Loma Linda Medical Center, Murrieta. Dr. Samimi is the medical director of wound care at Vibra Hospital.

In addition to numerous publications in the field of plastic surgery, Dr. Samimi continues to nationally lecture on plastic surgery and is a reviewer for the Arizona and California Medical Boards.

Choosing A Plastic Suregry

How To Choose A Qualified Plastic Surgeon

If you’re considering plastic surgery…

The term “plastic” comes from the Greek word “plastikos,” meaning to mold or give form. Plastic surgery does just that – it gives new form to the human body. The specialty includes two kinds of procedures: reconstructive surgery, or procedures done to repair birth defects and deformities caused by accidents or disease, and cosmetic or aesthetic surgery, including facelifts, nose reshaping, fat suction and other procedures done to enhance appearance.

No matter what type of plastic surgery you’re considering, the most important factor in its success is the surgeon you choose.

How can you find a well-trained, qualified, experienced plastic surgeon? This information can help you make an informed choice. It was prepared by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), a professional society dedicated to quality care for plastic surgery patients through education, research and the promotion of high professional standards.

Your First Step: Gathering Names

In choosing a plastic surgeon, your first goal is to develop a list of good candidates. Where do you find them? Some sources are better than others.

  • Friends: If you know someone who’s had a procedure like the one you’re considering, talk to him or her about it. But don’t decide on a surgeon based on one friend’s experience. Every patient is unique, and so is every surgery; your results might be quite different from your friend’s.
  • Doctors: Your family doctor may be able to recommend a plastic surgeon. Ask your doctor how many patients he or she has referred to this surgeon and what feedback they offered later. Ask whether the doctor would send a family member to this plastic surgeon.
  • Nurses: If you know an operating room nurse – or if you know someone who knows one – you can probably get a well-informed opinion on surgeons he or she has worked with.
  • Hospitals: Call a respected hospital in your community and ask for the names of board-certified plastic surgeons on staff. Be sure to ask for the names of doctors who have privileges (official approval) to do the particular procedure you’re considering.
  • ASPS: The Plastic Surgery Information Service of the ASPS is an excellent source of names. Simply call the toll-free number, (888) 4-PLASTIC (475-2784), and leave your name, address and the procedure you’re interested in. We’ll send you the names of five plastic surgeons in your area who perform that procedure. Their membership in the ASPS means they’re certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS) and members of the largest plastic surgery specialty organization in the United States. You can show this list to a doctor you trust and ask if he or she has any recommendations. You can also check the list against the one you may have received from the hospital.
  • Special directories: You can find the names of board-certified plastic surgeons, listed by state and city, in two reference books available in most public libraries: The Directory of Medical Specialists, published by Marquis Who’s Who, and The Compendium of Certified Medical Specialists, published by the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS).
  • Paid advertising: You can find plenty of physicians’ names in the yellow pages and other advertising sources. But keep in mind that doctors can list themselves under any specialty heading they like and can advertise any services they want to sell, regardless of their training and credentials. (Exceptions are group listings sponsored by the American Board of Medical Specialties or its member boards.) Similarly, doctors quoted in newspaper and magazine stories may or may not be qualified “experts.”

Your Next Step: Checking Credentials

Once you’ve compiled a list of several doctors, you can start checking their credentials. While good credentials can’t guarantee you a successful outcome, they can significantly increase the odds. You can obtain the following information from the directories mentioned above, hospitals and professional societies, and the surgeon’s office.

  • Training: More important than where your surgeon went to school is the type of training he or she received. Has the surgeon completed an accredited residency program specifically in plastic surgery? Such a program includes two or three years of intensive training in the full spectrum of reconstructive and cosmetic procedures. While your plastic surgeon may choose to concentrate on a limited number of procedures, this comprehensive background gives a solid foundation to his or her skills.
  • Board certification: Everyone has heard the phrase “board-certified,” but very few people know what it means or what to look for.Patients are encouraged to consider a doctor certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS). By choosing a plastic surgeon who is certified by the ABPS, a patient can be assured that the doctor has graduated from an accredited medical school and completed at least five years of additional residency – usually three years of general surgery (or its equivalent) and two years of plastic surgery. To be certified by the ABPS, a doctor must also practice plastic surgery for two years and pass comprehensive written and oral exams.
  • Hospital privileges: Even if your surgery will be performed in the doctor’s own surgical facility, he or she should have privileges to perform that procedure at an accredited hospital in your community. It means the surgeon is subject to approval by a body of his or her peers. Call the hospital to make sure.
  • Experience: Although there’s no magic number (of years or procedures) that defines “experience,” you should feel comfortable that the surgeon you choose is well versed and up-to-date in the procedure you’re considering. You can ask the surgeons on your list if they do the procedure frequently or only occasionally and when they last performed that procedure.
  • Professional societies: Physicians may belong to a wide array of professional societies, but – as with board certification – some are more meaningful than others. If a physician tells you he or she belongs to a particular society, get the exact name and call the society to find out what the requirements for membership are.

Of the societies representing plastic surgeons, one of the most demanding – and by far the largest – is the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS). Its members must be certified by the ABPS and reviewed by their peers. They must also participate in continuing education and adhere to a strict code of ethics.

Finally, The Consultation/Interview

If you’ve narrowed your list down to two or three surgeons, you might want to visit them all for an initial consultation. That way you can compare their personalities, their opinions on the type of surgery you should have, their fees, and the way they answer your questions and explain the risks involved. Keep in mind, though, that you’ll probably have to pay for these consultations, whether or not you choose that surgeon.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions, no matter how trivial or how personal you think they’ll sound. In fact, it’s a good idea to write down your questions before hand so you won’t forget any of them and to make a note of the surgeon’s answers as well.

Here Are A Few General Things To Look For In The Interview

  • The surgeon should answer all of your questions thoroughly, in language you can understand.
  • He/she should ask about your motivations and expectations, discuss them with you, and solicit your reaction to his/her recommendations.
  • He/she should offer alternatives, where appropriate, without pressuring you to consider unnecessary procedures.
  • He/she should welcome questions about professional qualifications, experience, costs and payment policies.
  • He/she should make clear not only the risks of surgery but the possible variations in outcome. If the surgeon shows you photographs of other patients, or uses computer imaging to show you possible results, it should be clear that there is no guarantee that your results will match these.
  • He/she should make sure the final decision is yours.

Now It’s Time To Make Your Choice

If you’ve obtained your surgeon’s name from a good source, checked his or her credentials, are satisfied with your initial consultation, and have realistic expectations for the surgery, chances are very good that you’ll be happy with the outcome of your plastic surgery.